It seems like an appropriate time to revisit the “Retail Demand Study, Alcona Settlement Area”, prepared for the Town of Innisfil in June 2010 for some perspective on what we can expect in terms of retail development over the next 20 years or so. (Study projections extend to 2031) The information quoted here was prepared by Tate Economic Research Inc. (TER).
Data collected at the time from a survey of Innisfil residents showed substantial “leakage” of retail spending into neighbouring municipalities:
“Innisfil residents’ do the majority of their shopping at retailers located outside of Innisfil in neighbouring municipalities such as Alliston (New Tecumseth), Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury and Newmarket. … only the supermarket, other food, and pharmacies & personal care store sub-categories capture a share greater than 60% of Innisfil residents’ expenditure potential.”
The Study estimated that, in 2010, residents in the Alcona Primary Market spent $35.2 million at food-oriented retailers (FOR) and $84.9 million at non-food oriented retailers (NFOR). It was estimated that by 2021 it would grow to $50.7 million for food-oriented retail and $135.1 million for non-food retail.
Additionally, the Study examined spending in the Innisfil North, South and West zones. Taken together, other Innisfil retail spending outside of the Alcona market area was expected to grow by 2021 from $38.0 to $56.1 million for food-oriented purchases and from $96.6 to $158.1 million for non-food oriented retail.
Based on certain market assumptions, TER forecasts the demand for following new major tenants:
- Department store space of up to 88,500 square feet; Canadian Tire of 65,400 square feet; [proposed but later abandoned at Trinity Crossing]
- Home improvement centre uses of up to 59,500 square feet (in addition to the expansion of Alcona Home Hardware),
- Pharmacy & personal care store space of up to 8,500 square feet;
- Other Selected NFOR space of up to 131,500 square feet (in addition to the ancillary retail uses at Trinity Crossing); and
- Approximately 5,000 square feet of additional supermarket / grocery space.
“Overall, including the above major retailers, there exists sufficient demand to support approximately 716,000 square feet of total retail and service space in the Alcona Primary Market in 2012.”
The Study examined available commercial space in Innisfil and noted the following potential development areas:
Vacant land 25.5 acres (10.3 ha)
Infill / Redevelopment land 28.8 acres (11.7 ha)
Alcona South, 6th Line:
Vacant land 47 acres (18.9 ha)
Alcona North – 20th Sideroad & 10th Line:
Vacant land 50 acres (20.2 ha)
The street frontage on Innisfil Beach Road west of Jans Blvd. has been used for residential construction since the map above was drawn. Overall, the Study anticipated a demand for “major traditional shopping centre formats, power centre and major large format retailers”. They would have to be accommodated outside of the Alcona commercial corridor, which would continue to be “attractive to a variety of specialty retail and mixed use development projects”.