Prime Maple Ridge location, corner lot, building empty

But major retailers looking around for central locations

Big building on 224th Street is mostly empty.

Big building on 224th Street is mostly empty.

It sits there virtually abandoned, save for a government ministry office on the second floor. The building that used to house the  Maple Ridge library until the turn of the century, recently lost the Rogers Video outlet, leaving the Ministry of Children and Family Development office and the Bread N Buns Factory as the remaining tenants. For lease signs have been in the building for years, but it remains vacant.

Ineke Boekhorst, with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, doesn’t know what the plans are of the offshore owners.

But she predicts interest it and the Haney Bingo Plex, when it becomes vacant sometime in 2013-2014,  from major retailers who want a presence in Maple Ridge’s downtown.

“There is a lot of interest in downtown from developers and new businesses,” she said.

Both sites offer space for a major retailer who wants to locate in the central area, which is increasing its population base, providing a market for retailers.

“I’m sure there is going to be some interest from some major companies there, so it won’t take long.”

Maple Ridge has a long-term plan of increasing the population of the downtown to 22,000.

She said the owners of the bingo plex, the peaked shaped building on 224th Street across from Haney Place Mall, seem interested in dealing the property.