Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood not so welcoming of corporate liquor store

Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens said there's community concern that a private liquor store is being proposed in the Cathedral neighbourhood. Kael Donnelly / Global News

A vacant lot in the Cathedral neighbourhood is being developed for the first time in 30 years. For residents living in the area, they’re happy to finally see the land get used, but not necessarily for a private liquor store.

“The big issues are whether or not we want this kind of liquor store right on 13th Avenue,” Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens said.

The proposed Sobey’s Liquor Store will be built on the mostly vacant lot at the corner of 13th Avenue and Retallack Street. However, a nearby property at 2824 13th Ave. would be demolished to make way for the build.

READ MORE: City of Regina looking for input on proposed Cathedral liquor store

On Wednesday, a public consolation was held for residents to voice their concerns. Their feedback will be presented to the City of Regina’s planning commission before final approval by city council.

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“One thing I am concerned about is undermining the public liquor stores,” said Jan, a local resident who did not provide her last name. “I’m not opposed to selling wine and beer — what have you — but this corporate model I’m not sure about.”

Andrews, who represents the Cathedral neighbourhood, said he’s heard the same concern from the community.

“Personally to be able to grab a couple of beers or a bottle of wine on my way home is great — but it’s not for everybody,” Andrews said.

“I want to see something that services the community so frankly if this fails, it may be an opportunity to sit down with people and think about that space.”

READ MORE: New retail liquor store allocations in Saskatchewan to be population-based

Resident David Hubick said he’s feeling mixed on the proposed development.

“I don’t know if we really should be using the planning process to comment on social issues,” Hubick said.

“I know there’s a lot of people upset about it but we allow the sale of liquor in Regina and it has to happen somewhere.”

For Hubick, the issue lies more within keeping up with the neighbourhood’s design.

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“I think the aesthetic of the site is a little bit lacking,” Hubick said. “When you get a chance to build, it’d be nice to see more mixed-use,” Hubick said.

Stevens agreed and said, “Ideally, [for this neighbourhood] you’d have street-level commercial and residences above.”

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