News Release - Major Development - Melfort StoneGate
Avatex Devcorp Inc. has confirmed plans to develop a major regional shopping centre in Melfort, located on Highway 6 opposite the Melfort Golf Course. John Burton, principal of Avatex, indicates that the project will be anchored by a major Canadian national retail chain, which recently finalized an agreement with Avatex. Construction will commence on the anchor store in August, 2009, and the store will open in February, 2010. Click here to view the Development Site Map.
Long term plans for the project will include a large grocery store, additional retail stores, free standing restaurants and one or more banks. A hotel is also be considered for the project. The project, to be built on 30 acres, will total approximately 250,000 sq. ft. of building space when fully developed over the next 5 to 7 years. Avatex expects the shopping centre to draw traffic over a wide market area, including Tisdale, Nipawin and extending east to Hudson Bay and the Manitoba border. The trade area has a current population of approximately 40,000 people. Click here to view the Melfort Trade Area Analysis.
Land for the project has been acquired by Avatex from the City of Melfort. The City will commence grading and construction of services on the site in a few weeks. Highway upgrades, to be cost-shared between the City and the Province, will include widening of Highway 6 in front of the project to 4 lanes and the installation of traffic lights.
"Our experience with similar projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta is that they attract shoppers over a very wide region." says Mr. Burton. "This shopping centre will further consolidate the City of Melfort as a regional service centre and I expect it will help strengthen existing businesses in Melfort.". Other benefits to the City include a substantial increase in the municipal tax base and creation of additional employment opportunities. "This shopping centre will make Melfort a more attractive place to live and raise a family" says Mr. Burton, "as it will provide a lot of retail services that people currently have to drive to Saskatoon or Prince Albert for."
Mayor Kevin Phillips of Melfort is happy to support this development. "Avatex have an extensive track record of building similar developments in Alberta and Saskatchewan and we are very pleased they have chosen Melfort.". He added, "This development makes Melfort a better place to live and shop and will make it easier for existing businesses to attract and retain employees as Avatex adds shopping amenities that people will enjoy.".
Minister Rod Gantefoer , Minister of Finance for the Government of Saskatchewan and MLA for Melfort said, "The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to be a part of this project through our Saskatchewan Infrastructure Growth Initiative (SIGI) and through our Urban Highway Connector Program.". Mr. Gantefoer added, "this development shows confidence in the Saskatchewan and regional economy and the Government looks forward to the success of Avatex's investment for Melfort, the region and Saskatchewan.".
Avatex Devcorp Inc., based in Edmonton, Alberta, has been involved in the development of a number of similar projects in Alberta, and in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The company also has extensive farm land holdings in Saskatchewan.
This development, once fully built, will be the largest private sector investment to date in Melfort and will have approximately 275 full-time jobs and 325 part-time jobs.