Revelstoke retail strategy consultant criticizes city, developer for misinterpreting report

TREC International, authors of the 2006 Revelstoke Retail Strategy, says the city and developer Hall Pacific have misrepresented strategy.

A sample image of the proposed Revelstoke Crossing development.

The City of Revelstoke and developer Hall Pacific have not completed their due diligence on studying the impacts of the proposed highway shopping centre, says a report released today by the consulting firm that prepared the city’s 2006 retail strategy.

It appears that neither the developer nor the City has not fully completed its due diligence to objectively evaluate the full impacts (both positive and negative social and economic) of the subject planned TCH shopping centre,” writes Mick Matheusik, the founder of TREC International, in a report prepared on behalf of the group Revelstoke Citizens for Responsible Development. “Both are relying upon significantly outdated information and the developer has taken facts and figures from TREC’s 2006 Retail Strategy out of context and misinterpreted them.”

The eight-page report was added to the package of submissions hours before tonight’s public hearing.

Revelstoke Citizens for Responsible Development is a group that has come together to oppose the Revelstoke Crossing shopping centre that is being proposed by Hall Pacific.

The 2006 retail strategy has been held up by the developers to illustrate the fact that a large amount of retail spending leaves Revelstoke because of people shopping out of town.

The new report says Revelstoke risks losing existing tax dollars, community support and employment if the shopping centre goes forward. It says that unless enough extra spending happens from visitors and tourists, smaller stores will be placed at risk, resulting in businesses closing down and vacancies downtown.

Matheusik writes that containment provides a better “experience” compared to sprawl, that overbuilding can result in vacancies, and that box boxes “can severely impact local merchants.”

He writes that unless the development is successful in capturing a “significantly large share of (Trans-Canada Highway) travelers, it holds potential to negatively impact downtown merchants in not only the same categories but also other merchants.”

The greatest opportunity and benefit to both the City and downtown merchants including tourism operators would be to complement and fill retail, restaurant, and service “niches” that are undersupplied in the City versus adding to what appears to be (based on 2006 analysis) oversupplied categories of food and drug stores,” writes Matheusik.

A second public hearing on the development takes place at the community centre on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The city has received hundreds of comments in advance

You can read the full report below:

TREC Report by AlexCooperRTR

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