Development along Highway 401 continues to grow in Lancaster. Ground has been broken on a new strip mall that will be anchored by a locally-owned jewellery outlet.
Construction began on the South Lancaster Mall last month, and owners of the facility hope to be into their new digs before the end of the year.
Archie Allison, co-owner of the family-owned Jewellery Outlet Store in Lancaster, said he wants to capitalize on the business traffic that seems to be spurring development in South Glengarry near the interchage with the 401.
The Allisons have been living in South Lancaster for 10 years, and have rented space at the Rob McIntosh facility for their store for five years. In that time they have been looking for property to develop into a mall and waiting for the right time to kickstart their project.
Things came to a head when development north of the 401 was completed and a new truck stop/restaurant opened up - and more residential construction was started adjacent to their property south of the highway.
"We love our clients and have decided that (this) is our home and the only place we want to be," said Allison.
The family has actually purchased two properties that will eventually become the South Lancaster Mall. The first L-shaped phase, anchored by the jewellery store, will also include accomodations for as many as three other tennants - depending on their size requirements.
The second L-shaped phase will include as many as four more tenants, depending on their space requirements as well.
"We really felt now the time was right to purchase this land," said Allison, while work crews toiled away at the project site. "This has really turned into a very good area for us."
He said travellers from Montreal's West Island often make the trip to Lancaster for shopping and more-affordable gasoline. And other travellers from the western part of Ontario often stop in Lancaster too.
"If you're coming from Toronto you're basically out of gas by the time you get here," he said. "It's one of the best places to develop business."
The Allisons are currently accepting requests from parties interested in securing a spot in the new mall.