Tri-City Mall includes a single-storey enclosed shopping mall that is anchored by Zellers and IGA. The mall also features a freestanding Pizza Hut, a freestanding Alberta Treasury Branch, and a multi-tenant Retail Plaza (occupied by Warehouse One and Alberta Infrastructure).
The Tri-City Mall is located along highway #28, between North and South Cold Lake (formerly Grande Centre). The mall is strategically located to service the entire residential populace of the community. That said, the trade area for Cold lake includes the nearby Towns of Bonnyville and as far west as Lac La Biche and well into northwest Saskatchewan. This is typical of a community near the provincial border because of no provincial sales tax and overall cheaper prices.
The surrounding lands are developed with a Canadian Tire and Tim Horton’s outlet; these sites remain contiguous with the mall and add to the retail draw to this location. Lands to the rear have been, and are being, developed with residential both in the form of single-family dwellings and multi-family housing. Ultimately, the adjacent land to the south will be developed with complimentary retail uses, and assumably, will also have mutual access to the mall site. Further, the overall draw to this area will be enhanced by the development of the Energy Centre to the north.
The mall is newer and exhibits a modern design and appeal. No deferred maintenance is evident and the land and buildings have been subject to a regular and professional program of repair and maintenance. Functionally the mall and its orientation on the site is efficient and the location is conducive to retail use. Economically the mall fulfils a niche in the community and regional trade area.
Assuming a program of regular maintenance and prudent management, the Tri City Shopping Centre should demonstrate an extended economic life. Therefore, the existing development is a reasonable representation of the Highest and Best Use of the site.
The building comprises an entire leasable area of 142,257 sf.
The Tri-City Mall is located in the town of Cold Lake, approximately 287 kilometres northeast of the City of Edmonton and 170 kilometres north of Lloydminster. According to the Official Population List, produced by Alberta Municipal Affairs, the population of the community was at 11,595 persons in 2004, but is estimated to be over 12,000 today.
The local economy is primarily driven by the oil industry. Imperial Oil Limited’s Cold Lake production project is Canada’s largest in-situ oil-sands operation producing approximately 5 per cent of all crude oil produced in Canada. Other companies involved in the Cold Lake oil sands deposit are EnCana, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Husky Oil, Ranger Oil, Blackrock Ventures, Mobil Oil Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy, Renaissance Energy Ltd., Murphy Oil Company, and Numac Energy Inc. Oil company investments in the Cold Lake deposit continue to be in the billions of dollars.
Cold Lake is home to Canada’s largest Air Force base. The Air Force base was established in 1952 and was chosen as an air weapons training facility. In 1952, the Federal Government and the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan agreed to the use of an 11,700 square kilometer track of land as an air weapons range. Over the years, the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range has evolved and is now considered to be one of the finest facilities of its kind in the world. The unique facilities that are available have been a key factor in obtaining NATO contracts for pilot training. Many allied countries presently have personnel being trained at Cold Lake.
The retail trade also comprises a significant component of the Cold Lake economy. The vast majority of commercial development was at one point located in Cold Lake South; for example, located at the north edge of Cold Lake South is the Tri-City Mall, which opened in 1997. More recently, $2,000,000 was spent to try and rejuvenate the downtown core, and a Wal-Mart store opened in 2001, making Cold Lake one of the primary commercial centres in northeast Alberta. The service area of Cold Lake extends into northwest Saskatchewan and as far west as Lac La Biche.
A primary economic indicator is the level of construction activity in the region.
Cold Lake’s economy has been moderate over the previous five years; except for the residential sector, which has witnessed a substantial increase in building activity since 2001. The housing starts have been strong over the preceding five years, and have increased over the past two. Principally, by virtue of expansion in the resource industry, the demand for housing has increased and this trend is forecast to continue. In addition to single-family dwellings, multi-family condominium development has evolved. With increased demand, the price
of existing houses have appreciated considerably, particularly over the past 12 months. With the energy sector in the province expanding, similar growth for Cold Lake is forecast.
The economic indicators suggest that Cold Lake has seen growth in the last several years. Population growth has been evident in the community, albeit new construction is evident in all sectors (except for industrial). Growth has accelerated over the past year and a similar rate of growth is forecast over the short term.
The most significant development is the Energy Centre, which is to be developed on The Imperial Park land directly north of the Tri-City Mall. Although noted as a $15 Million undertaking, the latest figures are closer to $18 Million, which will involve a multi-recreational facility with an indoor hockey rink and soccer field. The project will also include a new College (Portage) and High School that will take the total project costs to over $30 Million.
The area is well served by numerous services and amenities. The primary economic force consists of the oil industry, the military base, and the retail sector. Notable growth and greater stability is expected to occur as a result of the military base performing international training. The energy sector of the economy has good long-term potential in terms of heavy oil production; however, it has been susceptible to fluctuating oil prices. With a commitment to sustained exploration of the resource sector, a solid/sustained level of growth is forecast for the area.