we will be fooled again

Dateline. Salmon Arm, BC. June 22, 2010

They’re back. And this time, they mean it. And by they, I mean smart centres. And by mean it, I think they mean they need to put this whole debacle behind them. Will they actually build or just salvage what they have left to make it a saleable property. That is my suspicion. ‘Cause let’s face it. At this point in time, without the rezoning on the table,  they have nothing to sell. And the fooling is this: they are leveraging what support they have to get this new zoning approved. No word of the new anchor tenant – cause I’m pretty sure Walmart never builds alone, and the new footprint only allows for one anchor tenant. Will smart centres have gone through this entire headache only to replace an existing retailer such as RONA or Canadian Tire. Maybe, but that’s not exactly the promise they made to the community.

Imagine this. Hey, we bought this property, we think we can use, to build a walmart and a bunch of other stores so you fine folks don’t have to drive to Vernon or Kamloops. We’re almost sure the city will approve it. I mean they called us first. But then you had a 5 day public hearing that resulted in a tie, or so we heard, because we bolted out of there before the final vote was held. But wait. Turns out, for some reason or other, like some environmental hiccup, we can’t use it all. So we’re going to take your RONA or your Canadian Tire and build, well, another RONA or Canadian Tire, to replace it. So you’ll get  a couple local contracting jobs to build it, then we’ll employ the same folks we had before to run the place. Great huh? And you’ll just have to overlook those other empty stores on the Trans Canada Highway on your way to the new Home Hardware or Save On Foods. We’ll get our rent money, our owner will pay his mortgage and it’s all good. Isn’t that worth supporting? Or even better, we’ll sell it to a competitor and let them suffer the collateral damage. But we supported your minor baseball league along the way – so just re-use those shirts and hats next year when we’re long gone, ok?

In so many ways, this outcome is so much worse, not for the opponents, but for the supporters. Dedicated supporters – now they get nothing and in return, their support is requested so that smart centres can beat the fast track out of here – and leave that oh so promising property for some other ship of fools.

We’re being fooled (the opponents). They’re being fooled (the supporters). At least in round one, there was a clear winner. Now, I’m  not so sure. The eventuality of a giant value village or a brand new Rona or Canadian Tire that leaves its ugly empty shell of a building on the TransCanada  is a rip off. Or am I being too subtle?

2 Responses

  1. […] } Louise Wallace’s post we will be fooled again on the blahgg blog looks at the SmartCentres’ turn of events from all sides now. … Hey, we […]

  2. […] } Louise Wallace’s post we will be fooled again on the blahgg blog looks at the SmartCentres’ turn of events from all sides now. … Hey, we […]

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