By Angelica Ingram
July 25 2016
The owner of Haliburton's HomeHardware Jerry Walker has his sights set on a new store for hisbusiness.
Walker gave councillors a look at hisplans for a 20000 square foot location on County Road 21 east ofIndustrial Park Road.
“We've purchased an option on aproperty down by the Country Rose” he said.
The initial proposal for a new HomeHardware in Haliburton includes constructing a building that has a“cottage country” feel to it modelled after a similar store inFernie B.C. said Walker.
“The idea is to have a building thatdoesn't look like a box store” he said.
The store will include a garden centreand be approximately 50 to 60 per cent larger than the current HomeHardware located on Highland Street.
The new store will not have a buildingcentre component said Walker.
According to municipal director ofplanning and development Patricia Martin's report to council Walkeris consolidating four separate parcels of land with plans toconstruct the Home Hardware on the merged parcel.
He is looking at possible futurecommercial development at this parcel of land as well according toMartin's report.
Walker's business partner JamieChisholm who is president of New Urban Retail said the idea is tothink long-term with future development.
In addition to building a new storeWalker would like to build a dock across the road on County Road 21accessing Grass Lake.
The dock would provide boat access forstores at the south end of town.
“It's not only for the hardware storebut for that end of town” said Walker.
Walker said he has also be in talkswith Dysart fire chief Mike Iles and former fire chief Miles Maughanabout an opportunity to put a dry hydrant by the proposed dock forfire protection.
“That would be good” said ReeveMurray Fearrey.
Walker said what he would like tohappen is he would like to build the dock at his own cost and thenturn ownership of it over to the municipality.
Walker said one of the main objectivesof the meeting with council was to see if they were on board with thedock and dry hydrant.
The proposed dock would need to meetvarious approvals including from the MNRF.
Walker said the dock was not going tohold up the plans for the Home Hardware and if it didn't work hewould drop it.
Councillors agreed further discussionon this item was needed.
Councillor Susan Norcross said she hadconcerns about liability issues with people crossing the street fromthe dock which councillor Derek Knowles echoed.
Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts said sheappreciated the care taken into the look of the building and asked ifthey would be considerate of lighting.
Chisholm said the building would bedark sky compliant.
Fearrey asked what the proposedtimeline for the completion of the store would be to which Walkersaid likely spring of 2018.
Next steps include moving forward withthe site plan application and doing the required planning studies.
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the size of the proposed store as being 40000 square feet.