The first jewel in the crown that was formerly a vibrant upper Third Avenue has been placed.
Navi Star Marine Inc., which just purchased PY Marine, has relocated from its Fourth Avenue location to the building that houses The Great Canadian Video Network.
The facility and the former Zellers building next door are owned by the Coulson Group of Companies. Calls to the Coulson Group of Companies weren’t returned by deadline.
PY Marine started moving into the facility in October. The building underwent plumbing and electrical improvements but a few small things remain to be done yet, service manager Mike Brouard said.
“People used to think of the uptown as a scary place to be,” Brouard said. “Well, the face of this area is starting to change and we’re a contributing part of that.”
The new facility will house a boat and motor showroom, a parts department and a shop where boat motors will be repaired, he said.
The exterior of the building will be cladded with value added wood from Coulson’s other operations. If all goes to plan then everything should be done by the new year, Brouard said.
The new facility is more than double in size than the old one, and that’s a plus. “We’ll still go by our former owner’s vision but we’ll be doing that in an expanded business area,” he said.
The former owner of PY Marine is Paul Yuen, who owned and operated the business for 35 years. Yuen got his start in the boat business at Woodward’s Marine, which was formerly operated in the location they just moved into.
Yuen tried to sell the business for more than a year. With no takers he was ready to shutter it until Navi Star bought it.
In another twist, Brouard tutored under Yuen for 20 years after he first broke into the business, he said.
The timing of the move uptown couldn’t be better, Brouard said. “The uptown is basically dead but there’s always opportunity in that,” he said. “And when you combine the city’s uptown revitalization with what uptown residents and businesses are doing, it’s a good time.”
The video store will remain, and another tenant will soon be sought for another space in the rear of the building. “People will come to a place that is safe and clean and we’re benefitting that, Brouard said.