LAC LA BICHE - The developers behind a new business prospect in Lac La Biche is 'double-doubling' down on a belief that there's more room in the local restaurant market.
A Tim Horton's restaurant and drive-through establishment will be built in the hamlet of Lac La Biche by the end of the 2022 summer.
"I think that it will show that there is more business out there to be had," said project developer Lee Greenwood, a partner with Canadian Commercial, a development company behind other Tim Hortons projects across the country.
Construction of the Lac La Biche location — expected to be a 2,700 square foot building on the corner of Beaver Hill Road and 91 Ave — is slated to begin in early spring of next year.
"We have now achieved our development permit ... but we have missed the construction window for this year," said Greenwood who also runs the Tim Horton's location in neighbouring Bonnyville.
The Lac La Biche store will follow two recent builds by Canadian Commercial — one in Houston, British Columbia and the other in Marathon, Ontario.
The 2,700-foot local planning blueprint puts the Lac La Biche location "on the bigger side" of many recent Tim Horton builds, said Greenwood, explaining that the recent Marathon store comes in at around 2,300 square feet.
Location and new intersection
The size and location of the stores are based on market demand and traffic volumes. The location was selected for its proximity to the nearby bypass road that links highways 55, 36 and 881. The location is also near new residential areas, the Bold Center recreation complex, existing businesses and municipal property that has recently been re-zoned to allow for more development.
When negotiating the new location, both municipal and business partners worked together, states a news release issued by Lac La Biche County.
At a recent meeting, councillors approved a $1.6 million project to upgrade the intersection that will be located adjacent to the new building. The new intersection will include a new set of traffic lights, only the third set to ever be installed in the hamlet.
When asked about the effect the new franchise will have on other food and beverage operations within the community, Greenwood says the new addition can only "grow the size of the market".
"It means we've opened up the coffee market even more," he said.