Friday, August 24, 2012

Broadmead Remodel

The owners of the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre will be spending $6.5 million on updating the look of the mall and adding. I can not believe the place is 22 years old already, it still feels like that new place to me because there was nothing there when I left Victoria in January 1990.

The remodel looks generically acceptable and blandly boring.   There will be an addition of about 2,000 square feet of new retail space, but that is barely a 1.5% increase into total space.

This is, and will remain, an open air strip mall though a nice one.  Nothing in what I see in this redevelopment is going to make substantive changes that will fix the existing problems of the site.

The space is broken up in odd ways.   The Royal Bank and Romeo's are both completely disconnected from all the rest of the plaza and the small set of shops near the Starbucks are also disconnected.   The Canadian Tire is too dominant where it is located and breaks up the flow of the whole space.  It is about the same size as the Thrifty's but does not fit with the rest of the development.

The parking at the centre of the whole thing makes the Thrifty's feel like a long way away from the breezeway and harms the sense of walkability.   If you cross over Highway #17 you can see how they dealt with this at the Royal Oak Shopping Centre.   They managed to integrate the parking with the buildings in a much better way than has been done at Broadmead.

What could be done to improve it?   Take down the Romeo's and open that for parking and then create strip of shops connecting the breezeway through to the Thrifty's.

I also think if the Royal Bank was moved to be connected to the across from the Starbucks and have an extension of the breezeway between them would be an improvement of the site.
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