SmartCentres plans to start construction of its shopping centre at the west end of town in the spring, with a proposed grand opening in early 2013 or sooner.
Preliminary work has been underway at the site during the past week, and Nathan Hildebrand, SmartCentres’ land development manager, says the company is hoping to do more this month and next. Work so far has included clearing of trees and shifting of soil.
In the meantime, SmartCentres has submitted a new Riparian Areas Regulation report to the city as well as a revised site plan. The RAR report determines how close to a watercourse a development can be built, in order to protect fish habitat. The protected area was reviewed with regard to extending 30th Street on the north side of the highway. The result was that 30th Street will not go beyond the proposed east-west frontage road.
“With the redesign, we have chosen to add an additional approximately 150 metres of trail along the western boundary at a cost of approximately $15,000,” Hildebrand told the Observer in an email.
The RAR report notes that photographs and videos have provided additional evidence of the Salmon River’s high water mark, so more land on the west side of the property has been excluded from development.
“It appears the developable area of the site has been reduced by about 0.4 acres,” estimated Corey Paiement, the city’s director of development and planning services.
Hildebrand said the changes mean the leasable square footage on the site has been reduced by about 12,000 sq. ft.
“From a site planning perspective, we feel that it actually lays out better and more functionally than the previous plan. The city’s design panel agrees with us,” Hildebrand stated.
Paiement confirms the company has applied to amend its development permit pertaining to the form and character of the project.
“It’s primarily for new siting based on the new riparian area as well as along the Trans-Canada Highway frontage,” Paiement said.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has required additional road right-of-way to allow for highway maintenance such as snow clearing. Changes to accommodate it included altering the landscaping plan, Hildebrand said.
“However, there was no reduction in landscaping overall as we chose to relocate all the landscaping that was previously along the highway frontage to elsewhere on the site.”
And because there’s a new site plan, the company has also applied for a new environmentally hazardous area permit. The earliest the permits would come to the development and planning services committee meeting would be Oct. 17.
Hildebrand declined comment on who the anchor tenant and other tenants will be.