Alistair, enjoyed your editorial in the Mirror this a.m. and I could not agree more! And I’m also taking advantage of your invitation to follow-up with you!
First, I am an avid supporter of keeping the 3.5 acre site pubic assembly.
I live in Willow Point with lovely highway updates and seawalk extensions and, unfortunately, we couldn’t even keep our Subway here – they moved to the new Hilchey/Dogwood shopping centre. So now tourists taking the ‘scenic’ route into town have no incentive to stop in this area because there’s nowhere to grab a sub or a burger or some chicken to feed the kids and enjoy Frank James Park or the other three pull-outs between the boat launch and Hilchey. In fact, most of the vehicles I see at one of the pull-outs is just overflow parking for Rehab in Motion clients and staff. I mentioned this to the city but, as usual, there’s nothing they can do. Won’t even put up a two-hour limit sign!
Interestingly, I was recently told by Ross Blackwell that the developer of the new shopping area told the city he would not have any ‘fast food’ outlets and yet I see they have our Subway and a pizza place – to attract the school kids, I guess! Developer obviously not afraid of any backlash from City Hall!
I hear we’re getting a Tim Horton’s in Willow Point – nice, but hardly the place you stop with a car full of hungry kids, in my experience! If you want to get a burger or a bucket of chicken, you can’t stop until you’re right downtown!
While I am a senior, and not a current member of the Seniors Centre Society, I sympathize with their plight to find a home.
Last fall, I was in communication with Ross Blackwell with regard to empty buildings/spaces – and why they remain so. He said that, in many cases, it was more lucrative to the owner to leave the space vacant! In my own experience, my hairdresser had to move from Willow Point to the Oyster River store because her rent was too high – and the space she left remains empty over two years later!
I don’t understand why the old SuperValu location is still vacant – why couldn’t it be turned into a flea market/food court or something similar to what they have in Coombs? If it’s not suitable for retail, then why not the Seniors’ Centre? It’s central, has parking, bus service.
I’m forwarding my correspondence with Ross Blackwell last fall with respect to vacant buildings. I’ve also forwarded him a lot of information on public waterfront revitalization – and always with the same result: “thank you for the info – appreciate you took the time…” Perhaps if I were a ‘consultant’ and held a ‘charette’ and charged $10,000 for this research, the city would be more inclined to take note!
I apologize that this is so disjointed, Alistair, kind of just the way my mind works these day!
Looking forward to more of your “ideal” Campbell River thoughts in future editions. Thank you for the opportunity to join in!