Some people oppose this rezoning because they do not want additional sporting goods retail presence in the area. They have expressed the view that MEC presents competition that is unfair to them. Others believe that this opens the door to “big box” retailers on the North Shore. The “big box” category starts at 40,000 sq.ft., while the proposed MEC store will be only about 27,000 sq.ft.
Finally, some people oppose this rezoning because they feel it might result in loss of an opportunity for manufacturing jobs in this location, which may pay better than retail jobs. This may be true, but a business providing such jobs does not currently exist at this location. The property in question is on the busy corner of Brooksbank and Cotton Street (which continues as Main Street in the District). From Rona all the way to the 2nd Narrows Bridge, this site is the only non-commercial lot along the north side of the street.
The proposed land use seems consistent with the neighbouring use and with long term City and Metro Vancouver plans for the area. MEC’s application also includes a commitment to make improvements to our parks and trail system that might bring significant benefits to the North Shore. I’ll be interested to hear their case at the public hearing.