Platform Properties has announced it will soon begin construction of a 10,000-square-foot plus retail space at Williams Lake’s Prosperity Ridge.
Under gloomy skies Wednesday Platform representative Kyle Shury told the crowd who gathered for the announcement that the first building would include six or seven tenants; however, he would not divulge who those tenants would be.
A second building, to be constructed starting next spring, will be 10,000 square feet and house a single tenant. A third structure of approximately 5,000 square feet in size will follow that and also house a single tenant.
Shury indicated there could be a fourth business — a large-format user — that could inhabit a space at the rear portion of the site.
The total square footage of the combined facilities will be between 75,000 and 100,000 square feet. Shury indicated Platform was aware of the city’s no-build covenant over 75,000 square feet.
When asked why Platform came to Williams Lake he said the town had “treated us well.”
He further cited the opportunity to have a development next to one of the world’s largest retailers and added the City had worked quickly in turning around both development and building permits.
“We’re thankful for that,” he said.
Mayor Kerry Cook thanked the developer saying, “We are so excited Platform stepped up to the plate. This is exciting. This shows we have optimism and hope for the future.”
Cook added many were anxiously awaiting the announcement of who the new tenants might be.
Local contractors working on the project said they expected to have 50 people employed on site during building.
The retail stores are anticipated to be open next summer.
Some concerns were raised earlier in the project development by the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area about the impact the development could have on the downtown core.
Judy O’Neill, executive director of the WLCBIA, was before council in June when it was discussing feedback on the first building’s form and character. O’Neill said the organization supports big box stores and does not oppose competition but is concerned about drawing foot traffic away from the downtown core.
Cook said she thinks it’s council’s role to create a climate that’s open to business rather than directing where business should be located.
“Williams Lake is a hub and should be a retail centre and a concern for all retail businesses should be about the dollars going outside the community. Whatever we can do to keep those dollars local I think is important as is having choices, good customer service and good quality.”
The mayor noted that the city had recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the WLCBIA to address mutual concerns.