Saturday, Oct 22nd, 2016

Gas, groceries and coffee

Posted on August 20, 2015 Richard MacKenzie, [email protected]

Construction off Beech Hill Road near Exit 33 is for a new commercial node being developed by Somerled Properties. PHOTO: Richard MacKenzie

Construction off Beech Hill Road near the Exit 33 roundabout has, no doubt, caught the eye of many area residents and travelers alike. Soon, the trucks and workers will give way to a Shell station, a Tim Hortons and a Sobeys Express.
Somerled Properties Limited said the completion date for the new commercial node they’re developing is “late fall.”
In a release about the development, they outlined in detail what is to be included in “phase one.”
“Phase one, currently being built by Dora Construction, will house a newly designed Sobeys Express Convenience store with a Shell Gas Bar. On top of its eight gas pumps, Shell will also include a diesel high pump and RV dumping station.
“Attached to the Sobeys Express will be a 1,600 square foot Tim Hortons with drive-thru designed to allow for the anticipated high traffic volumes. Store openings will occur in late fall of this year.”
Somerled Properties general manager Bob Chisholm said construction is “moving along nicely” and he talked more about the Sobeys Express which will be unique to Atlantic Canada.
“It’s referred to as a Needs Store on steroids … it’s bigger, very attractive,” Chisholm said.
“More of a contemporary design … a total new look and different offerings,” Somerled Properties vice president, development David Wallace added.
Chisholm noted there has been some discussion of a car wash to be added to the development.
“Several people have indicated they would like to do that,”
he said. “It isn’t happening at the moment but not too far behind.”
With phase one well on its way to completion, attention for Somerled has turned to phase two.
“To round off the development, Somerled is targeting fast-food retailers and sit down restaurants for phase two to complement the ideal stopping location for many highway travelers,” the release states, adding Chisholm at 902-318-5491 or Wallace at 902-818-2790 as contacts for those interested.
“In total, phase one, of the four acres is just over two acres, so we have just under two acres remaining for phase two – for future development,” Wallace said. “Bob and I are out now chatting with food retailers to draw interest.
“With Somerled Properties we’re focused on highway commercial nodes in the vicinity of two to five acres. It’s primarily gas with the attached coffee with drive-thrus, or fast food with drive-thrus, and then accessory type uses to create this energy for travelers on the highways … that’s the goal and that is exactly what we’re doing here.”
He talked about the attractiveness of the Antigonish market.
“Interest in the Antigonish market, especially with the realigned 104, there is a lot of interest from gas retailers, fast food … the university and the town have a lot to do with that,” he said. “It’s great to find markets where you have a stable university like StFX, a regional hospital, so, yes, there is interest.”
Chisholm added Somerled has an option on more land in the area and talked about working with the municipality.
“The Municipality of the County of Antigonish was very helpful,” he said.
“It’s a good indicator they’re open for business.”

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