Instead of focusing on legal options for restrictive covenants on former grocery store sites in Edmonton’s older neighbourhoods, a new city report is encouraging the establishment of small bakeries, butcher shops and markets in areas most impacted.
“Restrictive covenants have been placed on properties that used to have grocery stores, and the operators of those grocery stores have moved to another location,” said Mary-Ann McConnell-Boehm, director of sustainable development with the city’s urban planning branch. “So future purchasers (are) restricted from certain types of uses.”
Those uses include grocery, food and convenience stores of certain sizes, as well as pharmacies in order to limit nearby competition.
The report, heading for a committee on Wednesday, is the sixth since 2005, but the first to look at something other than legal options – not proven to be viable.
According to the report, former stores in Belvedere, Highlands and Lansdowne are top priorities for various reasons, including socio-economic status and a lack of healthful food within walking distance.
Future options include facilitating a small grocery, butcher or baker into the Station Pointe development on Fort Road in Belvedere, leveraging commercial investment in Highlands through reconstruction of 112 Avenue and streetscape improvements on 118 Avenue, and working with Safeway to remove the restrictive covenant in Lansdowne – or build a new store nearby.
“Hopefully this offers something different,” said Ward 7 Coun. Tony Caterina. “It’s been an issue for years.”
- Belvedere: 12910 – Fort Road, auto parts store opened in 1998
- Highlands: 6603 – 118 Avenue, vacant
- Lansdowne: 5120 – 122 Street, charitable organizations