Thousands of Greater Victoria residents took to social media earlier this week to share their take on the rumour of a Walmart going into the vacant space left by Sears at Hillside shopping centre.
Bentall Kennedy executive Wayne Popowich quickly neutralized the rumour on Monday, saying Hillside still seeks either a big-ticket tenant to use the entire space or several smaller tenants to break up the former Sears space.
However, the chord was struck, and many voices from the community began sharing what they thought should go into the vacant 150,000 square-foot space.
For reference, the new Canadian Tire super centre in Hillside – an expanded replacement of the Zellers store – is also about 150,000 square-foot.
It’s more than big enough to host a bowling alley, something many suggested and something Victoria’s been without since Mayfair Lanes was closed in 2005.
Popowich also noted that before the Walmart rumour he had fielded calls from locals about an Ikea going in there, which was among the more popular suggestions on social media this week.
While many expressed excitement over a Walmart (some noted it would be closer to UVic, helpful for students), many more noted it makes little sense to have a Walmart at Hillside as it would have a lot of redundancies with the Canadian Tire and is also less than a 10 minute drive from the Uptown Walmart super store.
Others suggested Costco would be a slam-dunk.
And with all the space, some reiterated the need for a library in the Hillside neighbourhood.
What do you think should go in?