Major development in the works for Tisdale

By Sarah Wallace
April 2, 2013 - 6:17am

The Town of Tisdale has announced a partnership that will bring to the town one of the largest commercial-retail developments they’ve seen in the last 30 years.

Harvard Development Incorporated of Regina has purchased 7.36 acres of land from Tisdale to develop a new commercial-retail development.

Darryl Meier, general manager of development for Harvard said the idea to develop in Tisdale goes back a few years when a major national retailer was looking for smaller centers in Saskatchewan to development in.

“We looked around the Tisdale/Melfort area with them and nothing ever came to be from that. But just through that we made a connection with Tisdale and this opportunity presented itself about a year ago, so we worked with the town through the last year and came to where we are today,” Meier said.

“We’ve dabbled in small towns before, we’re an opportunistic company and we do large and small projects and have done sites in Estevan, Kindeserly and Tisdale is just an extension of that,” Meier continued.

Perry Trusty, director of economic development for Tisdale, said Harvard Development is one of the largest developers in Saskatchewan and really one of Western Canada’s biggest developers.

“What we’ve done is we’ve sold just over seven acres of prime commercial land to Harvard from the town. [Harvard] is going to do really one of the largest, once fully completed, commercial retail investments in Tisdale in the last 30 years,” Trusty said.

Trusty said that’s because of the scale of the development and because it’s more than seven acres of new commercial retail opportunities.

“The size and the scale of that just hasn’t been seen, once fully developed, it just hasn’t been seen in quite a while. It certainly catches a wave of the Saskatchewan economy and the strength of the Saskatchewan economy as we see it today,” said Trusty.

Tisdale’s mayor, Al Jellicoe said the town is in expansion mode and one of the things they were looking at was a commercial development along with residential development.

“We’re excited … we’re just looking forward to having Harvard, as they’ve committed to this retail, commercial development, over the next couple of years. And taking advantage of the Saskatchewan and regional economic growth,” Jellicoe said.

The Tisdale Mall was the last big development in the city and was opened in 1983.

The new development means a number of things for the community of Tisdale.

Trusty said it’s going to mean new businesses, new jobs and new tax revenues for the town.

“I’m sure there’s going to be spin-off in residential development, employees are going to need a place to stay, so it means a tremendous amount of things. It’s good for other businesses because it’s going to add amenities of services to the community and all those things are a benefit to everyone,” Trusty continued.

The development will be located at the corner of Highway 3 and Highway 35.

The construction phase

“We’re going to be out there moving dirt around as soon as the snow melts, just get the site graded and get some underground utilities in and an access road,” Meier said.

“You’ll see construction on the gas-bar site shortly after that. The hotel site you won’t see construction for probably a year or so.”

Harvard already has a gas-bar and hotel deal completed for the development once it’s completed but won’t name who.

They are in talks with three different national restaurant chains and hope to have something in place in the next few months, but they aren’t ready to name names yet.

Other opportunities for businesses to join in will depend on how fast Harvard can generate lease deals, Meier added.

“The guys at the town of Tisdale were very accommodating through this process, very helpful and it was a pleasure dealing with those guys. We look forward to doing more on the site moving forward,” said Meier.

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