By the end of next year, West Kelowna commuters will likely have another location to fill up and get their double-doubles.
According to Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, Tim Hortons and Shell Canada have signed up to be part of what he calls Phase 1B of Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre.
“Phase 1B is another 31,000-square-feet. Our partners have been anxiously waiting to proceed with that,” said Louie.
“We’ve been delayed because of the delays with the construction of the Westside Road Interchange.”
Louie said he couldn’t name the other stores involved in Phase 1B; however, he noted they are smaller retail operations.
Phase 1, which includes the businesses currently operating in Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre, has been “extremely successful” in its first six months of operations, said Louie.
“Everyone has done very well. This is, without question, an ideal location for this particular shopping centre.”
Rick Davis, manager of Landmark Cinemas 8, said the newest Okanagan theatre has been able to draw from the Kelowna crowd, while also getting West Kelowna residents in front of its big screens.
“It’s been going great, we’re definitely pulling from Kelowna,” said Davis.
The first phase of the shopping centre is 90 per cent full of tenants; the newest Phase 1 tenant will officially open its doors Saturday.
Paws and Claws is a pet store that focuses on products for cats and dogs.
“We carry food, toys, leashes, collars, treats—that kind of thing,” said Amy Warner, regional manager of Paws and Claws.
“We don’t cary live animals because we don’t believe it’s humane.”
According to Warner, the Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre location was chosen due to its proximity to Kelowna and West Kelowna.
“It’s a new plaza so everybody is coming by and seeing what’s here,” said Warner.
“You get good visibility from the highway, so that (will) really help as well.”
By the end of 2014, more expansion is expected in the area.
“Phase 2 will be lands of similar size…somewhere between 100,000 and 126,000-square-feet,” said Louie.
The chief was unable to give specifics on potential tenants in Phase 2, but he noted strong emphasis is being placed on the inclusion of a “major food store.”
Louie said Phase 1B will likely begin construction soon with completion expected for September 2013. He is optimistic Phase 2 can be completed by the end of 2014.