The people behind the Errington-based Quality Foods want to help shift the focus of Parksville to the southern entrance along the Alberni Highway.
Bruce Robertson of Kelland Foods Holdings (QF’s formal name) made a presentation to Parksville council as the city enters the final stage of their two-and-a-half year official community plan (OCP) update process.
Robertson presented an early vision for what he called a “health and wellness centre,” including a new flagship Quality Foods store on the vacant property at the corner of Despard and Moilliet.
He described it a neighbourhood-friendly mix of retail and residential with a focus on pedestrian and cycling traffic.
“It would be more of a community market gathering place like the Qualicum Beach store,” he said, with a “Starbucks-style coffee shop” and “green” construction.
He said it would also balance the city with a grocery store at all three main entrances, meeting the existing OCP’s vision of neighbourhood commercial nodes.
He pointed out that it is across the street from the Oceanside Health Centre facility currently under construction and that “90 per cent of the recent and proposed residential growth is in that area of the city.”
“We see this as one of the last gateways to Parksville for us to put our signature on,” he told council and the standing room only gallery. “A substantial development like this could really make a statement.”
Of the three other developments discussed at that meeting, two were also on Despard, a senior care home and mixed residential development across the Alberni Highway, and a subdivision at Corefield Street.
Robertson later told The NEWS the current OCP work was a factor in their timing and they were just looking for council’s level of interest.
“While we’re very excited about the benefits for local residents, we want to ensure that this type of development is what they, and the city, are looking for. We’re a long way from putting a formal proposal to council, and will be talking directly with many in the neighbourhood about this concept before going ahead.”