Al Soco and his fiancée, Sofia Solano, wandered across Helmcken Road from their apartment on Conard Street on Tuesday afternoon.
Amongst the construction fencing rimming the Eagle Creek Village project in View Royal, they had spotted a banner and a sign announcing that Tim Horton’s was “now open.”
“We’re very excited about everything, not only (Tim Horton’s and) the Subway, but mostly the Quality Foods,” Soco said. “For us to go (grocery) shopping we usually have to go to either Costco or Walmart, so to have that just across the street is amazing.”
There may not have been dramatic fanfare as the legendary Canadian coffee house and restaurant swung open its doors for the first time at the new shopping and residential plaza. But its opening, the first of any operator in the Village, marked a major milestone for the project’s developers, Omicron.
They’re banking on local couples like Soco and Solano, not to mention thousands of people from a much wider area, popping in to stock up, grab lunch, buy their insurance, work out, relax with a coffee or maybe get a haircut.
“We’ve got a fair bit of heavy lifting to do yet to complete the project,” said Peter Laughlin, Omicron’s director for Vancouver Island.
“We won’t be complete for a few months yet, but all the pieces are in place to … make it extremely successful.”
Other merchants set to open up this week were Subway, a few doors down from Tim Horton’s, and Coast Capital Insurance, on the ground floor of the office tower a few more steps away. The insurance seller’s parent company, Western Financial Group, is due to move head office employees into its new space upstairs come Feb. 15.
Anchor tenant Quality Foods is planning its official ribbon-cutting and grand opening for Feb. 25, the same day as Cobs Bread opens.
The YM-YWCA’s new gym is scheduled to open on April 1, while retailers such as Starbucks, Great Clips, Cascadia Liquor Store and Dollar Tree, are all expected to be ready to go in the next two to three months, Laughlin said.
The four-storey, 60-unit apartment complex, featuring one- and two-bedroom units, is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy within the same time frame, he said.
“It’s a positive domino effect,” he noted of how the various tenants are moving in – as will residents – after more than two years of site preparation and construction. “It’s been a lot of hard work from our technicians to the constructors. The last couple of weeks have been pretty intense for everybody.”
Laughlin gave particular thanks to View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst and Town building inspector Gary Faykes for working with crews to help ensure the final stages of construction go smoothly.
The development permit for Phase 2 of Eagle Creek Village, the 100-unit condominium project at the top of the hill on the western end of the site, will be applied for this month by Omicron.
Soco, who moved in about a year ago, and Solano have been wondering what might be going into the complex for some time.
With the Helmcken Road entranceway accessible to the public, and the “now open” signs starting to sprout up, they’ll soon be among many people whose curiosity will bring them inside to have a closer look. For more information visit eaglecreekvlg.com.