A local business owner is proud of the improvements made to the street outside his North Kamloops restaurant.
Mitchell Forgie, owner of Red Beard Cafe at Tranquille Road and Yew Street, said the changes serve as an example of municipality and private investment working together to improve the
“It has been a great collaboration between property developers Arpa Investments, the landlords at Red Beard, Jeff and Tanya Isfeld, Red Beard itself and the City of Kamloops,” Forgie said.
The project involved extending the sidewalk with multi-coloured bricks from the intersection of Yew and Tranquille to Spirit Square.
Prior to Arpa constructing an apartment building next door to Red Beard, the sidewalk turned inward around the intersection for on-street parking and access to Spirit Square was cut off by the front yards of two homes upon properties the apartment building now sits.
Forgie said Yew was previously “a haphazard street, typical of Tranquille.”
“With the new work, we have a beautiful, wide, tree-lined sidewalk that now continuously connects Spirit Square to Tranquille,” Forgie said.
He noted old street letdowns, which often put cars and pedestrians at odds with each other, were eliminated and Arpa and Red Beard planted new trees that will help mitigate heat.
Forgie said the trees he paid for in front of his business — ruby vase parrotia persica — were chosen with the help of the city’s arborist for their air0cleansing qualities, helping to mitigate air pollution along the street.
Forgie said the city’s investment in the expanded sidewalk prompted Red Beard to make a new investment in its patio space, adding seats and activity to the area, noting residents have moved in to Arpa’s The Colours on Spirit Square, with the Yew Street Food Hall set to open in that building.
“We look forward to continued work on behalf of the city and other businesses to see how they can collaborate,” Forgie said. “As the North Shore Neighbourhood Plan is nearing completion, it is through this type of collaboration that we can start to bring these great visions to life, little bit by little bit.”