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Larger retail spaces needed in Aldershot

Larger retail spaces needed in Aldershot

Driving along Plains Road in Aldershot one is struck by the number of vacant retail spaces on the ground floor of some of the village’s condo towers. Maybe the problem is that the spaces are too small. At this week’s annual meeting of the Aldershot Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) several members said they could not find vacant stores large enough to permit expansion of their operations.

The comments gained momentum during a wide open discussion toward the end of the meeting.

Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, who also serves on the BIA Board, said there are fifteen “major” new developments in various proposal stages for Aldershot. He described them as “residential towers with retail at the bottom”.

“I think part of our role as a BIA is to continue to advocate to the City and to these developers to include large size, more useable retail space for a variety of different businesses.”

Galbraith added that planning is not yet complete for the area around the GO Station (technically known as an MTSA). “There will be retail and commercial space in there somewhere. It’s our role to advocate for larger sized units”

“We need to get in their face” said BIA Board Chair Sonia Pagliuso, referring to city council and the developers.

Executive Director Judy Worsley added: “I’m very excited about the MTSA. It could be a game changer for us, especially if we get the larger (retail) units there”.

Partnership and collaboration among Burlington business groups was the main theme of the annual meeting. During 2020 the Aldershot BIA helped strengthen the Team Burlington group, took part in the Burlington Economic Recovery Network and participated in the City’s Covid Task Force.

“We have been rowing in the same direction” said Carla Nell, guest speaker and President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. She thanked the Aldershot BIA for its work.

“Every member of this team has done their part. That diversity of thought, perspective and resources has proven to be our greatest strength. Building relationships and partnerships has been absolutely key”.

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