Elliot Lake considers new mall on unused parkland
Published Saturday, August 4, 2012 7:34PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 4, 2012 7:55PM EDT
Elliot Lake’s city council will vote early next week on whether to develop an unused parcel of land into a new shopping centre to replace the collapsed Algo Centre Mall, CTV Northern Ontario has learned.
Elliot Lake Mayor Rick Hamilton said the plan is to develop a six-acre piece of land that is less than half a kilometre south of the Algo mall, which partially collapsed on June 23. Two women, Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74, were killed in the incident, while 20 others were injured.
The land under consideration as the site of a new plaza is currently zoned as parkland, but it is entirely unused.
“The targets, we’re trying to make them reasonable,” Hamilton told CTV News. “They’re going to be pretty tight.”
According to Hamilton, the plan calls for the land itself to be developed by December 31, and the new mall open for business by the end of next year.
If council votes to move ahead with the plan, the city will ask both the federal and provincial governments for seed money. Early estimates suggest the city will need $3.5 million to prepare the land for commercial use.
“So we will be going out to the private sector after we develop the land,” Hamilton said. “We’ll be looking for requests for proposals to actually develop that land. So it’s going to be very exciting.”
As city council mulls over plans for a new structure, what will become of the Algo Centre Mall remains an unanswered question.
Both the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Labour have completed their investigations at the site. However, the fate of the structure remains unknown.
Meanwhile, Justice Paul Belanger is scheduled to arrived in the city in mid-august to begin work on his inquiry into what caused part of the mall’s roof to come crashing down onto the food court.
Belanger first plans to meet privately with residents affected by the incident, and then to hold a public meeting in order to answer residents’ questions.
It could be as long as 18 months before Belanger and his team issue a report on the incident, the deaths and injuries that it caused and the response by emergency services personnel.
With a report from CTV Northern Ontario’s Ben Mercer