The Rail District Collective hopes to create a cultural hub. Robyn Bessenger photo

The Rail District Collective hopes to create a cultural hub. Robyn Bessenger photo

Rail District project sent to public hearing

Building in Abbotsford’s historic downtown would include events venue & commissary kitchen

The plan to make an old building in the historic downtown into a music venue and commissary kitchen passed a bureaucratic hurdle when council agreed to send a rezoning application to a public hearing.

The old Buckerfields building on West Railway Street, just south of Essendene Avenue, has already held several farmers’ markets and an event launching Rail District Collective’s new music and event space. The farmers’ market is already allowed while other events have operated through one-off special-event permits.

The company behind the project has applied for rezoning that will allow the site to regularly host events and allow for the construction of a commercial-grade kitchen. The kitchen could then be used by businesses and individuals to make food that could be sold elsewhere. The building would also include offices for small-business people.

“All this stuff works well together if you have the right venue for it, and that’s what we’re building here,” Ryan McCallister, a music producer involved in the project, told The News in March.

Even if approved, special event permits will still be needed for events with more than 200 people, or if alcohol is to be served.

Staff also wants the Rail District Collective to create a pedestrian crosswalk across West Railway.

The public hearing will be held in late May.

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