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This article was published 17/3/2015 (2621 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Canadian grocery store giant Sobeys will be the anchor tenant of the new Fort Richmond Plaza development, according to St. Norbert city councillor Janice Lukes.
Lukes recently met with the landowner, and said Sobeys is set to begin construction this spring.
"It’s a huge expense to heat when they’re pouring concrete and building in the winter, so they’re going to be starting in the spring," she said.
"Sobeys will be building where Safeway was. They have done all the parking lot work… they’ve got all the foundation laid for the building itself, and then when the weather improves, they will be starting the construction."
The viability of the remaining empty building seems to hinge on Sobeys.
"Right now there are no tenants lined up for the rest of the building but what happens is when you get a good anchor tenant, others will come. So that’s the hope of the developer," said Lukes.
While Lukes was willing to talk up plans for the area, those directly involved deferred comment for now.
"Unfortunately, I’m just not at liberty yet to speak about our plans for the site," said Alan Borger, president of Ladco Co., which owns the site at the southeast corner of Pembina Highway and Killarney Drive.
"It is a little premature — check back in a couple months," added John Pearson of property developer and manager Shindico.
Sobeys won’t even confirm the fact that it will replace former anchor tenant Safeway.
"I have no updates on that property at this time," said company spokeswoman Keri Scobie, who wouldn’t expand further.
When Target mothballed the other anchor tenant — Zellers — and Safeway’s lease wasn’t renewed the rest of mall shuttered its doors last spring.
Many people were left wondering: "What now?"
Hopes rose during a flurry of activity in the summer, including the razing of the Safeway space and refurbishment of the parking lot. But then winter arrived and the construction workers went home. A deafening silence followed.
"Unfortunately, each development has its own M.O. Each developer is unique in this way. It is what it is," said one commercial real estate source.
Shindico is advertising the space at 2860 Pembina Hwy. as a 1,000- to 90,000-square-foot commercial redevelopment opportunity, with the landlord willing to develop to suit for qualified tenants.
The mall is adjacent to Fort Richmond Square — where a number of former Plaza tenants re-located — across from Richmond West Shopping Centre and south of the University of Manitoba.
Richard Kamchen is a community correspondent for Fort Richmond.
Fort Richmond community correspondent
Richard Kamchen was a community correspondent for Fort Richmond.