Bower Place shopping centre can proceed towards the demolition of the huge vacant space left by Target’s exodus and replace it with a two-storey addition.
On Wednesday the municipal planning commission unanimously approved the mall’s plan to eliminate its largest anchor space — 118,979 square feet on its east side — to build the addition with a total of 109,556 square feet.
The main level will include lease units of different sizes for retail and a grocery. The top floor will have Bower Place administration offices, leasable office space and a larger lease unit.
The mall corridor will extend through the addition.
After construction the mall will have 115 few parking stalls but stalls will be larger to conform to the city’s updated bylaw. Currently there are 2,866 stalls.
Bower Place has had its challenges. Target Canada declared bankruptcy in 2015, 20 months into its tenancy in the south Red Deer mall. Sears closed its doors in September.
Mayor Tara Veer said expansion of this magnitude at Bower Place signals strong confidence in the local economy.
She said Red Deer has always worked to provide available serviced industrial and commercial lands to facilitate business and expansion and the city needs to maintain it’s advantage of the financial front.
“Right now we’re going through the budget process and it’s absolutely imperative we keep tax rates competitive and continue to uphold our favorable residential to non-residential tax rates. We have one of the most favourable rates in the province and it’s important that we do that if we’re going to incent and retain existing businesses,” Veer said.