“Change is coming to Tsawwassen,” Delta Chamber of Commerce past president Ian Tait told members of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association during a rapid-fire speech outlining developments underway in Delta. “This is the most significant economic development opportunity the community can latch onto.”
Most significant of the projects Tait spoke about at the July 25 annual general meeting of the association were a trio of developments underway on Tsawwassen First Nation lands. Powerhouse shopping center developer Ivanhoé Cambridge has been contracted to build Tsawwassen Mills, a 1.2 million square foot mall. “It’s going to be a destination development,” Tait said. “It’s very much fashion-based with anchor tenants, big box retailers.”
Another outdoor retail shopping center, Tsawwassen Commons, smaller at 550,000 square feet, is planned to open alongside the larger project in 2015. Together the two shopping centers will cover 180 acres.
Aquilini Development will break ground soon on the first phase of the Tsawwassen Shores housing development, which Tait said will be complete within a decade, adding 1,674 housing units and a potential 4,000 new residents to Tsawwassen.
The Southlands Development will also add housing units to the community and all of these will have an impact on Point Roberts.
“There’s going to be increased traffic,” Tait said. “There’s going to be spillover for Point Roberts.”
He encouraged local residents to be involved in ongoing public consultation on the projects and traffic studies they have generated, looking at everything from Highway 17 to the Massey Tunnel.
“I also think U.S. and Canadian border services really need to be aware of all these things,” he concluded.