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Plans for Saanich Peninsula's largest shopping centre gain momentum

Artist's rendering of Sidney Gateway shopping centre at Beacon Avenue West and Highway 17 in Sidney. The proposal calls for 98,500 square feet of commercial space.  Omicron.

Plans for Saanich Peninsula's largest shopping centre gain momentum
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA

Plans for the largest shopping centre on the Saanich Peninsula are one step closer to becoming reality following the release of an independent study into the project's merits.

Dubbed Sidney Gateway, the 98,500 square foot nine building commercial node is envisioned on 7.5 acres of excess Victoria International Airport land west of Highway 17 between Beacon Avenue West and Stirling Way.

According to a report released by Urbanics Consultants, the development will yield over 220 jobs, recapture $26 million in retail sales and contribute approximately $700,000 in gross annual property taxes.

Vancouver-based Omicron Development, developer of the recently completed Eagle Creek Village shopping centre in View Royal, has identified Sidney Gateway's anchor tenants as a 32,000 square foot grocery store (yet unnamed) and a 20,000 square foot drug store/electronics retailer (believed to be a London Drugs). A total of 10,000 square feet will be available for medical office space with the remaining 36,500 square feet spread among a variety of retailers.

410 surface parking spaces will be included on-site with vehicle access provided off Beacon Avenue West and Stirling Way. A roundabout will be installed at the nexus of Beacon Avenue West, Stirling Way and Galaran Road to allow for a free flow of traffic once Stirling Way is realigned to meet with Galaran Road.

Sidney Gateway siteplan
Sidney Gateway shopping centre siteplan.  Citified.ca/Omicron

Plans also call for a pedestrian overpass between the area of Mary Winspear Centre on the east side of Highway 17 and Sidney Gateway, which opens up the potential of linking the heavily used Lochside Trail with Victoria International Airport's newly completed Flight Path airport perimeter trail.

Sidney council is scheduled to review the Urbanics Consultants report at a Committee of the Whole meeting on June 6th. A yet unscheduled public hearing will be required prior to council's formal decision on whether to rezone the Sidney Gateway property and support a necessary amendment of the town's official community plan.

The project does not impact the Ministry of Transportation's future plans for a highway interchange at Beacon Avenue, although previously released designs may require alteration.

In January of this year the Agricultural Land Commission voted to remove the Sidney Gateway site from the agricultural land reserve, paving the way for a formal development proposal process. C

 

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