Tim Hortons inches closer

Chris Clegg
South Peace News
Plans are still in the works to bring a Tim Hortons franchise to High Prairie.

High Prairie town council discussed the need for a traffic assessment study before the project proceeds at its April 11 meeting. The developers of the franchise are required by the Alberta government to do the study.

“The last one was more than 10 years old,” says public works Supt. Vern Walker.

The government was offered a copy of the old study, completed by Peavine Metis Settlement when they owned the property, but the government insisted a new study had to be completed according to their policy.

The study only entails a new traffic count at the intersection leading into the property and submitting a similar plan. Walker reported the estimated cost of the study is $45,000.

Councillor Michael Long asked about the possible need for traffic lights. Walker spoke to Alberta Transportation on the matter and responded they did not want to slow traffic in the area.

Martin Blair, managing director, First Aberdeen Developments, is optimistic Tim Hortons will build in High Prairie soon, thus reiterating a stance he cited last fall. First Aberdeen operates the East Gate retail development site in the town’s east end where Tim Hortons has land.

“There’s nothing I can say other than Tim Hortons owns the property. I have talked with [the developers] who are doing it. It sounds like it will happen.”

Blair cautioned there are several parties involved in the project and that complicates the process slightly. He added when Tim Hortons completes the process they will apply for the development permit from the town.

“I know we’re pretty anxious,” says Blair.

In an interview last fall, Blair said developers were trying to proceed in 2017.

“I know they’ve had their challenges.”

Tim Hortons would be another huge asset to the site. The new hospital has opened to the north and Peavey Mart opened their store Sept. 21, 2016.
Peavine’s Professional building is also currently under construction.

Blair is confident it’s only the beginning of East Gate’s development. He said last year that he is in “significant discussions” with Parkland Fuel Corporation, who operates Fas Gas, about locating on the site. They would also tentatively build and open in 2017.

Tim Hortons Media Relations Team does not comment on such matters at this stage.

“We do not report on restaurant openings,” they e-mailed Sept. 15, 2016.

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