Wetaskiwin shoppers will see new life breathed into the Wetaskiwin Mall this year.
Ben Volorney, principal with Avison Young, said his company has been working with the Mall on a plan to see additional retailers and medical services brought into the space.
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“We want to reposition the property,” he said. “These malls that were built 40 years ago were built as community hubs and we want to bring that back.”
With Alberta Health Services relocating Home Care from the Wetaskiwin and District Hospital and Care Centre last year Volorney said they plan to bring in other medical services as the mall is more accessible and has a larger parking area that would make coming to the Mall for some medical appointments easier and more convenient for people.
“We’re dealing with some medical services right now and hope to make an announcement soon,” he said.
Built in 1979, the Wetaskiwin Mall will see cosmetic renovations as well as mechanical upgrades to go with the new businesses.
Volorney said they want to build on what’s already in the mall to draw more people to it.
“We’re trying to create a vibrant community hub.”
One of the issues for residents and businesses at the mall is a feeling of security with many complaining of vagrants hanging out around the building causing problems.
Volorney said there is currently on-site security who rely on support from the RCMP and Wetaskiwin’s peace officers when needed but they are upgrading the exterior and interior lighting, which he believes, will help patrons feel safer. As things move forward, patron safety and business security is something they will address.
“We’re trying to build this for the next 20 years.”