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Council caught off guard by plans for Aldergrove mall demolition
A plan to demolish Aldergrove Mall, leaving the two anchor stores intact, will leave a gaping hole “that’s going to look like a hockey player in the playoffs without their front teeth,” Councillor Charlie Fox remarked last Monday, April 16.
Council members were taken aback by a letter from the owners announcing the plan.
In the letter, Sonny Janda of the Janda Group seeks the support of the mayor, council and staff for a demolition permit for certain areas of the mall, which is located north of Fraser Highway at 272 Street.
Dollarama, the east-end anchor, and a drug store on the south side, will likely survive the wrecker’s ball, if a demolition for the balance of the shopping centre is approved. Many stores are empty.
Janda said that over the past few years, the company has explored many opportunities “including participating in the Aldergrove Planning Committee to gain exposure from the community and experts.”
An obstacle to achieving its goal is the current tenancy status of the mall, he added.
The area destined to be torn down is subject to structural, electrical, mechanical and civil elements, he said.
“It’s a pretty exciting opportunity for Aldergrove,” commented Councillor Kim Richter.
But Fox said he had significant concerns, calling the area between the anchor stores “a wasteland.”
“This is a massive piece of the core,” Fox said, adding that no demolition permit should be issued until council has seen development plans.
The company said that it wants to retain the Extra Foods store, the west end anchor first occupied by Super Valu, “as a heritage unit.”
“You’re not protecting a heritage building there,” remarked Councillor Bob Long.
Council asked staff to follow up with the mall owners.