Nfld. & Labrador

Changes coming to some St. John's eyesores

Changes are coming to some of the abandoned, shells left behind when grocery stores closed in St. John's.

What's old is new again as abandoned grocery stores in St. John's get a reboot

This building off Ropewalk Lane in St. John's once housed a Dominion grocery store. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Changes are coming to some of the abandoned, shells left behind when grocery stores closed in St. John's.

The empty building at the corner of Newfoundland Drive and Torbay Road is one of the locations that's about to get a new life.

It used to be a Dominion but now a different grocery chain is getting ready to move in.

This old Dominion store is expected to reopen as a Colemans grocery store. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

The new occupant isn't ready to talk about its plans yet, but numerous sources have told CBC News that Colemans is preparing to open a new grocery store on the site.

There are also signs of renewal at the Churchill Square Building that housed a SaveEasy grocery store until 2012.
Ward 4 Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary says she gets complaints about the closure constantly.

"Look, people are very dissatisfied with what's going on with this building space right now," she said.

But as long as the building's owner pays property taxes, there is very little the city can do. O'Leary said the former SaveEasy building recently passed a city inspection.

She also pushed to have the building cleaned up, and had some success. O'Leary said she convinced the company to post archival photos of St. John's in the building's windows.

St. John's Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary says she's been hearing from many residents who are unhappy about the empty grocery store in Churchill Square. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

But O'Leary said what local seniors, families and Memorial University students really need is a clean, new grocery store.

"People are really missing having a food outlet in the area," said O'Leary

Loblaw Companies Limited has committed to an environmental assessment. O'Leary said once it's completed this fall, she'll be encouraging the company to do more.

Loblaws has worked with the city to improve the look of the building it left vacant in Churchill Square. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

A third building that housed a grocery store near Ropewalk Lane has also been empty for years. It also used to a house a Dominion store. Now there are plans to convert the space into a strip-mall that will house, among other businesses, a Dollarama.


Mark Quinn

CBC News

Mark Quinn is a videojournalist with CBC's bureau in St. John's.