The former Sears building on London Road in Sarnia. March 15, 2019. (Photo by Colin Gowdy, BlackburnNews)

New Lambton Mall anchor store planned

Plans are in the works for renovation of the old Sears building at Lambton Mall for a new anchor store.

The city of Sarnia’s list of major building permits for February includes an application that’s under review for 1380 London Road.

Valued at $1,907,768, the permit is for improvements and renovations for a new Marshalls/HomeSense store and two other unoccupied commercial retail units.

The store reportedly is to open in April 2020, but in an email message, Mississauga-based TJX Canada said it still has not announced a new store for Sarnia.

Lambton Mall officials were not immediately available for comment, but Mayor Mike Bradley said it’s very positive news.

“Well there’s no question, it is positive and particularly when you’re having retail investment because anyone that’s following retail across North America and around the world, it’s a struggle, things are changing, chains are going out of business, stores are closing,” said Bradley. “So it’s very encouraging to see this kind of investment coming in.”

The Sears store closed January 8, 2018.

An Ontario judge granted Sears Canada permission to liquidate its remaining 130 stores, including Sarnia’s, in October 2017.

Another positive commercial development has Planet Fitness planning to open in the former Price Chopper grocery store at 1330 Exmouth Street this June.

The company expects there’ll be 20 to 30 employees at the gym, which will operate 24/7.

Imperial City Brew House has plans to occupy the former XS Cargo space next door.

-With files from Josh Boyce