It all began with a few fresh coats of paint.
A painting party hosted by Aldergrove Business Association (ABA) volunteers has recently rejuvenated six storefronts in the 27000-block of Fraser Highway, and more facelifts appear to be in the works.
For two of the downtown storefronts it has been a struggle to find commercial tenants, admitted landlord Dave Sharma. But that could be changing.
ABA president Jodi Steeves has led an initiative – using neutral paint shades – to help clean up the core.
Langley Township contributed too, just this past week, by painting parts of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In building with the same colours.
“I’m hoping to see a ripple effect from this,” Steeves said, challenging all downtown businesses to do just one storefront improvement to help everybody enjoy the visual look and “encourage shoppers to come down and shop locally.”
Subsequent Aldergrove businesses have done just that, as a concerted effort of their own.
In the 2980-block of 272nd Street, businesses including Veronica’s Gourmet Perogies, the Temple Restaurant, and Ancient Burials were given fresh exterior paint, new lights, and signage – explained Zane Green, the new owner of Ancient Burials.
Green moved his funeral home business into the space in March but has been a resident of Aldergrove for much longer.
He completed the work in partnership with the building’s landlord Veronica Cave, owner of Veronica’s Perogies.
Cave purchased hanging baskets this week that Green installed at the front of the stores.
The group hopes to erect a side garden where a looming tree once stood – in front of Cranky’s Bike Shop. As well, a possible wall mural could be added on the south side of the building.
Just a few doors down, Toy Central had weeds pulled and new decorations added to that storefront. They also spent hours pressure washing the front and back of the building.
“We wanted to make it a friendly place to be, because the outside just wasn’t,” said owner and operator Sarah Murdoch.
“We commonly have people ask if it’s safe to park their cars out front. They’re afraid of getting broken into,” Murdoch explained, commending Green and Cave for their recent revitalization efforts.
“It just shows that it takes teamwork and community to clean up, and maintain the downtown core. It’s very possible if we all chip in a bit of time, and a bit of money as we can afford it,” Murdoch emphasized.
She said she’s “happy to see Aldergrove cleaning up and feeling more welcoming.”
Not only have these recent revitalization efforts enacted change in Aldergrove’s downtown core, but numerous redevelopment plans have recently been announced for Aldergrove’s future.
Langley Township purchased the Aldergrove Inn in late June.
The Car Wash & Doggie Wash, at 27158 Fraser Hwy., was purchased in mid-February by Urban Land Holdings Ltd. with the intention of redeveloping it into mixed-use storefront space built up to six storeys tall.
Just down the street, the now vacant Aldergrove Market store on the corner of 272nd Street and Fraser Highway was leased off years ago. According to owner Pushpinder Gill, it will be renovated into a daycare centre.
Not far from there, Aldergrove Medical Centre – across from the old mall lot on 272nd Street – has also recently visibly undergone extensive remodeling work.
The Janda Group has owned the mall on 272nd Street since December 2008 and in mid-March submitted a high-density Aldergrove Town Centre proposal for Township approval.
If all goes as planned, the beginnings of a shopping centre and apartment plaza will pop up in the central dormant lot within the next few years.