STRATFORD, P.E.I. - The retail face of the town has begun to change in a big way.
Crombie REIT is now clearing land next to Sobeys where it plans to build three new free-standing plaza-style buildings.
The buildings will measure 9,695 square feet, 7,200 square feet and 10,500 square feet.
One of the buildings will be occupied by Shoppers Drug Mart, but there’s no official word as of yet on what will become of the other two structures.
This work comes on top of the redevelopment that’s also ongoing of the former Home Hardware building, located on the other side of Kinlock Road from Sobeys.
“Any additional shopping options or retail options are good for the greater Stratford area,’’ said Mayor David Dunphy. “We’ve received a lot of comments and requests from residents on our survey and other (forms of feedback) where they want those additional shopping options.’’
Dunphy said Crombie’s development is a sign that big developers have faith in the business climate in the town.
“It’s a good indicator for commercial development in the future,’’ he said.
The new Shoppers development and Sobeys will also be accessible by a new right-in entrance off the Trans-Canada Highway. That means motorists coming from Charlottetown will no longer have to go to the traffic lights, turn right and then turn right again to enter the Sobeys/Shoppers parking lot.
Dunphy said Crombie got approval from the provincial government for the right-in turn lane.
The mayor said it’s been a good year for the town in regard to development overall, noting that residential development is also booming.
Earlier this year, the town granted approval for phase one of a sustainable subdivision at 520 Keppoch Rd., which is owned by Elwood Lawton. The first phase would see development of 23 semi-detached buildings for a total of 46 units on 74.6 acres, while the next phase would occur on a 48.6-acre parcel also owned by Lawton.
A sustainable subdivision has to be scored on 26 items and meet a certain number of requirements before becoming certified. It would see a total of 45.4 acres of greenspace, or 36.6 per cent of the area, protected as greenspace, including what council said was 34 acres of “highly valued marshland’’ for the area’s ecological system. It would also preserve 10 acres of woodland park and provide a public access to the beach.