Extra Foods to be built next year

FORT FRANCES—With confirmation that west-end properties, including Witherspoon’s One Stop, were purchased earlier this week by Loblaw Properties West Inc., an Extra Foods grocery will be built here next year.
“We bought some property and now are going through our internal due diligence process, after which we will proceed to the drawing stage and then go out to tender,” Lori Stene, director of public affairs for Westfair Foods Ltd., which along with Loblaw Properties West Inc., is a part of Loblaw Companies Ltd., said Thursday morning.
“We anticipate that to take a couple months,” she added. “Depending on how all of that works, after the tender comes in, construction can start.
“Construction usually takes approximately six months.”
This would mean a possible completion date next summer.
“We’re excited to build a store there [in Fort Frances],” Stene remarked.
She noted final drawings for the store have not even been started at this point and couldn’t comment on any specifics, other than that it would sell fresh produce, meat, deli goods, dry goods, groceries, and some general merchandise (like health and beauty products).
Early plans submitted to the town during the re-zoning application process showed the building possibly could be nearly 44,000 sq. ft. in size, along with a large parking lot and gas bar.
Back in late February, council passed a bylaw to rezone the property located between Witherspoon’s One Stop and Wal-Mart from M2 (heavy industrial) and C3 (highway commercial) to C2 (general commercial).
Then in May, council gave draft approval to a site plan control application based on the preliminary site plan for development of a large scale retail grocery store and gas bar located at 1108-1112 King’s Highway.
In related news, Witherspoon’s One Stop will be closing its doors Thursday, Aug. 31 after more than 50 years of business here. The gas station and store currently is liquidating all of its stock.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)

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