Do we need any more retail space close to Sidney? The answer is, unequivocally, no.
And here’s why:
1. Across Canada the average square feet of retail space per capita is 14 square feet.
2. Downtown Sidney currently has 20 sq. ft. for each person in both Sidney and North Saanich! (That’s 474,000 sq. ft. for the 24,000 people who live in the two districts).
3. Gateway would add a further 70,000 sq. ft. giving us 23 sq. ft. of retail space per resident.
4. Sandown Commons would add 130,000 sq. ft. of retail space to the region, making for 25 sq. ft. per resident (or 78 per cent more retail space per person than the national average!).
5. Together, Gateway and Sandown Commons would add 200,000 sq. ft. of retail space — roughly half as much again as currently in downtown Sidney. That would be 28 sq. ft. of retail space — twice the national average.
It’s time for Mayors Price and Finall — and the VAA — to sit down with one another and have an adult discussion about what is best for the northern part of the peninsula.
Yes, it makes sense for further development to occur on the Gateway lands but make the development complementary to Sidney’s downtown, not in competition.
And, yes, Sandown Commons could do with some retail space to service the industrial area and adjacent parts of North Saanich but make it along the lines of Mattick’s Farm, perhaps associated with some low and medium income residential development.
Let’s have some vision about what’s best for the future of both communities together as opposed to the current shortsighted approach of both mayors.
Adrian Kershaw, Sidney