By David F. Rooney
We have already seen several weeks of public discussion about the ins and outs of the proposed strip mall along the Trans-Canada Highway but until this week relatively little was known about the project proponent, Hall Pacific, or its owner, Fraser Hall.
But that is changing.
Hall Pacific, the company proposing to build the strip mall beside the Trans-Canada, is a young firm specializing “in providing highway oriented retail space across British Columbia for national level tenants,” says its Development Manager Mike Spaull.
“We are involved in the complete, end-to-end real estate process, acquiring, developing and managing properties,” he told The Revelstoke Current. “Our past and ongoing projects include retail developments in Prince George, Kelowna, Duncan, Dawson, and Blackfalds.”
As everyone in town now knows, Hall Pacific wants to construct a strip mall at the junction of the TCH with Highway 23 North. Hall Pacific has two anchor tenants — a grocery store and pharmacy, for which it needs municipal approval as the Comprehensive Development Zone applied to that site does not include supermarkets, pharmacies, entertainment or public assembly. The CD Zone currently permits just about everything else you might expect to see at a highway-oriented mall such as restaurants, financial institutions and liquor stores.
The highway mall proposal has created a fissure right through Revelstoke society. Some people want it; they hope for cheaper prices and more choices for consumers. Others fear it. They think local businesses will be driven under and Revelstoke’s charming small-town, small-business ambience will succumb to the bland and soul-less tide
It’s quite possible that a lack of information about Hall Pacific itself and the tenants it wants to populate its mall is contributing to people’s fears and hopes. Visit Hall Pacific’s website and you’ll see part of the problem. The website contains no information about the company, its principals or its projects. The only interactive feature on the page is a link that creates en e-mail form.
“As we are a small team at Hall Pacific we unfortunately don’t have a separate customer facing end to our company and because we primarily deal municipalities and approach them directly ourselves, we don’t see a need for marketing through a website,” Spaull said. “Hall Pacific is a real estate development group specialized in providing highway oriented retail space across British Columbia for national level tenants. We are involved in the complete, end-to-end real estate process, acquiring, developing and managing properties. Our past and ongoing projects include retail developments in Prince George, Kelowna, Duncan, Dawson, and Blackfalds.”
Spaull and company owner Fraser Hall have appeared before Council at the beginning of this process but little was — until this week — known about the company and its owner. On Tuesday, City Council received a package of information that sheds some light on them.
One document contains Hall Pacific’s answers to several pages of questions posed to it by City Council. As well as statistics and other information regarding the project, including its rationale:
“The Revelstoke Crossing development stands to provide substantial economic benefit to the City of Revelstoke by complying with objectives found within the Official Community Plan and putting into action recommendations laid out in the Retail Strategy Report. To recap the benefits associated with this project:
- Strategic location will allow the capture of existing pass through traffic and millions of dollars of additional revenue;
- $20+ million direct investment with a $500,000 increase in the municipal tax base;
- A reduction in the millions of dollars that currently “outflow” out of Revelstoke;
- Over 200 immediate and long-term job opportunities created;
- Strengthening of the Revelstoke community as a whole by enlarging the town’s retail trade;
- area and allowing existing businesses to capitalize on the increased volume of visitor traffic; and
- The cumulative benefits derived from this development will assist Revelstoke in reaching its full potential as a mountain resort community and elevate its position within the very competitive alpine resort industry.
Although this package is lengthy everyone interested in this major public issue should read it. City Hall has been very diligent in its efforts to ensure that there is as much information available to Council and the public as possible. There is a binder containing all printed information and submissions. While you can’t take it home and study it, you can read it at City Hall and, for a small fee, have portions of it photocopied. If you have a computer or tablet you can click here to access the complete package in digital form.
The company also included an interesting biography of its owner, Fraser Hall. According to this submission he has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from the University of Britishg Columbia.
Before he started up Hall Pacific he worked as a development manager for the Onni Group in Vancouver where “his portfolio of projects centered on large scale master-planned communities in the lower mainland, with both residential and commercial applications.”
The bio includes images of some of the projects he managed for Onni, which he left in 2011 in order to start his own company, Hall Pacific. Hall is also the founder of successful start-ups and a seed fund to finance and accelerate growth of young companies:
Recon Instruments is a Canadian technology company that produces heads- up display solutions for sports. The company has sold over 50,000 units worldwide and released its newest product line targeting cycling and running in April 2015. On June16 Intel Corporation acquired Recon Instruments.
http://www.reconinstruments.com http://www.techvibes.com/blog/recon-instruments-acquired-by-intel-2015- 06-17
Vancouver Founder Fund
Vancouver Founder Fund is a seed-stage venture capital fund. Specializing in financing early stage technology companies in Western Canada. Built as a “For Founders by Founders” fund, the goal is to provide venture financing to promising local companies without the teeth of traditional venture capitalists.
Bryght is an e-commerce furniture brand with growth of 600 per cent during its first two years of operations. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Bryght works directly with nearly a dozen high-end furniture designers. Bryght then sells the furniture directly to consumers through its website Bryght.com, saving customers up to 70 percent.
The biography also noted that Hall spent two years as volunteer captain for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and still returns when needed on campaigns at sea. “He has led many missions to uphold international maritime law in defense of marginalized ocean species around the world,” the bio noted.
Don’t forget that there will be a public information meeting about the issue at the Community Centre on Tuesday, November 17, starting at 7 pm. Hall Pacific officials are expected to be in attendance.