If everything goes perfectly, Buy-Low Foods could begin construction of a new grocery store and shopping centre in Clearwater as soon as the snow is gone, with completion by the end of December, 2014.
However, according to Michael Lee, a vice-president with the Jim Pattison Group, a more realistic timeline would be for construction to begin in June or July, with completion about one year later.
“Our experience has been that a food store takes about 10 or 12 months to build,” he said
Lee was commenting on a presentation made to Clearwater town council on Feb. 4 by Tom Munro, a consultant working for the Jim Pattison Group.
Although he had not been present, Lee said that the purpose of the meeting with council had been to show what was intended for the site.
The District gave a number of comments on the proposal and how it could better tie in with the official community plan and so on.
The developers will take those comments and attempt to incorporate them into their plans, the vice-president said.
At present, only Buy-Low Foods is committed to move into the new shopping center, Lee said. Other businesses have expressed an interest, but nothing has been concluded yet.
The proposed shopping center would be on the property immediately southwest of the new roundabout on Highway 5.
Although there was some discussion of highway access from the property onto the highway during a roads and trails study recently completed for the District by Opus International, the only access being sought at this time would be from Murtle Crescent, Lee said.
Clearwater’s courthouse is presently on the property and Buy-Low would like to see it remain a tenant, he said.
The lease for the building is up by the end of October. Because the structure consists of a series of portables it could be moved to make access to the shopping center easier.
The presentation to council left Mayor John Harwood feeling quite optimistic.
He felt that having a major corporation consider making such a large investment in Clearwater was a good signal to other potential investors.
The people from Buy-Low are building a similar project in Calgary and finishing one in Oliver, the mayor said.
Only five acres of the 13 acre property would be used for the shopping center as proposed, he noted, leaving plenty of room for expansion.