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Discovery Centre rolls into Capstone

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The City of Red Deer, Land & Economic Development team publicly launched a real estate presentation centre for the Capstone community redevelopment program. The presentation centre has been designed specifically to educate and engage Red Deerians and Central Albertans on the vision of the community and its importance to the vitality and sustainability of downtown Red Deer. The opening marks a new era in the transformation of the area into a master planned urban village in the heart of downtown Red Deer.

While traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ real estate centres are still common practice in community development, The City of Red Deer took a more innovative approach to sharing the vision of the Capstone redevelopment, by converting a decommissioned transit bus into a discovery centre.

Named the Capstone Discovery Bus, the mobile real estate centre allows The City a unique opportunity to travel throughout Red Deer and into smaller areas to broaden interest for and educate on the community vision. Civic celebrations, annual festivals and cultural performances will be regular stops when the bus is not at its main stop near Canada 150 Square inside Capstone.

“Having a community presentation centre that engages and educates the public is a vital part of real estate development as it supports storytelling, which ultimately affects a buying decision,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “It gives future residents and real estate prospects a sampling of how the community will look, feel, and behave. Importantly, it addresses how the community will meet the needs of its residents.”

Capstone is quite unique in its design and development intentions and represents a new type of community for Red Deer. The vision for Capstone is a mixed use, multi-family community in which 5,000 residents will one day live in some 2,000 condominiums, apartments, and townhomes. Its’ location on the Red Deer River, west of the downtown, means Capstone is both a prime riverside address and an accessible city home.

“The success of the Capstone redevelopment program underpins the future health and vitality of our downtown core,” City Manager, Tara Lodewyk. ‘Our city is expected to grow by approximately 20,000 new residents over the next 10-12 years and accommodating some of this population growth in Capstone is good news for our downtown businesses and services. We have planned for the highest and best use of the lands in Capstone to accommodate for our growth.”

City Manager Tara Lodewyk joins Mayor Johnston and Councillors Buruma, Dawe, and Lee at Capstone Discovery Bus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The interior spaces and displays of the remodeled city bus have been meticulously designed to portray the Capstone vision. Within its tiny 280 square foot footprint, the Capstone Discover Bus allows visitors to experience a typical day-in-the-community. An urban condo, a brew pub, a micro grocery store, and a mini park space all come together to describe the personality and built form of the neighbourhood. A 3-D model, depicting the community at full build-out, will be delivered digitally and will orient the visitor to the lands of Capstone, while highlighting the future density ambitions and design aesthetic.

Extensive research was done on the wants and needs of the future resident, and young working professionals and older adults have identified as most interested in calling Capstone home. With nearby retail services and amenities, including an expanded regional hospital, the future Capstone citizen is seeking a community which not only satisfies their social and recreational needs but also offers beautifully appointed and designed homes.

The Capstone Discovery Bus is free of charge to the public and is open 12 – 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and on holiday Mondays. No reservation is needed; the public is invited to find us in Capstone and throughout the downtown core this summer. Follow us at #liveincapstone.

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The return of Zellers: Hudson’s Bay to resurrect Canadian discount retail chain

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Canadian department store Zellers hopes to make a comeback next year, a decade after the discount chain shuttered most of its locations.

Hudson’s Bay Co. said Zellers will debut a new e-commerce website and expand its brick-and-mortar footprint within select Hudson’s Bay department stores across the country in early 2023.

The company said the relaunched Zellers will offer “a digital-first shopping journey that taps into the nostalgia of the brand.”

The return of Zellers comes as soaring inflation drives consumers to discount retailers in search of lower prices and fierce competition from existing stores like Walmart and Dollarama.

It also comes amid an ongoing lawsuit over a Quebec family’s use of the Zellers brand.

The Moniz family is behind various recent trademark applications and corporate registries, including Zellers Inc., Zellers Convenience Store Inc. and Zellers Restaurant Inc.

In a statement of claim filed last fall, HBC accused the Moniz family of trademark infringement, depreciation of goodwill and so-called passing off — the deceptive marketing or misrepresentation of goods.

The Zellers department store was founded in 1931 and acquired by HBC in 1978.

It operated as the discount division of its flagship Hudson’s Bay department stores, with the slogan “Where the lowest price is the law.”

The store hit its peak of about 350 locations in the late 1990s before losing ground to big box competitors such as Walmart.

In 2011, HBC announced plans to sell the majority of its remaining Zellers leases to Target Corp., closing most stores by 2013.

The retailer kept a handful of Zellers locations open as liquidation outlets until 2020.

The company recently launched pop-up Zellers shops inside Hudson’s Bay department stores in Burlington, Ont., and in Anjou, Que.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2022.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press

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Inflation “slows” to 7.6 per cent in July, Statistics Canada says

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Ottawa – Canada’s year-over-year inflation rate slowed to 7.6 per cent in July, with the deceleration largely driven by a decline in gas prices.

The inflation rate hit a nearly 40-year-high of 8.1 per cent in June, but economists were widely expecting inflation to have since slowed.

In its latest consumer price index report, Statistics Canada said the rise in prices in July was the smallest monthly gains since December 2021.

It also marks the first decline in year-over-year inflation since June 2020.

The federal agency said gas prices rose 35.6 per cent year-over-year in July, compared with 54.6 per cent in June.

“Ongoing concerns related to a slowing global economy, as well as increased COVID-19 pandemic public health restrictions in China and slowing demand for gasoline in the United States led to lower worldwide demand for crude oil, putting downward pressure on prices at the pump,” the report said.

But while gas prices declined, food prices at grocery stores rose at the fastest pace since August 1981, with prices up by 9.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis compared with 9.4 per cent the previous month.

Bakery goods are up 13.6 per cent since last year amid higher input costs as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to put upward pressure on wheat prices. The prices of other food products also rose faster, including eggs, which are up 15.8 per cent, and fresh fruit, up 11.7 per cent since last year.

As mortgage costs increase with higher interest rates, the report notes rent prices are accelerating, rising faster in July than the previous month.

With more Canadians travelling during the busy summer season, airfares rose by around 25 per cent in July compared with the previous month. Traveller accommodation prices rose by nearly 50 per cent since a year ago, with the largest price increases in Ontario.

As countries around the world struggle with skyrocketing prices, there are some signs inflation is beginning to ease, with the U.S. seeing its inflation rate decline in July as well.

Still, inflation is well above the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target.

The central bank is watching the latest reading of inflation as it gears up to make its next key interest rate on Sept. 7, when it’s expected to raise borrowing rates again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.

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