Big box store going into Business Park next to Wal-Mart
Chief Staff Writer
The world's largest home improvement retailer wants to build one of its big box outlets in Squamish.
The District of Squamish (DOS) and Home Depot are concluding a conditional land sales agreement on a 2.67-hectare (6.6-acre) parcel in the Squamish Business Park across Discovery Way from the proposed Wal-Mart and close to Mountain Building Centres.
The proposed store is to be 5,574 to 6,968 square metres (60,000 to 75,000 square feet) in size, slightly smaller than the proposed Wal-Mart. Mountain Building Centres has two buildings that together equal 5109.67 square metres (55,000 square feet).
Home Depot won't be put through the rezoning process that Wal-Mart went through because the store is suitable for the existing zoning, meaning there will be no public hearing. Council will vote on a development permit related to the form and character of the building at an upcoming regular council meeting.
An opening date for the new store was not announced.
Brian McIntosh of Mountain Building Centres said he was a little surprised by the timing of the announcement. He suspects Home Depot may sit on the property for a time before developing the site.
"The population doesn't really fit with their program," McIntosh said. "The 50,000 head count is what they usually look for."
McIntosh feels that Home Depot's motivation for coming to Squamish might have something to do with the 2010 Olympics and the company's desire to be an Olympic supplier.
"In this building supply and renovation market it is dog-eat-dog now," McIntosh said.
He added that the community is growing and more competition was bound to arrive.
"When Canadian Tire came it didn't do any harm to us; in fact, it did us good because it kept people shopping in town instead of going to the city," said McIntosh. "We're more contractor-oriented."
Home Depot has stores in seven Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan) and employs more than 18,000 people in Canada.
Most recently it opened a smaller, boutique-style store in West Vancouver's Park Royal Shopping Centre.
Accord-ing to the company's Canadian website, Home Depot caters to do-it-yourselfers, as well as home improvement, construction and building maintenance professionals. Each store stocks approximately 40,000 to 50,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies and lawn and garden products.
The company says that it promotes giving back to the communities it serves by allowing associates to contribute to the communities where they work and live through an organized volunteer force called Team Depot.
Home Depot stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and for eight consecutive years, Fortune magazine has ranked Home Depot the Most Admired Specialty Retailer in the U.S.
A message left by The Chief with the Home Depot media relations department in Atlanta, Georgia was not returned before the newspaper's press deadline.