By Shawn Jeffords from www.theobserver.ca The Observer
One of North America’s largest home improvement stores is coming to Sarnia.
Mayor Mike Bradley said Lowe’s will build a store between Princess Auto and Temple Baptist Church on Quinn Drive. The 115,000-square-foot store could bring “significantly over one hundred” retail jobs to the city, Bradley said.
That project together with a new Winners store being built near Wal-Mart, is good news for the city, he said.
“To have two major retailers, including the second largest home improvement business in Canada, invest in Sarnia at this time is very significant,” he said. ” … We’ve got two or three million dollars worth of investment to kick off the new year.”
Representatives from Lowe’s will speak at a committee of adjustment hearing in two weeks concerning parking issues at the proposed store. The big box outlet will be a little smaller than their usual stores, said Sarnia’s planning and building department director Kim Bresee. “It’s smaller than their normal footprint because Sarnia is a smaller market,” he said. “They’re trying a smaller store in a smaller market to see how it works.”
Lowe’s officials hope to begin construction in August and have the store open by Christmas.
The store will take the last available space on Quinn Drive, the city’s go-to spot for big box development.
The street has become one of the busiest in the city, with between 25,000 and 30,000 vehicles traveling on it per day. Bresee said the city is looking at other areas to locate further commercial development.
“We’re doing a major review of our official plan,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at commercial lands within the city and how much we need to designate to allow for future expansion.”
Bradley credits the city’s planning department for protecting farmlands north of Highway 402, a space Lowe’s originally wanted to develop.
“We said no, we want to plan that area and do it right,” he said. “They then looked at another location.”
Observer Article #2443810