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New mall moves towards 2012 opening

A new movie theatre opening in 2011 could be “ambitious”, but the developer for the proposed shopping centre on Penticton Indian Band land said shovels will hit the ground in September.

“It’s probably a little ambitious,” said Keith McRae of Property Development Group of Vancouver of a promised 2011 opening. “We are anticipating an opening for the entire shopping centre by the fall of 2012.”

McRae confirmed the Landmark Cinemas movie theatre will be part of the first phase going up. He said he cannot reveal any of the other committed tenants at this point, because those tenants are sensitive about releasing their own internal marketing campaign. At this time, McRae said the development is about 50 per cent full with leased retailers.

“There will be some really, really good tenants in there and all of them will be brand new to Penticton,” said McRae. “I think in advance of September there will be some pretty big announcements about tenants.”

In January 2010, Landmark Cinemas announced plans for a six-screen multiplex cinema with RealD 3D technology, stadium-style seating and curved screens to be located at the Channel Crossing Shopping Centre. At the announcement it was revealed the mall would also house big-box stores, retail shops and restaurants. The site for the Channel Crossing Shopping Centre is planned for a 40-acre piece of land located on the Penticton Indian Reserve, with a new bridge to be constructed at the intersection of Green Avenue and the Channel Parkway for access. 

Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger said he met with the Ministry of Transportation this week.

“I have been getting frustrated with the process. For two years we have been waiting to get this thing rolling. The locatees (private land owners) have been waiting patiently, the developers have been waiting patiently. It’s costing the band a lot of money for engineers, lawyers and technical people to do this work,” said Kruger of the time it is taking to get ministry approval for the bridge work. “We are doing all the studies to make sure we are fulfilling all the requirements and criteria to make the bridge happen. Now they are having to do some engineering around the bridge for the traffic lights. I also told the ministry that since we are meeting all the requirements and criteria, I wanted some kind of approval-in-principle, in writing.”

Kruger said the ministry has agreed to draft wording for an approval-in-principle so they can start moving on the development. He is pushing for work on the bridge to get started on the side of the proposed development by November.

“This will generate some hope, certainty and excitement not only for the locatees but for the South Okanagan region. It definitely will promote a little more comfort. I’m really grateful for the ministry to see this is a good idea and that we are finding solutions to make some awesome things come to life this year,” said Kruger.

 

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