Bruce and Dylan Dirom stand in front of the North Island Mall.

Port Hardy locals buy mall

Bruce, Dylan and Carol Dirom have just recently purchased the remainder of the North Island mall.

New owners are hoping to “breathe some life” back into the North Island Mall.

Bruce and Carol Dirom, who own Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc., have just purchased the remainder of the mall, along with their son Dylan. “He is a part owner of the other half of the building,” said Carol. Putting together the financing for the purchase was challenging.

“It’s very difficult for the people that you’re dealing with to look past the empty storefronts on Market Street and the economic challenges” the community is facing.

“We had to sell Port Hardy,” she said. “Bruce and I, we believe in Port Hardy. We believe in the community,” she said, so they persevered navigating the difficult financial channels. “It took us about three months to put together the financing,” said Carol.

The Diroms took possession of the mall June 1 and so far have leased the restaurant to Seto’s Wok & Grill and donated space for the Port Hardy Rotary Club to use for its meetings.

Carol says North Island College will also be in the mall for at least another year. Now the trio is looking to fill the rest of it. “We’re open for business. We’re receptive to any ideas that potential tenants, or anyone looking to start a business, may have.”

Carol says most of the space available would be ideal for company offices. The mall, which initially had a huge Safeway and other chain retail outlets, is 46,000 square feet, of which 20,000 is currently vacant. There are eight acres of parking.

Hardy Buoys started as a tenant itself in 1999 and purchased half the building in 2008 and turned it into a fish processing plant, said Carol. “We purchased it because we needed more room. In 2008, we did a very big expansion. We went from 10,000 square feet to 27,000 square feet,” she said.

“We’ve always plugged along and when the opportunity was presented to purchase the other half in February, we jumped on it, because it just made sense,” said Carol. “We were really pretty excited at the opportunity.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Village of Port Alice presents financial plan for 2020-2024

In this plan, the village reduced their budgeted expenditures for 2020 by 24% from 2019.

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Conservation: Two elk unlawfully shot in Northern Vancouver Island

‘The elk also did not have all of the edible portions of meat removed’

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Port Hardy’s annual summer festival FILOMI Days cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Port Hardy’s biggest community celebration happens every year from July 17 to 19.

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

Most Read