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by Bill Mah

Edmonton – Developers of Edmonton’s newest retail mega-development hope shoppers will do something besides spend once they get there — walk.

They’re banking that the power centre trend that sees consumers drive across sprawling parking lots from one big-box store to the next is passe and shoppers will embrace a more pedestrian-friendly urban village or lifestyle-centre concept catching on in the United States.

Currents of Windermere will cover about 43 hectares in southwest Edmonton south of Anthony Henday Drive on Terwillegar Drive and offer more than one million square feet of retail, office, entertainment and residential space.

Developers stressed that the new development will differ radically from South Edmonton Common, a sprawling and bustling power centre whose vehicle-oriented design incites complaints from flustered shoppers.

“Let’s hope the developers learned a few things from South Edmonton Common,” said Robbie, one reader. “As a shopper trying to walk from store to store you put your life on the line dodging traffic, and as a driver you get so frustrated waiting to turn left or enter from an intersection.”

“We learned a lot,” said Cameron Naqvi, vice-president of leasing and development at Cameron Development Corp., which introduced South Edmonton Common.

“The thing about South Edmonton Common was it was started 12 years ago, and that was the trend at that point in time. The trend has changed and evolved to where it’s significantly more esthetically pleasing, and people want that.”

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