Rezoning approved for Harewood grocery store

NANAIMO – City council gives nod to new Quality Foods Harewood site rezoning request.

Quality Foods is one step farther down the path to building a new shopping complex in Harewood.

The company submitted its rezoning and development proposal to the city a year ago to build its new store at 867 Bruce Ave., which has been the home of a Salvation Army Thrift Store, a Christmas food hamper warehouse and a Mid-Island Co-op grocery store.

Plans call for the existing 2,000-square-metre building to be torn down to make way for the new complex.

City council approved the rezoning Monday, but Rob MacKay, Quality Foods marketing director, said the company has yet to set a start date for construction.

“It’s just a baby step in the process,” MacKay said. “Now they have to go through all the development permits and those can take extended periods of time too, so we’re just simply not even going to peg a date at this point. We’re just going to kind of get through all these stages before we make any decisions on when we’re going to line up construction crews and all that good stuff.”

The site will ultimately serve as an urban commercial node. The development proposal includes a 4,734-square-metre main building combining the store’s main retail floor and mezzanine, plus two outlying commercial retail units.

An artist’s rendition shows the main building will have styling similar to the company’s Qualicum store.

City staff recommended as a condition of rezoning that a four-metre-wide right of way be secured through the site for a hard surface urban pedestrian and cycling trail, which will likely become part of the Harewood Bikeway trail system, a portion of which includes a cycling lane opened between Seventh and Fifth streets Wednesday.

“It’ll be top notch, in line with all of our newer developments,” MacKay said. “Our Bowen Road store was an existing store. We took over the Cost Cutter that was in – it was Harewood Mall at the time – and that was just a real quick takeover, so it’s going to be nice to build from scratch and do it well here.”

MacKay could not say what the company’s plans are for its store in nearby University Village Shopping Centre once the Bruce Avenue store is completed.

To view the Quality Foods development proposal online, please visit the What’s Building in My Neigbourhood section of the City of Nanaimo website at http://www.nanaimo.ca/WhatsBuilding/Public/Folders.