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Spirit (of Christmas): Not Enough to Pay the Rent?


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#1 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 04:37 PM

The "Spirit of Christmas" store vamoosed, practically overnight. See [url=http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=74bd3bad-53db-453f-909e-39a5fd78c406&k=14580:84622]Spirit of Christmas does a vanishing act[/url:84622], subtitled: "Famous store forced to close, owes more than $70,000 in rent."

Apparently, $70K is 2 months of rent. Admittedly, it's a big space (over 8000sq.ft.) and a famous landmark building. But perhaps only Wal-Mart can sell enough made-in-China plastic stuff to cover that kind of overhead...!

From the article (the end part):

The whole situation has been rather mysterious, as the building's owner and management company didn't know the business was shutting down until they saw the closed doors.

At this point, the owners of the store, Will Veretonik and Marina Plasman, who took over the store in early 2005, have not declared the business bankrupt. They could not be reached for comment, and Bjur said it was understood they are in Africa on vacation.

Despite the absence of bankruptcy proceedings, creditors are lining up at Bjur's front door. Bjur said it's too early to know when or how any kind of liquidation of assets will be handled.

However, Pemberton Holmes has already had the highly sought-after corner property listed for a week, and is fielding calls from businesses interested in taking over the 8,832 square foot space.

Despite the hefty $35,000 a month rent, Clive Townley of Pemberton Holmes says it won't be hard to find a new tenant for the striking heritage building which was built in 1885 as the Bank of British Columbia.

"It's a premium location, an exceptional corner. It's arguably the best retail corner in the city."

Townley said the space is "ready to go" for occupancy.

The Spirit of Christmas was opened at 1022 Government St. in 1989 by Connie Kowalewich and her husband Bob, who started the original store in Banff in 1987.


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#2 G-Man

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 04:42 PM

That story is actually factually (fun to say) false. The Spirit of Christmas closed about four or five months ago with a new family taking over the $35 000 a month lease and they changed the name at that time to A Victorian Christmas Store it is this store that went out of business and not Spirit of Christmas. I know this because until about a month and a half ago I worked near there and laughed when they changed the name.

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#3 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 05:56 PM

Not to be confused with Christmas Village, 1323 Government St., or Christmas House, 1209 Wharf St.

Good catch on the name, G.

Chronological views of 1022 Government St:

190[?]:




1910: Note the slowly disappearing roof elements:




1910: Note new smaller building to left:



1947:



1949:



2007:


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#4 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 07:49 PM

Let's face it. Once the modern electric trolley...



was replaced with horse-drawn carriages, the place was doomed...


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#5 D.L.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:48 PM

so the store is staying? damn I was hoping for a new retailer. American Eagle would be good to have there.

#6 m0nkyman

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:58 PM

Nope. The store is gandhi.

And the last thing we need on Government is another chain store or t-shirt shop.

I'd love to see another decent independent restaraunt go in there.

#7 D.L.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:06 PM

ya that'd be typically Victorian

#8 Mike K.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:54 PM

I don't know if this town can support any more restaurants. They're operating with thin margins as is.

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#9 gumgum

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:19 PM

We could really use a Starbucks.

#10 G-Man

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 07:46 AM

It will be a chain store just sure which one yet. I pitty the local that thinks they can make something work with that overhead.

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#11 baz

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 08:32 AM

It will be a chain store just sure which one yet. I pitty the local that thinks they can make something work with that overhead.


yeah its going to have to be either a big american multi million chain or a new highly priced t shirt store.
It blow me aways that the christmas store paid there rent for all this time.
its almost a half million a year.they could have owned the building.

ps were did you get those pictures

#12 Holden West

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 12:59 PM

Great, more T-shirts that say "I fish just for the halibut" and "Vancouver Island University".

The pictures are from the BC Archives:

http://search.bcarch... ... ualRecords





(I think we are responsible for 70% of their bandwidth costs)
:-D
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

 



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