Canadian Tire coming to High River

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Council has approved the rezoning of the vacant lot located on the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and 5th Street southeast from an urban reserve lot to a commercial lot, allowing Canadian Tire to commence the construction of its new High River location.

The bylaw was passed during town council May 13, but it wasn’t without some opposition from surrounding area developers and businesses.

Dundee Developments spoke out during a public hearing for the lot and expressed their concerns of having, “too much commercial retail land for the area to satisfy the demand.”

Jim Grandan, vice president of development and general manager in Calgary for Dundee Developments, wasn’t opposed to the building itself. He said there is, “a lot of approved commercial (land) existing already. The more you approve the longer it takes to absorb.”

Despite their opposition, Dundee Developments respects council’s decision in passing the bylaw and finds that, “any growth in High River is a good thing.”

Council made sure to give Dundee the right consideration required given the situation. Coun. Tim Whitford said council is “pretty much all together on the fact that we’re going to have an open market approach on commercial development and we think that’s healthy.”

The Sheppard Family Park Society also expressed concerns not centered around the rezoning but on the proposed drainage ditch and pedestrian safety around the 5th Street southeast intersection.

These matters have yet to be resolved, but developer’s plans will be taking the issues raised into consideration.

The project has been in the works since December of 2012 and is being developed by PC Urban Properties Corp. The lot covers 14.6 acres and will not only house the Canadian Tire as an anchor store but will eventually host several other small retailers.

No other retailers have signed on to lease the land, but council is hoping once the initial store is built, others will follow suit.

At this point in time, only 6.9 of the lot’s northerly were rezoned in order to build the new anchor store, while the other 7.7 acres remains unchanged.

Costs for the project have not been disclosed to council at this time, but will become available once building permits and plans come into circulation.

Council sees the new shopping center as a positive addition to the 12th Avenue area, and that it works well in conjunction with the town plan.

The shopping center will be named “Bishop’s Corner,” to honour a long time High River resident who owned the land.

Preliminary construction, mainly paving, will start in the fall and the project is slated to be complete by spring of 2014.




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