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Up next at London Road plaza — a new home for Goodwill

Published on

Cathy Dobson

Weeks after the first phase of commercial redevelopment ended at a central Sarnia property, a second phase is quickly taking shape.

A ground breaking is expected by late June on a 17,000-square-foot building at 1249 London Rd. previously known as the Zeller’s Plaza.

“We are ahead of where we thought we’d be,” says Rob Dawson, majority owner of property management and development company Lucror Property Investments.

With the recent opening of the $5-million Tepperman’s furniture store, Lucror is pushing ahead with the next phase.

Goodwill Industries’ career centre will be the first tenant to take occupancy in phase two, a 17,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the existing parking lot between Tepperman’s and Giant Tiger.

Until moving day in January, the career centre will continue to operate in the east side of the existing plaza, sais Goodwill CEO Kevin Smith.

Goodwill recently closed an adjacent clearance centre that will not be replaced, he added.

“Our Wellington Street and Michigan Avenue stores continue to do well but the clearance centre is closed for good. We don’t have plans to expand our retail because of the increase in minimum wage,” Smith said.

However, Goodwill is looking for a location for a new donations drop-off site.

Meanwhile, Smith said the Goodwill career centre will occupy about one-third of Lucror’s new building.

“We look forward to a brand new facility,” he said. “We very much want to stay at this site because it’s such a central hub for the community.”

The career centre and connections program is considered a one-stop-shop for employers and employees to find one another.

“It’s for everyone,” said Smith.  “We offer career counselling, workshops to hone interview skills and improve resumes, and activity rooms for individuals with significant barriers to employment.”

Dawson said that once the Goodwill career centre relocates to the new building the current location will be demolished to make room for more parking.

He continues to look for additional tenants for the second phase building, he said, noting the design has changed several times to accommodate the needs of current tenants in the plaza.

Originally, phase two was going to incorporate construction of two smaller buildings, but that’s been altered to one large one.

The demolition of a portion of the east side will create more parking and open up an access route to Afton Drive for the first time, Dawson said.

Since acquiring the property, owner Elison Developments has worked with Lucror to build a new Giant Tiger, the Twisted Arm restaurant, Coffee Lodge and the new Tepperman’s.

Note that the Chamber of Commerce Business After Five networking event takes place at the Riding Club on Wednesday, May 16 from 5 p.m. – 8p.m. It’s hosted by Goodwill Industries – Essex Kent Lambton in celebration of Goodwill’s 85th anniversary in Sarnia and is open to the public this month.

Got a great business story? Contact [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.




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