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Save-on-Foods to anchor Colwood Corners site

12.5-acre Colwood ­Corners will be a mixture of residential and commercial at Goldstream Avenue and Sooke Road

Save-on-Foods will open its eighth location in Greater ­Victoria — and second on the West Shore — after ­signing a lease agreement as a 40,000-square-foot anchor in the Colwood Corners development.

It’s the second major grocer coming to Colwood this year after Quality Foods announced a 35,000-square foot store for Colwood’s Royal Bay development.

The city expects its population to grow to about 22,740 by 2028, a 35% percent increase from the 2016 census, and a further 16% by 2038 — with much of the growth from the Latoria, Royal Bay and Royal Beach developments.

The 12.5-acre Colwood ­Corners development, a mixture of residential and commercial at Goldstream Avenue and Sooke Road, was acquired by the Onni Group in 2014 after the collapse of League Assets Corp., which had started foundation work. A major redesign of the property followed and construction of eight buildings got underway in 2017 and is continuing.

Save-on-Foods will be on the ground floor of the development’s cornerstone residential building at Sooke Road and Jerome Road with 135 rental suites above, said Jeff Lougheed, senior associate of commercial sales and leasing at Cushman & Wakefield Victoria.

London Drugs, the other major anchor and a long-time business at the site even before redevelopment, is staying in its current building with improvements while Coast Capital moves to Colwood Corners’ main entrance at Sooke and ­Goldstream.

Other retailers are rushing in, said Lougheed, attracted to the West Shore, where housing and population are booming.

“The last half of 2021, and so far in 2022, we have an overall increase in tenant activity — retailers and restaurants exploring options — and franchise development and expansion,” said Lougheed.

“We only expect that to accelerate over the course of the year. Similarly, we’re ­seeing increased investor interest in acquiring retail properties, ­especially in the suburbs.”

Lougheed said the Colwood Corners development, which has about 140,000 square feet of retail space, has been especially brisk, with seven new tenants added over recent months and four deals pending, ­accounting for about 50% of available ­leasing space.

TD Bank is on the site and two food franchises — ­Barburrito and Mary Brown’s Chicken — are coming soon.

The Pet Valu chain, also operating under the Bosley’s brand, as well as Four Mile Liquor store and cannabis retailer Rise will move in next to London Drugs.

Acekids Daycare has signed a lease for large space across from the Save-on-Foods store.

A building at the centre of the site is designed for a large ­restaurant.

Lougheed expects to make new leasing announcements in early February.

“Limited availability of retail space has put upward pressure on net rental rates in the suburbs, with demand especially strong from quick-service restaurants that offer delivery,” Lougheed said in an analysis.

“Appointment-based and grocery-anchored retail has been stable, if not outperformed, and we’re seeing increased demand from both segments as well.”

Onni plans further residential developments on the edges of its Colwood Corners property along Jerome Road.

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