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MCC BC to build new complex in Abbotsford

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Mennonite Central Committee thrift shops, material resource centre, and offices are to rise on a new 8.5-acre campus in B.C.’s central Fraser Valley. The project proposal won overwhelming approval at a special meeting of B.C. MCC members Dec. 15.

The vote authorized directors to borrow $10.5 million to purchase a parcel of land on Abbotsford’s Gladys Street. The board has now approved a $13-million capital program, including plans to raise $5 million over 18 months so construction can begin on the new complex.

The existing Abbotsford MCC Plaza opened in 1989 with two thrift shops, a Ten Thousand Villages outlet, and MCC offices. However, within 10 years, the plaza space in the growing community had become too small, says director Wayne Bremner. The furniture thrift shop rented a facility across the street to gain adequate floor space. The floor area freed by the move brought a 16 percent increase in sales revenues from the three Abbotsford shops over the first year.

The new MCC project is located on a street currently undergoing revitalization on the eastern edge of Abbotsford’s old downtown area. Bremner says the land also has potential for multiple future uses such as low-cost housing. And having MCC BC’s main operations under one roof will free both funds and volunteer time for more productive use.

“We’re eager for the new efficiencies this centre will make possible,” says Bremner. It’s expected the expanded operations will generate an additional $29 million in sales revenue over a 20-year projection, assuming the capital drive is successful. The additional net revenue can then fund MCC projects worldwide.

MCC BC will soon unveil a project website and campaign, “Building on the Legacy of Compassion.” In the interim, details will be posted at bc.mcc.org.

—Barrie McMaster

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