April 20th, 2018

Eliminating an eyesore: Old Walmart store being demolished to make way for grocer, other retailers

By Gillian Slade on January 25, 2017.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Construction crews have begun the process of demolishing the old Walmart building, making room for a whole new retail hub, says the developer.

“We are going to start from scratch,” said Steven McPhee, vice president of Brentwood Developments in Edmonton. “That’s where the Save-On-Foods is going to go.”

Demolition and removal of that rubble will take some time but another development permit request for construction will be going to the city soon, said McPhee.

“We will be hitting the ground running in spring with construction of phase one (of the project),” he explained. “It’s been a bit of an eyesore for a few years so it’s exciting to finally be able to knock it down and get the construction going on it.”

A number of factors went into the decision to demolish the old Walmart building, he said. Consultants looked at the pros and cons of salvaging compared to demolition and came to the conclusion there was no benefit to keeping it, said McPhee.

There was some deterioration of the building after standing empty since 2008 when Walmart moved to its current location further east on Strachan Road.

The new building, for Save-On-Foods, will also not be quite as big as the old Wal-mart building.

Strachan Corner, a 13-acre site on the corner of Strachan Road and Dunmore Road, will be developed around the perimeter with parking in the centre. There will be a Tim Hortons, Liquor Depot, 7 Eleven convenience store, gas bar and possibly a carwash, said McPhee.

There has been considerable interest from the retail sector and more expected, said McPhee.

“We are getting close on phase one to be full,” said McPhee, noting there are still opportunities for retailers in the second phase of the development.

The project is large and construction is in many ways subject to the weather but McPhee expects significant progress this year.

“You could see some tenants open this year,” said McPhee.

Save-on-Foods is operated by the Overwaitea Food Group, a division of the Jim Pattison Business Group, which also owns CHAT television and radio in Medicine Hat. The grocery chain operates 33 stores in Alberta.

Brentwood Developments website has a schematic showing how Strachan Corner is likely to look after development.

http://brentwooddevelopments.ca/UpcomingProjects/MedicineHat/tabid/107/Default.aspx

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