Downtown pub owner competes for CPR Steamship tenancy

Marketplace, museum and high-tech attraction proposed

Matt MacNeil of the Victoria Pub Company announced his desire to build a marketplace in the CPR Steamship building, after submitting a proposal for tenancy Tuesday. 

The owner of the Bard and Banker, Irish Times and Penny Farthing pubs proposes to use the Inner Harbour property to showcase local “purveyors of specialty foods and products.” 

Tuesday marked the deadline to submit proposals to the Provincial Capital Commission to occupy some or all of the CPR Steamship Building.

The historic building at 470 Belleville St., is vacant while undergoing seismic upgrades. 

The Provincial Capital Commission received three proposals. 

“Our vision is to create a welcoming place for our great citizens and city: an open door in a downtown core that needs more,” MacNeil said in a press release. 

He is working with Victoria-based landscape, design and construction company Landeca Services.

For months, the Maritime Museum of B.C. has publicized its desire to relocate to the higher profile venue. 

Bob Wright, of the Oak Bay Marine Group, has been quieter about his plans for what he describes as a state of the art B.C. attraction.

“We’ve been working on it for six months, but for the past three months we’ve been working with some of the top people in the United States and Britain on animatronics, and electronics.”

Next, the Provincial Capital Commission will evaluate the proposals with the help of a community-based evaluation panel. 

The panel will make a recommendation by April 12. A decision is expected the following day.


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