This morning, the Edmonton Journal reported that the Sobeys grocery store on 51st avenue (and in the Pleasantview community league, right next to Southgate Mall) is closing its doors. This is a blow to Pleasantview, particularly because it may hamper residents’ ability to live local, and most of all, those that live in an elderly care centre next to the grocery store. You can read the story in full here, but you won’t be able to see what will happen with the shopping centre, since the future plans are undetermined. This is an obvious blow to Pleasantview, a dynamic community league with a diverse population that probably does most of its shopping at Sobeys or Southgate. Of course, Safeway is another nearby option for grocery shopping, though this poses challenges for those that have to cross 51st avenue.
Even if Safeway provides groceries for those that switch over from Sobeys, another question must be solved: what to do with the empty building? In early January 2013, Elise Stolte of the Edmonton Journal provided a story about the Petrolia strip mall in the Royal Gardens area, which is now rather barren, and thus, a detraction to the community. For several years now, the strip mall has lack vitality, despite its potential to be a hub of activity within Royal Gardens. It will be interesting to see whether Royal Gardens and Pleasantview work together on this issue, with the latter learning from the former’s experience with an empty strip mall. For Pleasantview, they might need to worry less than Royal Gardens, since the Sobeys building sits next to a popular Tim Hortons location, not to mention Southgate Mall just across the street.
Regardless, both community leagues have a bit of a hill to climb over the next months, with plenty of room to turn these tricky situations into something much more promising.
CC photograph courtesy of “bulliver” (Darren Kirby) on Flickr.