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Community Comment: Imagining what a new Town Centre Mall might look like

There is no reason to believe that teamwork could replicate this success at the Town Centre Mall.
There was a good turnout on Sept. 28 for a public information open house for the redevelopment of Town Centre Mall. Jim Kinnear Photo

Two weeks ago, I attended Century Group’s public information session regarding the redevelopment of the Town Centre Mall.

The open house-style meeting was well-attended and informative. The crowd on hand generally represented the demographic of Tsawwassen and was mostly of an over 50 group.

The story boards were vibrant and the attendees were given the opportunity to select their favourite architectural styles, housing form and retail choices by placing stickers and stars on their preferred designs and retailers. I thought this was a clever way to garner public opinion on what the future of the Town Centre may look like.

It was interesting to hear the commentary from the participants as they made their selections. The event had the feel of a mini public charette reminiscent of the Southlands design charette all those many years ago.

The Southlands community is thriving now and is continuing to be built out. Although the process was difficult and was a divisive issue, the ultimate compromises and collaboration between the City of Delta and Century Group have proven to create a beautiful community built around farming and food.

This collaboration was ultimately rewarded with several major Georgie Awards earlier this year, a feat that Century Group and the City of Delta should both be proud of.

There is no reason to believe that teamwork could not replicate this success at the Town Centre Mall.

It appeared to me that many in the crowd were downsizing candidates and although there were fewer younger people, there were several looking at what first-time home purchases may look like.

I know there is broad interest amongst young people in the prospect of a revitalized town centre. In speaking with one interested potential young buyer recently, the height of any buildings on the site is of no consideration whatsoever. He and his peers are only interested in housing choice, period.

Ida Tarbell, the writer and journalist who chronicled the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil famously said that, “Imagination is the key to the future. Without it, none exist - with it, all things are possible.”