By Claire Paradis
Just when you thought the Revelstoke Crossing development was long over…
City of Revelstoke sources say there are plans for a hotel to be established at the Revelstoke Crossing site, Steve Platt’s property up by the Subway near Highway 1. This time, say our sources, plans will include a discount grocery and additional retail but no pharmacy and it’s likely that the development will be coming hot down the pipe at the City Council meeting in the next couple of weeks.
The Revelstoke Crossing idea floated last fall ultimately met its demise on Nov. 24, 2015 when an amendment required for its construction was shot down in a narrow vote by Revelstoke council.
The original proposal was controversial, and divided the town. Opponents of the development said the proposed strip mall would take people and revenue away from downtown Revelstoke. Those for the proposal it said it would attract traffic from the highway and would create needed jobs, as well as providing affordable groceries for residents.
This time, plans include a hotel, which would be a development welcomed by some.
“I think it’s be a good idea,” said Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason. “It would be neat to have a hotel there.” Mason went on to say that according to data from the province, hotel revenues have been increasing steadily, and that he has personally heard of visitors complaining about how difficult it can be to find accommodation in Revelstoke.
When asked about the potential inclusion of a discount grocery and other retail, Mason said he hadn’t heard about it and couldn’t comment.
Chamber Executive Director Judy Goodman said she couldn’t comment on it because she hadn’t heard about the proposal.
On November 27, 2015, Mayor Mark McKee said there was no new investment on the horizon but that he was still open to the idea of developing the site, as long as it fit the community, and in particular the downtown core.
Mayor Mark McKee was clear in saying that no application had been made to council yet.
“A lot of people look to me to dispel rumours but until the application is in, there’s nothing I can say,” he told The Current.
When asked if there were plans for a discount grocery store, McKee said Council only has say over the zoning of the property, not what business occupies the space. But one of the recommendations from staff that McKee said was popular with residents is limiting the size of the grocery store.
“Council is concerned about uses and development,” McKee commented, saying the brand of the store was not the concern of council. “There will be commercial development on that property. The question is what kind of development?”
McKee also believes there was a lot support for the original proposal, and that developers would be wise to take it as a learning opportunity.
“I think that for smart developers, which these guys are, there’s a good case for development,” said McKee, who also noted in reference to the last proposal that “there were messages that were sent from the public loud and clear.”
Once any application is made, the mayor noted, it would be the beginning of a process that would include notifying the public if any zoning changes were required. He reiterated several times that no application from the developer has yet been made.
“I think it was disappointing for them,” said McKee, “but they would need to be re-evaluating, looking to what is acceptable to the community.”
But does McKee think an application from is a possibility?
“Without having the application in front of me I’d say they’re interested in bringing something back,” he said.
Hall Pacific Develsopment Manager Mike Spaull had no comment to questions about the development proposal.