By Marianne Curtis
The rumour mill is flying rampant that Walmart is planning to set up shop in Steinbach after the City of Steinbach recently approved several variation orders at Clearspring Mall.
While the City of Steinbach has yet to confirm who is developing the property to the north of the mall, they did admit that a number of improvements are expected in the area.
At a recent public hearing, the City of Steinbach approved several variation orders on the Clearspring Center property. The variation orders put forward by Shindico Properties covers 108,000 square feet north and west of Clearspring Centre. The project includes demolishing the old SAAN store at the north end of the mall to make room for additional parking,
John Pearson, from Shindico Properties told council that his client, an American retailer that has yet to be named, would like to start construction in the spring.
“The store would open within a year after,” Pearson stated. “They (the applicant) want to rejuvenate the mall with this development.”
Once the project begins, it is expected to create 150 jobs in the community in addition to up to three hundred jobs in the actual business.
Mayor Chris Goertzen says that the city welcomes the project.
“It is great for our economy,” Goertzen stated. “It is great for our residents and for our region and we are looking forward to it coming to fruition.”
The developer would have to look at some improvements to the entrance to the mall parking lot off Highway #12 but it would be up to the developer and the Department of Highways to determine what those improvements would be, Goertzen added. This could include installing traffic lights, if the need is found.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see if that was one of the solutions,” Goertzen noted. “It is one of the requirements we will have in our development agreement to make sure they have a secure, appropriate plan.”
The City of Steinbach has not given any indication when it will become public information on who will be developing the property.