Update on Bathurst Walmart
Last week’s announcement that Loblaws is opening a 20k SF store at the street level of a new residential building at 297 College St—close to Kensington Market—got us thinking about another proposed project that many residents and business people in KM, as well as local politicians, are debating--the proposed Walmart location to be developed by RioCan on the Bathurst Street site of the old Kromer Radio store. The project (image) calls for a three-floor, 130k SF complex for up to 10 retailers. (Hopefully one of them will be called Sign.) Walmart would take the second and third floors. This morning, Walmart announced it was expanding across Canada big time--investing $500M in supercentre, distribution network, and e-commerce projects).
After two, shall we say, noisy public consultation hearings last summer, Lynda Macdonald from the city’s planning department tells us two events are on the calendar that should advance the process over the next few months, including a report from an independent consultant hired by the city to look at the impact a new Walmart would have on the local businesses. Planning would then give advice to council on whether to go ahead. RioCan also launched an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, and a pre-hearing should happen in March. Lynda tells us the planning department will see the independent retail impact report before that OMB hearing.