This graphic shows where a new retail building will be built in the Mariner Square shopping centre along Dogwood Street.

Mariner Square expansion proposed

The owner of Mariner Square is planning to expand the retail plaza by adding an additional building

The owner of Mariner Square is planning to expand the retail plaza by adding an additional building.

The proposal involves construction of a stand-alone retail space on the dirt lot fronting Dogwood Street, next to the Town Centre Inn.

Kevin Brooks, the city’s development services supervisor, said the new building is expected to house an insurance broker and an optometrist and was always intended to be part of the complex.

“This proposal seeks to develop the final building originally planned as part of the Mariner Square Shopping Centre,” Brooks said.

At Monday night’s council meeting, council approved a major development permit to allow the development to go ahead.

While council was supportive of the plans, Mayor Andy Adams questioned a narrow pedestrian access in behind where the new building is to be built. Brooks, in his report, identified the laneway as a “concern area” that could attract loitering or other more serious challenges such as public drinking or drug use. Brooks said safety gates will be added to restrict access at both ends of the corridor.

“I know the report talks about it being gated,” Adams said at Monday night’s council meeting.

“Why would we need a lane in the first place?”

Staff said the purpose of the lane is to allow rear access to the building for emergency purposes and for loading and unloading of goods.

Adams said he still wasn’t convinced it was needed but said he would leave it with the city’s planning staff to sort out with the developer.

As for the rest of the building, Brooks said it’s expected to be designed with a natural stone veneer, horizontal cedar signing and stucco in order to give it a West Coast feel.

The main entrance of the building will face the Mariner Square parking lot, which will be increased by 10 stalls immediately south of the building.

Brooks added that landscaping along Dogwood Street will screen the parking lot from the street and that a “further landscape bed will be added on the west side of the building creating a buffer between the building and the parking for the existing shopping centre.”

He said that city staff are in full support of the development as the building, site and landscape design are all consistent with the city’s Official Community Plan development permit guidelines.