Here's the full article from The Record:
Mega-mall proposed for west Waterloo
By Liz Monteiro, THE RECORD, Tuesday, June 9, 2009
People living in the west side of Waterloo are "screaming for services," says the developer who's planning Waterloo Region's biggest retail and office development.
Greg Voisin, president of Ira Needles Commercial Centre, said the 35.8-hectare (88.5-acre) development at the corner of Ira Needles Boulevard and University Avenue will be an environmentally friendly community featuring pedestrian walkways, landscaped features and bicycle pathways.
"It will be a place where people want to hang out and not in a bad way,'' said Voisin, who is working on the project along with Paul Dietrich and Geoff Moore.
The project, just over one million square feet of retail and office space, straddles both cities of Waterloo and Kitchener. Waterloo has 17.7 hectares (43.7 acres) and the remaining 18.1 hectares (44.7 acres) is located in Kitchener along Ira Needles Boulevard, a two-lane regional road.
The development will come before both Waterloo and Kitchener councillors at council meetings June 22.
Some residents and at least one Waterloo councillor have voiced concerns over increased traffic. A neighbourhood meeting of Westvale residents will be held Thursday night.
Voisin said a traffic study shows that Ira Needles will not have to increase to four lanes from the current two lanes because of this development.
Most of the traffic will stay within the development, Voisin said, referring to the variety of amenities, including an athletic club, a movie theatre, and retail stores such as Lowe's home improvement.
There will be approximately 220,000 square feet of office space.
The development will be bigger than Conestoga Mall and will include three roundabouts within the site and 4,000 parking spots.
(Duke: not only Conestoga, but also Cambridge Centre, Sunrise, Fairview, and BridgeCam...we're talking 1,000,000+ square feet here!)
The project could hold as many as 3,500 employees and generate about $500,000 a month in taxes for the communities.
Construction could be completed in about five years.
Meanwhile up the street at Ira Needles Boulevard and Erb Street West is another retail development.
The 75,000-square-foot project will feature a restaurant, a beer store, and other retail stores, said city planner Trevor Hawkins. (Duke: One of the retail stores on the Rock site will be Winners)
Initially, the developer, Windsor-based Rock Developments, went to the Ontario Municipal Board to appeal the city council's decision to defer the development.
Councillors were worried about increased traffic.
But the city and the developer came to an agreement and agreed that the development should not be held up because of other nearby bigger projects.
Hawkins said Rock Developments is expected to apply for building permits this summer and begin construction. The project could open by next spring.