Nov 04, 2013 04:28 pm | By Kristen Spruit | Rocky View Weekly
Residents are invited to meet the developers of a new outlet mall proposed for a piece of land owned by Calalta Amusements Ltd., located beside Calaway Park in Springbank.
On Nov. 13, representatives of Riocan and Tanger - the projects developers - which have similar-style malls across Canada and the United States, will be presenting the proposed concept for the mall at the Edge School for Athletes in Springbank from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The mall will be called Tanger Outlets at Calaway.
Charles Worsham, vice president of development for Tanger Outlets Centre, said the plan is for the mall to have a total footprint of 350,000 square feet.
The complex will have nine retail buildings within the site’s central portion, housing about 80 factory outlet retailers, and parking areas will surround the outside.
“The buildings will include a variety of different sizes and shapes, some occupied by single tenants with others housing multiple tenants. Shops and boutiques will be interspersed with cafes and supportive services,” stated Worsham.
“Building heights and facades will vary and the internal pedestrian streetscape area will be animated with plazas, patios and outdoor activities,” he added.
According to Bob Williams, general manager of Calalta Amusements Ltd., the company secured land-use approval by Rocky View County (RVC) in 1996 to develop a factory outlet on the land, but hadn’t started the project until recently.
“We didn’t proceed because the climate and the appetite in the industry wasn’t good at the time. But now we’re endorsing Tanger and Riocan to take on the project because we think it’s viable,” said Williams, adding he believes the developers have “a track record of success in the industry.”
Williams and the developers both said that the location will add a “unique shopping experience” to the existing amusement park location, making it “a tourist destination.”
“We see this as a net benefit to the overall Calgary market and it reinforces the destination of Calaway providing an interesting environment for people’s shopping experience. It’s something unique and something different, from the brands that will be there to the physical environment,” said Worsham.
“From what research has shown over the years, we know that shopping and attractions work well together. People go to where there’s clusters,” said Williams.
If approved, Tanger Outlets at Calaway will be the second major shopping centre in the area. Bingham Crossing, an 80-acre commercial and seniors housing development project, was given land-use re-designation and conceptual scheme approval by RVC council last year. It will be located kitty-corner to Calaway Park.
Williams said he doesn’t think the two developments will be in competition.
“Each are proposing different ideas,” he said.
The developers aim to begin construction on Tanger Outlets at Calaway in 2014 and open in 2015.
“Given the existing approvals in place, we are optimistic about the ability to move forward with the project,” stated Worsham, adding that an application for the project has already been submitted to RVC and the developers are anticipating a public hearing in early 2014.
The developers estimate Tanger Outlets at Calaway will employ about 1,000 people, mainly on a part-time basis, and generate about $900,000 annually in additional tax revenue for the county.
Williams said he hopes residents come to the Tanger Outlets at Calaway open house on Nov. 13.
“We hope people base their opinions on the merits of the project and hear what’s being proposed before making judgments and decisions.”
Recently-elected Springbank Councillor Jerry Arshinoff said he is “familiar” with the concept of the mall given that it’s been pending for almost 20 years.
He said there are “basic concepts about the proposal that need to be discussed such as, are there adequate roads, water and wastewater to service the development.”
“There needs to be basic infrastructure in place before a mall can be set up,” Arshinoff said
He added that he doesn’t think those needs are being met with the Bingham Crossing development and “is not sure how they’ll be different with this development.”
He said that since being elected to his position on Oct. 21, he’s received “about 60 phone calls and emails opposing the mall and a handful in support.”
“When this comes before council, I will go into this with a neutral opinion and see all sides, but my first duty as an elected representative is to represent what the constituents want,” Arshinoff said
He added that once he gets more details about the proposed mall, he will have “quite a bit more to add.”