Mayor wants a retail development corporation
Goal would be to match businesses with appropriate neighbourhood
Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis wants to create a retail development corporation, with the goal to find the right business fit for each neighbourhood.
Jones and Co. for example, is a clothing store that has been in Walkerville for eight years. It's surrounded by various other types of retail. And residents in the neighbourhood still want more.
"Everybody in the neighbourhood, including the neighbours, are really craving a bit of a market; a little bit of fresh food," Jones and Co. owner Louise Jones said. "Right now, Shop ECO is doing a bit of organic on Saturdays, but some place where you can pick up fresh milk, or bread [is needed]."
Community business needs vary by neighbourhood. The city intends to widely investigate what's needed and where. It could attract more retail in one area but more entertainment in another.
In Ford City, Kelly Ippolito hopes to get back to basics.
A handful of businesses have relocated to the neighbourhood and others are just starting out. But there's still something missing, according to Ippolito.
"When I moved here 26 years ago, we had a bank in the building behind me, we had a hardware store," Ippolito said. "I think a Buck or Two store would be a great asset in the community. We have mixed income in the neighbourhood, and it's very closed in neighbourhood."
Ippolito said many people in the area get around by foot.
Foot traffic - or lack there of - has caused businesses to come and go on Pelissier Street.
Dani Bobb owns a salon. He said there have been missed opportunities for businesses on Pelissier Street.
"When they decided not to bring the market onto Pelissier Street, I decided to relocate, which I did this past weekend. It's not that I am closing my business, I am relocating because the traffic is not here," Bobb said.
Francis said that area of the city will soon be specifically targeted
"I propose this only after we have all the elements to bring foot traffic to the retail corridor; the college with 1,000 students; the soon-to- be-university with 1,000 students and the family aquatic centre," Francis said.