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Council Approves Anchor Businesses

June 15, 2016

Construction will soon be underway to develop a seven-pump Shell gas bar and Tim Hortons restaurant and drive-thru in Niverville.

The applications for these anchor businesses on the highway frontage of the integrated Old Drovers Run Golf Course and The Highlands housing development were unanimously approved at a special meeting called by Niverville Town Council Wednesday, June 15.

“We are ready to build, we are just waiting for your approval,” said applicant Miguel Forest who also owns and will continue to own the Shell gas bar in St-Pierre-Jolys.

The seven-pump gas bar includes one pump that is a high volume diesel pump and a 232-square metre (2,500 sq. ft.) convenience store. Forest expects the gas bar to provide employment for about 18 people.

The 139-square metre (1,500 sq. ft.) building for the Tim Hortons restaurant will be owned by Forest and his wife Sylvie but the business will be owned and operated by an owner of a Tim Hortons franchise.

Forest has 11 years’ experience in the service industry. He developed a passion for customer service at the age of 14 when he held a part-time job pumping gas at the Shell station in St-Pierre-Jolys.
In August 2010, he and Sylvie bought the St-Pierre-Jolys business and plan to bring their emphasis on customer service to their new business in Niverville.

“I sign my letters by saying, Service, Service, Service,” says Forest. “Service is everything. People want to be treated with respect when spending their money in your store. We expect to bring that same level of service to Niverville.”

During the course of the special meeting, several other significant developments taking place at the golf course and residential development were noted by Len Peters, vice president of Sunset Estates Ltd.

Advertising has begun of a proposed strip mall on Lot 2 on Drover’s Run, located immediately east of Shell and Tim Horton businesses with expectation for opportunities for additional business development.

Further, due to changing trends and market conditions, the original plans envisioned for the golf course will need to be reconsidered, says Peters.

“To ensure the long term sustainability of the golf course our intention is to complete a nine-hole course which will be the extent of golf course construction for the foreseeable future,” says Peters. “Our goal is to have a good quality sustainable golf course that our residents can be proud of.”

Seven holes are currently playable with the greens and fairways in very good condition. By the end of the summer the nine-hole course will be completed. The balance of the lands will be kept in the current natural state and can continue to be used by residents during the winter months for cross-country skiing. Any changes in land use would involve public consultation in keeping with the Planning Act.

Peters says he values the friendships and relationships that he has developed with people in Niverville. A sustainable nine-hole course, he says, will ensure that all homeowners who purchased their homes with a golf course view will continue to enjoy this view.

Infrastructure improvements undertaken by Sunset Estates since they purchased the golf course and housing development in 2012 include the completion of the Drover’s Run service road, walking paths and the water main upgrades required to service the businesses and homes with potable reverse osmosis Town water from the Spruce Drive Water Treatment Plant.

Peters says he anticipates that homeowners in The Highlands and other neighbourhoods in Niverville will appreciate the additional services that will soon be provided by Shell and Tim Hortons. “I think it will be positive for the Town and positive for The Highlands,” says Peters.

Deputy mayor John Funk says attracting more well-known businesses indicates growing and continued confidence in Niverville as a viable place to set up and conduct business.

“We are thankful for the employment opportunities and economic spinoffs that these new businesses will bring to our community,” says mayor Myron Dyck. “We wish everyone involved in these new ventures much success.”

(Gladys Terichow is a freelance writer)