Island grocery chain begins rezoning

NANAIMO – Zoning application sign announces Quality Foods' future intentions for Harewood commercial lot.

Quality Foods has designs on a commercial lot in Harewood, but the company just isn’t sure what that design will look like yet.

A large zoning application sign was erected at 867 Bruce Ave. last week, signalling changes are on the way for the site, which has been the home of a Salvation Army Thrift Store, a Christmas food hamper warehouse and a Mid-Island Co-op grocery store.

The site is currently zoned for warehouse space and has a Shar-Kare Feed and Pet Supplies outlet operating there.

“Right now what we’re doing is just asking for an amendment to the neighbourhood zoning, so that we’d be able to build a full-size grocery store,” said Bruce Robertson, property manager for Quality Foods.

But there are no immediate plans to build. There are not even any conceptual drawings of the project. Everything, Robertson said, is still in the preliminary stages of the company preparing to meet current and future growth in the area.

“Harewood’s in the midst of fairly significant growth and redevelopment and we’d like to be a part of it,” Robertson said.

The lot size allows for plenty of expansion and  the project would likely include a full-size grocery store with extra spaces for a few neighbourhood-related business tenants.

The build will likely mean Quality Foods would vacate University Plaza, Robertson said.

He said the shopping centre’s owners have done a good job of redeveloping the former Harewood Mall, but constructing a new and larger Quality Foods store means the company would need more space than is available at the current location.

“We can see we’re getting maxed out at the location we’re at now,” Robertson said. “There’s limitations for expansion and height restrictions if we wanted to put a second storey on, and those types of things.”

Area residents are invited to give their input on the project at an upcoming neighbourhood public information meeting hosted by Quality Foods at Georgia Avenue Community School Tuesday (Dec. 10) at 7 p.m.

For ongoing updates regarding the project, please visit Quality Foods website at