Big box deal reached.
Downtown merchants and mall operators have reached peace with
Wal-Mart just prior to an Ontario Municipal Board hearing in Sault Ste.
Marie. First Professional Shopping Centres reached an agreement with The
Downtown Association and Algoma Central Properties, owners of the
Station Mall. It paves the way for Wal-Mart to begin construction of a
power shopping centre in the city's north end. As part of the
settlement, Wal-Mart cannot open its doors before January 2003, cannot
expand the store beyond its 9,894-square metres and cannot apply for
expansion of the entire development before June 2006. First Professional
initially wanted to build a Wal-Mart with a half-dozen smaller retail
outlets. The developer also becomes an associate member of the Downtown
Association, paying $10,000 per year to the association for the next
five years, similar to an arrangement they have in Cobourg and