With BHP’s Jansen project announcement bringing optimism for community growth to Humboldt, West Humboldt Properties is preparing for further developments to the Quill Centre.
The Quill Centre is located on the west side of the city, containing Sobeys, Boston Pizza, Canadian Tire, Pet Valu, the Humboldt Vision Centre, Tim Hortons and others. In response to the potential growth, West Humboldt Properties began some dirt and compaction work this fall, in preparation for expanding the centre to include another two storefronts.
Crediting the BHP announcement, Martin Blair, president of the company, said they’ve recently been receiving an above average amount of calls from retailers.
Blair said the plan for the site at the Quill Centre is to let the new zone’s soil sit and compact over the winter to make for a more stable site for construction in the spring.
“We’re preparing the site just so that if something happens between now and the spring that we’ll be ready to move quicker,” Blair said. “We’re very optimistic, as you know there’s a pretty bright future ahead for Humboldt and area so what we’re trying to do is be a little proactive.”
Looking into the future by winter, 2022, Blair said he hopes to see one new storefront and tenant as a minimum, but hopefully more.
“We are talking seriously with retailers, so we think there’s a very good chance that we’ll have something available to start construction with in spring,” he said.
“The area that we dressed up and prepared would probably be able to handle two if not three retailers if the need was there.”
Another project West Humboldt Properties is planning long-term is the construction of a multi-tenant building to the west of the Highway 5 access to the Quill Centre. The multi-tenant building would be significantly larger and have two or three tenants occupying the same main structure.
Blair said that while the multi-tenant building is in the planning stage, that doesn’t mean it will be anytime soon with the project requiring multiple retailers to sign the documents and their offers at the same time before construction can begin.
“We prepared that site… probably over two years ago,” he said. “Usually when these things come together they come together quickly, and when retailers make decisions they like to move as quick as possible. So the more we can have the site prepared, like the work we’re just doing now, the better chance we have at satisfying those retailers and meet their timelines for next year.”
Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal