Alana O’Connor, owner of Book N Bean on Fraser Highway, hopes the town centre “will breathe new life into Aldergrove and benefit the community for years.” (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

Plans to redevelop a huge chunk of the Aldergrove downtown core have the area’s stakeholders excited about the future.

This following the unveiled last week of a multi-phased, multi-use, and multi-million-dollar proposal for the old Aldergrove Mall site.

For instance, Aldergrove’s community police liaison – Cpl. Kurt Neuman of Langley RCMP – was overjoyed to see the Janda Group’s proposal for the new Aldergrove Town Centre.

“I like the idea that of a mixed residential and business model for the new plaza, as they provide guardianship to the property as a basic Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design approach,” Neuman said.

The officer plans to conduct foot patrols for theft prevention in the town’s downtown core among businesses to address crime occuring alongside the vacant area.

“Several auxiliary constables are volunteering their time to do this,” Neuman emphasized.

“If you see us, don’t hesitate to come over and say hello or discuss issues you may have seen in the community,” Neuman said.

THE FULL PROPOSAL: Town centre includes 28-storey tower and community parkade

Angela Pearce, owner of the adjacent Home Hardware on 272 Street, is also optimistic about what the plans could mean for Aldergrove.

“The mall has been an eyesore for many years, attracting the wrong kind of crowd on its abandoned grounds.”

Pearce queried: “Why should other communities benefit when we have the potential to keep customers here?”

Andrew Sigalet, a member of the Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society (BCES) and a resident of Aldergrove for the past 10 years, was also pleased to see the plans.

“The mall property has been the main focus of our clean up efforts throughout the years,” Sigalet said, “Its vacancy has resulted in a consistent amount of garbage being dumped in the creek.”

The 40-year-old is a part of the non-profit group that tends to the creek with a focus on the area directly north of the proposed Aldergrove Town Centre, with volunteer-based cleanups occurring between August and September each year.

“That area now – in the concept drawing – shows a trail as opposed to a road,” Sigalet added, “Such enhancement along the creek would take away from some of the negative things that happen there now.”

COVERAGE: Bertrand Environmental society responds to Aldergrove town centre proposal

Ben Faley, the owner of Alder Natural Foods on Fraser Highway says he’s seen it all before.

“I’ve been here for 50 years… if another mall opens again it might have the same result as the last.”

If anything, the town centre will cause “more traffic” and “more competition” for businesses in downtown Aldergrove, Faley said.

Alana O’Connor, owner of Book N Bean on Fraser Highway just off 271 Street hopes the town centre “will breathe new life into Aldergrove and benefit the community for years.”

O’Connor is also giddy about seeing potential growth on Fraser Highway as a result of the proposed development.

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