Image: Town of Rimbey council agenda

Image: Town of Rimbey council agenda

New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

A new development aimed at attracting highway traffic to stop and spend their dollars in Rimbey could be breaking ground as early as spring, 2021.

A group of developers have come together to make a “Rimbey Travel Centre,” which would boast a Tim Horton’s and a Petro-Canada as its two anchoring tenants, a reality.

The group, JDL Developments, Davis Developments (Miles Davis) and the Tim Horton’s franchise owners (Robert and Carol Podritske), gave a presentation to Rimbey town council on Sept. 21.

The presentation served to introduce the partners and their plans to town council while reviewing the anticipated local impacts of the development as well as collaboration opportunities with the town.

In the meantime, the development permit is currently being processed by town administration.

“We’re working with the applicant and hopefully [the development permit] will be approved soon,” said Liz Armitage, development planner for the town.

There are many aspects to consider in the approval process, and Armitage says although the developers have expressed a desire to expedite the application, all the t’s and i’s must be dotted.

“Everyone involved is working to ensure it works for everyone, including the town and the community of Rimbey.”

JDL Developments is a partnership between three men from central Alberta.

A representative from JDL says they’re excited for the development to move forward, as it has the potential to bring jobs to Rimbey that will likely be filled locally, as well as bring dollars into the town from passing highway traffic.

The development will cater to highway traffic and will be located on Hwy. 20. As there is currently no road access from the highway to the site, the developers will have to construct one connecting the property to the highway.

The proposed development would be on 4.62 acres on C2 zoned land along Hwy. 20.

Phase I, the Rimbey Travel Centre, consists of a 10,000 square foot building on 1.7 acres.

Besides the Tim Hortons and Petro-Canada gas station and convenience store, there will be a liquor and a cannabis store, as well as other retail businesses.

The developers are hoping to begin construction in spring 2021, and complete the building in the fall of the same year.

They anticipate the Phase I of the development will create between 55 to 60 local jobs once complete, generate $34,850 in new annual property taxes and bring national brands to Rimbey, as well as spur more local development, including Phase II of the project.

If the development goes forward, the town would possibly support the project in a number of ways, under its Business Development Incentive Grant Program, Development Contribution Policy and its Fire Hydrant Development Policy.

Rimbey Mayor Rick Pankiw has been in discussions with the developers, as a point-of-contact for the town, for the last two years.

The town is eager for the development to go ahead, as Pankiw says the amount of jobs it will create will be “wonderful.”

Once the developers submitted their development permit application the town was quick to respond, having them before council within two weeks, says Pankiw.

“The town wants to grow and we’re trying to grow, especially now during a pandemic and the economic recession we’ve been in for the past three years,” said Pankiw.

“Anybody that can create those types of jobs, we’re going to give them all the support we can.”

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