Safety Mart proposes new shopping center on highway
At least two proposals to build a new shopping center for Clearwater came to light during last Tuesday’s town council meeting.
The first was mentioned by Ron Rotzetter, owner of On Call Service Center, during a public hearing into Clearwater’s new official community plan (OCP).
The OCP shows land he owns next to Highway 5 east of Clearwater Secondary School as residential, Rotzetter said. In fact it should be commercial, because he would like to build a shopping center there. He has already approached Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for highway access and has some possible tenants lined up.
Rotzetter said he has owned the property for three or four months.
Wade Elliot, one of the owners of Safety Mart, then said there was no need to change the zoning on Rotzetter’s property as they were also planning to build a shopping center, except it would be located at the junction of Highway 5 and the road to Wells Gray Park, next to where the courthouse is now.
The Safety Mart owners have spoken with one of their major suppliers and they are interested in being involved, Elliot said. A number of possible other tenants also have expressed interest.
The supplier said they could be open for business within 14 to 16 months of the start of the process. They only have two years left in their lease for their present location and so would like to get going, the Safety Mart co-owner said.
Elliot said they have been working on the project for several years and feel that now is the time to act.
Rob Sunderman and Kelvin Arndt, two of the local supermarket’s other co-owners, were present when Elliot made his announcement.
Local business owner John McMahon, who owns land alongside Highway 5 next to Rotzetter’s, hinted that he also has plans for his property.
There should be a frontage road running next to the highway east of the high school, he said. This would give highway access and allow the owners of the property there to develop their land for commercial use. In the meantime, he objected to having his land, which is zoned residential, assessed as if it is commercial.
Clearwater’s single shopping center, Brookfield Mall, was built in the early 1970s. There have been a number of proposals since then to build a second one but, so far, none have panned out.