Demolition work could soon be on the way for the former Target location at Bower Place in Red Deer.
This after the City’s Municipal Planning Commission approved a development permit Wednesday for a new two-story addition to be built on the east side of the mall where the now vacated store sits.
The application calls for the main floor of the addition to include lease units which vary in size and will connect to the existing mall. The second floor may include administrative offices, leasable office space and a larger lease unit.
David Miner with the Architectural firm Dialog which applied for the permit, says the new addition would also create a new mall entrance and new opportunities for some stores to be enclosed-mall tenants or free-standing tenants overlooking the east side parking lot.
“If all goes well, we will be applying for a demolition permit within the next couple of weeks and we will start taking down the existing building and be underway with the new addition sometime later this spring or summer.”
Miner adds the demolition of the old Target and new addition in its place would bring the mall back into alignment with what’s going on in today’s retail marketplace.
“There is still a demand for retail in the Red Deer area and right-size retail,” he suggests. “We’re just trying to enhance the overall appeal of the shopping centre and make it a much more enjoyable place to go.”
In terms of what stores would occupy the new addition, Miner says he can’t reveal much at this point.
“There are lease negotiations underway so I can’t speak to it,” says Miner. “On the second floor we do expect a retail store up there and then some office space and also potential relocation of the administration office from the main floor up to the second floor. Negotiations are underway to try and get a grocery store [on the main floor] which would be a great amenity to the shopping centre.”
As for parking, Miner says they’ll be working in accordance to the City’s Land Use Bylaw to make sure there are ample, accessible spaces to accommodate the new development.
Another issue on the horizon for Bower Place is what to do with the former Sears store. Miner says they’re looking at that as well.
“We are looking at the options of what’s possible there,” says Miner. “What does the mall need and how do we work our way through that? Unfortunately, it’s not easy times right now. We’re about six months to a year from having that figured out.”
Miner concluded by saying, “We’re excited about the potential at Bower and hopefully we can create a little bit of a different buzz out there and re-shape it a little bit and make it relevant for the next 20 years.”
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