Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moose Jaw Unveils Plan For Civic Centre

Residents of Moose Jaw had their first glimpse Tuesday of what might replace one of the city’s most iconic features.
A developer unveiled a $25M retail, restaurant and office development called Civic Centre Plaza that would replace the Civic Centre arena, or Crushed Can, which hosted hockey in Moose Jaw since 1959’s.
“It brings more items that people want to come and see, and it's going to be a compliment for a new development like this,” Brian Martynook, the CEO of Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce, said.
Bill Babey, the developer, says he is already fielding questions from potential tenants. He says there will be stores and restaurants that are not already in Moose Jaw, and calls the land “spectacular”.
“With the golf course behind it, we've got a lot of interest from people backing onto it,” he said.
Originally, the plan was to include some part of the arena in the development, but due to its age, that became more difficult. The designers wanted the project to honour the legacy of the space, so it will mimic the old arena’s distinctive roof line.
“They wanted to maintain some of the look of the Civic Centre,” Babey explained.
While there is a lot of excitement about the project, the Town & Country Mall, which would share a parking lot, has some concerns.
“Part of it is the parking arrangement that's been there for almost 30 years,” said Douglas Richardson, a lawyer from McKercher LLP, which is representing the mall. “There's cross parking between the old Civic Centre and the (mall), and we want to make sure there's going to continue to be a free flow for the benefit of not only our customers, but the citizens of Moose Jaw, as well.”
Martynook says there were never any parking problems when events were held at the Civic Centre arena. He believes both retail developments should compliment each other.
“People that come to a mall, they're going to be going to other stores around here, so it's going to work for both,” he said. “Really, it's not going to be detrimental.”
At Monday’s city council meeting one councillor argued there had not been enough public consultation, delaying the zoning decision for two weeks. Richardson hopes during that time, city council and representatives from the mall can discuss the situation. In June, council will vote on the zoning bylaw again.

(Courtesy Global Regina)

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