It could become the Corral Centre of the south, if the vision for 50 acres on the outskirts of Brandon becomes a reality.
Real estate company Colliers International is advertising the South Brandon Village on its website — a proposed commercial development that can accommodate "two major anchors," a number of mid-box retailers, as well as "pad sites for restaurants, pubs, and financial institutions together with a proposed hotel and convention centre."
The proposed site is located south of Patricia Avenue and west of Highway 10.
"It’s the new housing growth that really is the catalyst to sort of spur additional retail demand in Brandon, because the city is growing and the amount of new housing in the south end is definitely going to be a requirement for more commercial development," said John Prall, vice-president of Colliers International.
The company is working with local developer VBJ Developments. The wider plan encompasses 170 acres, which includes residential areas and greenspace. The projected population for the development is 2,700.
Prall says new pockets of housing and the general growth in the south end is making the area attractive to retailers.
"Retailers that would look at a market like this want to be near or close to where all the new housing is going to be," he said. "The south end of the city has had the majority of that growth, so that combined with this property’s proximity to the Brandon Shoppers Mall and all the other major retailers that are in that area, will make this area attractive to additional retail."
While he wouldn’t comment on the specific types of retailers they hope to attract, Prall said it will likely be a "grocery-anchored, neighbourhood-centred" development.
"With the amount of residential growth there should be demand for a grocery store in this part of town," he said.
VBJ Developments previously told the Sun that some other types of tenants it hopes to attract include home furnishing and decor stores, and restaurants.
The plan is expected to play out over several years. However, Prall says construction for the first phase could happen as early as 2016.
"A lot of it will depend on the approvals … that are necessary to get the city on board and all the services to the site that are necessary," he said.
Prall noted that the location of the proposed shopping centre would provide shopping centre accessibility to the south trade area.
"You’ve got the Corral Centre catering to Brandon and the trade area to the north, and this would cater to the trade area to the south, down Highway 10 and towards the border."
The challenge for developers is the fact that the property is not within city limits — it is still part of the RM of Cornwallis.
Ryan Nickel, the city’s acting principal planner, said it will likely take years to get through the process.
The city’s development plan would need to be amended, a secondary plan would be needed, and an agreement would need to be made on either annexation or service sharing.
"The other big piece is to figure out how to get the infrastructure to the site and how that’s going to be shared… who’s going to pay what and so all those larger studies," Nickel said. "It’s a long, long way off."
Nickel said the planning department has not yet received an urban expansion application for the South Brandon Village.
He added that the city’s priorities right now are properties already within city limits, such as the North Hill and southwest developments.
"Then once we have kind of a handle on how those are actually going to get growing, I think then we’ll be in a better position to maybe look at some of these other opportunities," Nickel said.
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