Sod turning for Chemainus Village Square shovel-ready Wednesday

Shovels will hit the dirt Wednesday to begin work on the Chemainus Village Square, a shopping centre that was approved more than a decade ago. -
Shovels will hit the dirt Wednesday to begin work on the Chemainus Village Square, a shopping centre that was approved more than a decade ago.
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Sod-turning for Mural Town's long-awaited retail project Chemainus Village Square is shovel-ready for Wednesday.

Noon festivities will see dignitaries turn dirt at the Chemainus Road and Oak Street corner where folks can learn more about the $10-million project promising a new 49th Parallel grocery store, plus a pharmacy, financial institution, and a private liquor store.

The idea behind the landscaped mall, its developers have stated, is to help Chemainiacs shop closer to home, especially with the planned 450-home Chemainus Village across the street.

Chemainus Village Liquor Store will be owned by chamber of commerce president Peter Matthews, who also owns the Saltair Pub.

"Chemainus Village Square will bring tremendous benefits to our community," he says in a press release.

"More than $12 million will be spent on construction, and once it's up and running, the mall should provide over 150 jobs."

The town's largest mall venture was launched last year when developer Len Wansbrough bought the vacant, four-acre property opposite the Chemainus' safety building.

Mayor Jon Lefebure has also backed the mall marked for the lot Wansborough bought from the McBain group that planned to build a retail project there several years ago.

The five-building, retail-office project will total some 56,000-square-feet, and bounded by Chemainus, Oak, Pine and Daniel streets.

"Once Wayne Richmond of the 49th Parallel signed to rent 22,000 square feet, the centre's plans came together," Matthews said.

Son Peter Richmond was stoked about opening a new full-service 49th store in Mural Town.

"Of course we're excited, we've wanted to be there for 15 years," he said of the new centre.

The new 49th will be slightly larger than the firm's flagship Ladysmith store, and far out-measure its 5,400-square-foot store beside Chemainus' ferry terminal.

"We still want a presence there to serve ferry traffic," he said.

Richmond's joy was joined by that of Geoff Hincks, Chemainus Business Improvement Association president.

"The shopping centre design is attractive," he says in a release.

"The West Coast architecture has a marine influence that's a good fit with our sea-side town."

Names of any chain stores being courted for the shopping centre haven't been released.

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