A new electronics store is one step closer to going ahead in Williams Lake.
On Tuesday evening city council gave third readings to two bylaws that will help plans for an Andre’s Electronics in Williams Lake move forward.
They include an amendment to the official community plan and rezoning that will affect the lots at 1148 Broadway Ave. South and 1137 Lakeview Crescent.
During a public hearing on the bylaws, applicant Andre Blanleil of Blanleil Cranbrook Holdings Ltd. was the only person who addressed council.
Blanleil said he purchased Sight and Sound in Williams Lake with plans to relocate it from the corner of Oliver Street and Third Avenue and build a larger store at 1148 Broadway Avenue South.
“We see huge opportunity for rural markets in the north. We purchased 100 Mile last year, we’re opening a store in Quesnel in the future and Terrace in the near future.”
His company has been around for 38 years with 18 stores.
Blanleil plans to invest approximately $1 million in the new building.
“As well we’ll be investing $750,000 to $1 million a year in wages, marketing` and all the things that will make us part of the community,” he said. “I think we will help make this a regional market.”
Addressing concerns raised throughout the application process by Coun. Danica Hughes about the store moving out of the downtown core, Blanleil said he looked at trying to keep the store in its present location, but explained he needs 6,000 square feet, high ceilings and big doors to accommodate moving appliances in and out.
“We happen to see this as a bonus for downtown. To have more people shopping in your community stops them from going to Prince George or Kamloops or anywhere they want to go to shop,” Blanleil said.
In comparison to the stores in Quesnel and 100 Mile House, the store in Williams Lake will be twice the size and be the regional store, he added.
“We’re looking at this as the centre of our market and look forward to council’s support. We will be starting to build the day after we get the approval, we want to be open mid-October or Nov. 1.”
Planning technician Chris Hutton confirmed the city did not receive any correspondence from the public about the bylaws or the proposed application.