After years of rumours, it now seems certain Canadian Tire is moving into the space Save-On-Foods vacated in Parksville’s Wembley Mall, opening a 3,250 sq.m (35,000 sq.ft.) store in September.
“Work has been underway for about a month and they hope to open in September or October, they don’t have a date yet,” said Leo Mariotto, president of New Westminster-based ICR Projects, which is managing the project for Prospero Group, owners of the mall.
A Canadian Tire representative couldn’t confirm any information, “until closer to the date.”
When Save-On-Foods was issued a development permit in 2012 for the new stand-alone store — which opened Feb. 14 — Canadian Tire confirmed they would move into the vacated space.
Canadian Tire has been publicly working towards opening a store in Parksville since at least 2007.
It is the latest in a complete redevelopment of the mall, including the government liquor store moving to a stand-alone location and opening tomorrow.
“The next step is to redevelop the entire mall,” Mariotto said.
“Council approved a development permit for Red Apple to take over the old liquor store location,” confirmed Keeva Kehler, manager of current planning with the City of Parksville. Red Apple are “value retail stores… in small communities,” according to its website.
ICR has also received a development permit for façade, landscape and pedestrian linkage upgrades that will essentially turn the mall inside out.
“They call it de-malling, putting frontages on both sides and removing the interior space,” Kehler said, “making it more plaza like.”
“Council has authorized a series of development permits over the last three or four months,” she said, including another new 1,580 sq.m (17,000 sq.ft.) stand-alone building in the far south-east, currently undeveloped corner. It will be more retail space with tenants not yet determined.