Plans for the old Bargain Shop on Bernard Avenue are coming together, but don’t expect to see big changes anytime soon.
Mission Group president Randy Shier said the project is about a year from any official activity, although that doesn’t mean it’s far from mind.
Thus far, planners are calling the space the “Bernard Block” and they already know it will be a mixed use, retail and residential project.
“We see it (being built) in three phases,” said Shier, adding that the St. Paul portion of the property allows for development up to 19 storeys tall and on Bernard the maximum level is 26 storeys.
The first phase will start a year from now, the next a year after, and the next a year after that.
Basically, said Shier, the space is about five to six years from revitalization.
It’s offering plenty of time for the community to offer feedback, and they’ve been doing just that. When the Capital News recently asked its readers and area residents what they’d like to see, nothing was off the table.
“A ‘70s funplex, with a roller rink, bowling alley, disco dance area and fun place for the kids. (Or) more added retail that supports independent, local businesses and housing,” said Lori Sellen, of the neighbouring business, HITZ Boutique.
Others said they’d like to see somewhere to go dancing, and others wanted a local market.
All of these options have been seen by Shier, who is pleased with the community engagement.
“I love the creativity and outside the box thinking. It’s wonderful to know that the community wants to see something happen and our hope is we do the right thing,” he said. “We may not make every one happy, there may not be a bowling alley or a roller rink, but we’re going to try.”
The Mission Group announced they bought the Bernard Avenue property in September. It sat vacant for the better part of a decade.
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