By Collin Gallant on September 23, 2016.
A fifth major grocery retailer is preparing to set up shop in Medicine Hat with news that Save-on-Foods will become the main anchor of a redeveloped shopping centre in the south end.
The near 13-acre site on Stachan Road has sat empty since 2008 when Wal-Mart built its new super centre further east.
That company held the property until Edmonton-based commercial developer Brentwood Developments bought the site, rebranded it as “Strachan Corner” and began marketing a renovated building to potential tenants.
Officials with both companies did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.
Senior Brentwood officials had previously stated they would like to see some work begin before the new year.
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, which operates 33 stores in Alberta, was originally centred in British Columbia. Last year, the privately-held company announced plans to open six locations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba by the end of 2017.
In Medicine Hat, they join major grocers Safeway-Sobeys-IGA (with four local stores in total), South Country Co-op (two grocery locations), Superstore, Wal-Mart and Costco on the food retail scene.
The new Medicine Hat location would total 41,000-square-feet in the planned 100,000-square-foot project, occupying a central bay in the existing building footprint.
This summer the city planning department issued a development permit for the site that appeared to only include work on new ancillary buildings in the massive parking lot.
At that time, Brentwood officials said the existing structure would be part of a second phase of construction.
Updated marketing material from Brentwood also shows that another bay in the main building is set to become a Liqour Depot.
Two new pad developments on the southern edge of the site would house lone tenants Tim Hortons and a 7-11 convenience store and gas bar.
Two other multi-bay buildings would be built on the east side of the lot, bordering Dunmore Road.
Plans include the possibility of two standalone single-tenant buildings filling in gaps.
In the main building, one large 21,000 square-foot bay would remain up for lease at the north end.
Plans show three smaller bays, totalling 17,000-square-feet, could be created with expansion to the south end of the building.
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