More than a decade after planning began, the Wal-Mart store south of St. Jacobs will open for business on Wednesday. It’s the first to begin operation at the 305,000-square-foot power centre on Farmers’ Market Road.
Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Dollarama stores will follow.
The 125,000-sq.-ft. Wal-Mart is the project’s anchor. With it in place, the site developer expects other spaces will begin to fill. Along with the announced tenants, there are a number of proposed stores in the works, said Peter Nikolakakos, land development manager for SmartCentres.
The site allows for a restaurant and a range of retail options.
Despite the economic downturn, interest in the power centre has not diminished, he said.
“Considering the economy, I think we’re doing quite well, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to lease out the rest of our sites shortly. Typically, these are phased developments,” he said.
The size of each retail or service store will depend on the applicant’s configuration and nature of its business.
“The market will dictate what comes,” said Nikolakakos, noting that developments of this size typically take between four to five years to complete.
Elmira residents can also expect to see some additional retail development this year, as plans move forward for a Canadian Tire store adjacent to the Foodland site in the south end of town.
The retailer is currently working through this process with the township, said John Scarfone, Woolwich Township’s manager of planning.
Developer Forecast Inc. is seeking a zone change to reshape some of the commercial parcels on its eight-acre site to accommodate the Canadian Tire store, which would sit on approximately three acres.
The 35,000-sq.-ft. format, smaller than the new megastores the company has been building in urban areas, is a new prototype aimed at moving into smaller markets. The site will also house a garden centre and gas bar with convenience store.
Forecast has not decided yet what will be done with the rest of the site, which could be sold off or leased for other development. A sign on the property advertises the future construction of a Shoeless Joe’s restaurant.
As for what will become of the former Foodland location at Church and Arthur streets, Sobeys Inc., which has a five-year lease on the building, has no plans to report, a spokesperson said this week.