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Delta throwback: Lots of buzz about shopping malls

The total area covered by the first phase of the North Delta shopping centre development would be 300,000-square-feet
scottsdale shopping proposal 1968
An image of the proposed Scottsdale shopping complex in 1968.

I would be a big, new amenity coming for North Delta but South Delta wasn’t about to get something similar.

In 1968, a $22 million town centre called Scottsdale was proposed by Reid Properties Ltd. of Vancouver.

Located at the southwest corner of Scott Road and Newton Rod (now 72 Avenue), the first phase of the development would cost $4 million and was to include a shopping complex with smaller retailers, one department store, two supermarkets and a theatre.

There would also be a library and a commercial development at the site but separate from the shopping centre.

If the rezoning application was approved by Delta council, the first phase would be completed by 1970.

The second phase would include garden apartments and townhouses.

Appearing before council in November of 1968, company president John Reid said the shopping centre would be comparable to Richmond Square and would be beneficial to both North Delta and Surrey residents.

Meanwhile, during that same time, a proposal was floated to build a new shopping centre at Ladner Trunk Road and Highway 17.

Despite a petition circulated by area residents indicating overwhelming favourable interest in the proposed complex, municipal council amended and reintroduced a civic centre community bylaw which would prohibit commercial development on land surrounding the new municipal hall.

The area included the proposed shopping centre site.

“If all the people in the area want the shopping centre, the wisdom of council should be to go with it,” said Jay Russell, a director of Greenacres Development Co., which was planning to apply for the rezoning.

Responding to Ladner businessmen opposed to the shopping centre, Russell claimed they were trying to force people to shop locally but the majority of shoppers were going to Richmond or Surrey.

The Ladner proposal never got off the ground and subsequent proposals in the following years also went nowhere.