New Kanata retail development to open in August

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Kanata's new Fernbank community is soon to see its first retail development with the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercentre and accompanying stores.

Kanata Shopping Centres Ltd., an operating company of retail developer Smart Centres Ltd., is using a triangular plot of land on the northwest corner of Fernbank Road and Terry Fox Drive to build a $48-million, two-phased construction project.

The first phase includes a 150,000-square-foot Walmart - expected to open on August 17 - as well as various other retailers including an RBC Royal Bank, Dollarama and Bulk Barn. Other vendors are in the process of purchasing retail space, according to Dennis Eberhard, SmartCentres' vice-president of development.

Approximately 45,000 square feet of additional retail space will flank the Wal-Mart, and Mr. Eberhard said he expects about 5,000 square feet to still be available for a commercial tenant once the current transactions have been completed. The development will include 818 parking spaces, according to a document filed to the City of Ottawa.

Phase two of the project will take place on the east end of the 6.9-hectare property, and will include two 5,000-square-foot single-tenant buildings, and a third multi-tenant building. Various restaurants and fashion tenants have shown interest in occupying this space, Mr. Eberhard said.

Construction of the second phase will begin in spring of 2013.

"This is the start of a community plan that has been worked on for the last five years," Mr. Eberhard said of Fernbank. "It's all coming to fruition now, so we're really excited about the growth there currently and the expectations of a lot more houses being built over the next five to 10 years."

Many subdivisions are already in the works and under construction in the area, including Blackstone Kanata by Cardel Homes and Monarch Corp.

SmartCentres recently built a Walmart at the corner of Clyde Avenue and Baseline Road, but Mr. Eberhard said the new Fernbank location will be more aesthetically pleasing with an interesting roofline, multiple windows and textured brick.

"The building is visible from so many angles, we've had to make it a little more interesting than just a big box," he said.

The entire development is expected to be completed by next fall.