Originally Posted by halifaxboyns
There was a 'sobeys' light (or something like that) in there ages ago, when I used to work for Aliant. Because residential numbers were so low in the downtown, it failed miserably. It was at the end of the food court, but I think it would do well.
Would be great to have a whole foods there - be a great introduction to the east coast!
I've seen a few interesting statistics over the years about how many people it takes to support different retail, grocery stores, etc. One figure was a 20,000-30,000 person catchment area for a 30,000-50,000 square foot grocery store.
I think the downtown Pete's is in the 35,000 square feet range.
There was another really interesting study where they looked at the number of people required to support "main street" type retail. It was something like 2,000 local full-time residents for frontage on one side of one block (perhaps something like 200 m on one side of a street). Of course, like the grocery store example, it's often much more complicated than this since the area served by stores varies. People are not going to drive in from Dartmouth to go to a Sobeys but they might come in for a unique store. The numbers given were an attempt to reflect pure local retail demand for all kinds of stores on average.
These numbers really put things like Pacey's seven storey limit into perspective. If we want to have grocery stores around Barrington or fill in a block or two of retail on Barrington or Gottingen we need to add thousands of units in a small area. Not going to happen without highrises somewhere.
If we really want a bustling downtown the best way to do it is to add perhaps 6,000 new residents below Brunswick Street. This means maybe 2,500 new housing units in maybe a dozen new highrises, a bunch of lowrise buildings, and some renovated heritage buildings. After this people wouldn't be wondering what can be done to "fix" Barrington because there would be retail demand and the problem would fix itself. The city would also rake in money from this because assessments are high in this area and servicing costs are low.