Commercial at the Core

A new building under construction on the south side of Innisfil Beach Road is the first development to follow the design guidelines set out under the Inspiring Innisfil 2020 Official Plan. It is a multi-story, mixed-use building that fronts the sidewalk.

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The original signage on the property indicated it would be a medical building. The current signage only indicates leasing availability. It remains to be seen what final form this development will take and whether it is the start of a new approach to Alcona development or whether it will be an anomaly on the street.

Meanwhile, the development proposal for the Abendel property on the north side of Innisfil Beach Road seems to have stalled or collapsed. Old signage has been left to deteriorate. Nothing further has occurred since the additional purchase of Scotty’s Towing, which is boarded up. This was originally proposed to be yet another strip mall with the addition of a bank building and a fast-food franchise. Local resident opposition blocked earlier proposals for a residential tower and townhouses on part of the property.

Over at the 25th Sideroad and Innisfil Beach Road, the corner property has also been idle for the summer in spite of reported OMB approval for a proposed multi-story seniors condo with ground-floor retail and a banner proclaiming, “great things are happening”.

After the departure of Lakeside Treasures this summer, 1041 Innisfil Beach Road also sits idle. This property has a history of frequent tenant turnover. A rezoning notice appeared briefly this summer for a “one story commercial” building before being taken down.

At the western end of Alcona, a new housing tract is advancing toward the northern edge of the No Frills parking lot and a new building is taking shape near the supermarket, expected to be another fast-food franchise.

The Centreville plan in Stroud is advancing. Land severance has been approved for single detached housing on the north side of the property. Townhouses, a gas station, convenience store and strip mall form the rest of the project.  A ‘hold’ designation remains on actual construction until final design plans are approved.

In late 2011, the Retail Demand Study found that 2/3 of all resident expenditures were made outside of Innisfil. It suggested that with further residential growth, it would present an “expenditure potential” of over $400 million by 2021. More than 5 years later, it appears that potential for local shopping will be difficult to realize for many more years to come. For the uninitiated, it’s difficult to understand what hurdles are preventing an obvious opportunity from being realized.

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5 thoughts on “Commercial at the Core

  1. Why are people surprised that commercial projects have not progressed. The major developer/property owners want Innisfil Township to pay the development costs and fees.
    Finally, the current council has been addressing this problem. Unfortunately, Council has also let the developer/builders dictated the residential growth within Innisfil.
    Wonderful; let the residents pay inflated taxes and utility charges
    Anyone considering an investment within Innisfil Township should definitely think twice about it. This appears to be the general consensus of the various commercial properties; don’t proceed.
    The new building would be convenient as a medical facility. But wait: Innisfil is assisting the funding near city hall, for a medical building, which, as council sees it, would be a convenient location, of course, at the tax payer’s expense.
    As well, there is an empty hydro building generating absolutely nothing. A very attractive building that our tax money paid for.
    Are we impressed yet?
    Just my opinion.

    • You say “the current council has been addressing this problem”. How? Please elaborate for readers. The effort must be failing because you say, “Current consensus” is “don’t proceed”. Are you assuming or do you have more information? Are you a commercial property owner? Council did appear to go out of its way to try and undermine the Alcona project as a medical facility. This and the general stagnation suggests this council is really not backing the development of an Alcona commercial core.

      • When I said that the “current” council has been addressing the problems, I meant that they woke up and realized that the partnership sale of InnPower and the borrowing of funds, to complete the commercial lands infrastructure, instead of holding the line and having the owners/developers pay for their own projects.
        The meaning of “current consensus: just look at the commercial projects that have been, either halted, or have not begun.
        Why undermine the Alcona project for a medical facility? Although the semi vacant hydro building is not exactly convenient for Alcona residents, neither is the new medical facility.
        The structure on Innisfil Beach Road would have been much more convenient for residents, but, I assume that this property is privately owned, and the township does not have an interest with this project.
        Does it really matter whether I am a commercial property owner or a resident of Alcona? The tax base income within Innisfil Township is well out of whack.

      • I just wondered if you had associates or contacts who are developers since you spoke of a consensus. We’d expect council to be eager to develop a more balanced commercial assessment. But it seems most proposals flounder on the rocks of resident opposition, and I would say, poor planning on the part of developers.

      • I use the word “consensus”, to refer to the lack of individual business developments. This township has become the larger developer/builder’s residential investment play ground. You don’t see them investing in their commercial/ industrial property holdings. Once that council “finally” said no, to paying for the infrastructure of the industrial lands, major commercial investment went to sleep. Maybe only temporarily, but there was never any publicity of any major industrial corporations announcing their future arrival to Innisfil, at the time.
        For many years, in general, local residents spoke of a lack of business services available to them. Before the building boom in Alcona, a considerable number of small independent businesses came and went. Now, with the burgeoning population, some businesses are being supported, but, as time goes on, the general populace will not be able to afford to support them. The cost of living within Innisfil, is exploding in our faces and it will only get worse before it improves.
        No, I am not associated, in any respect, with any of the builders, developers, or the local politicians.

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