A brand-new Target store that may be built in Winnipeg's St. James area has some shoppers fearing more traffic jams in an already busy part of the city.
The city's Assiniboia Community Committee approved design plans on Tuesday night for the retail giant's store, which would be built on the site where Canad Inns Stadium currently stands.
Target proposes a 144,000-square-foot store built on "stilts" to provide parking on the ground level and a shopping level above it. The company's trademark bull's-eye would make the store visible from aircraft flying over the city.
If built, the store would be hard to miss — only the new Ikea store, slated to open Nov. 28, will be larger than that.
But some St. James shoppers told CBC News on Wednesday that they worry about bigger traffic headaches than the ones they currently experience in the area.
"To me it would be really a big headache," one woman said. "It's already a headache, but then you'd have migraines for sure."
Said one man, "I think it's going to get a lot more congested."
But for business owners like Shannon Legrange, who runs a Merle Norman store in the area, said she is looking forward to seeing more customers coming to St. James if the Target store opens.
"The more traffic, the more people out shopping, the better for us," she said.
Once the $30-million sale of the stadium site is complete, about $20 million will be spent on infrastructure upgrades, including traffic upgrades, said area city councillor Scott Fielding.
"You want to make sure that the traffic plan that we go for is something that can work for the next 50 years," he said.
But the opening of the Target store could still be years away: the store's consultant told CBC News that Target still needs to obtain demolition and building permits, plus it needs to conduct a traffic study.
Of course, any possible demolition of Canad Inns stadium would be on hold until the stadium's current tenants — the Winnipeg Blue Bombers — move into their new home at Investors Group Field, which is currently under construction.