Those that didn’t want them thar big box stores cluttering the highway are going to be happy… on the other hand, keep fueling up the car for shopping trips to Terrace…
Prince Rupert retail development put on the shelf
By Shaun Thomas - The Northern View - May 06, 2008
Royop, the firm behind the proposed retail development on the old B.C. Hydro site in Prince Rupert, has confirmed that the project has been shelved indefinitely.
“The real issue is the cost to prep the site. To take a site that is treed and is either muskeg or granite, and create a flat site to develop on is extremely expensive and is more expensive than the interested parties are willing to pay,” said Royop Vice-president of Development Melvin Foht.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and, frankly, our finances to unfortunately come to this conclusion and it is not something we came to lightly…I’m disappointed that we couldn’t bring anything to fruition there.”
Plans for the retail development had included 220,000 square feet of retail space in nine buildings, and the city had already gone through all of the rezoning requirements for the 25 acres. While praising the work of the city, Foht said the company has spoken with officials in regards to other sites, but they were either too small or too expensive to create a similar development.
However, he said that large retailers remain interested in coming to Prince Rupert, and that the door remains open in the future.
“We’ve been involved in Prince Rupert for close to three years and we’ve really done a lot of work to search out sites that would attract national and international retailers like a Wal Mart or a Canadian Tire,” he said, noting that Royop is working with Canadian Tire to develop locations in other communities at the moment.
“If we can find a site that meets the criteria, including the economic criteria, then we would be interesting in pursuing that.”