EDITORIAL: Changes – a tale of two malls

The end of the line for the Cloverdale Mall

After years of promises and delays, it’s happening. A demolition crew started chomping into what most agree is Cloverdale’s biggest eyesore Feb. 8, setting off a wave of reactions among readers: curiosity, nostalgia, and unbridled relief – the Cloverdale Mall is finally coming down.We’ve been posting photographs of the demolition on the Cloverdale Reporter’s Facebook Page, where we’ve created digital photo albums showing how the mall looked when tenants cleared out in October – and another documenting the unfolding tear-down.The Facebook comments have been so fun to read, we couldn’t resist sharing them in print, too.“Wooo hooo yhaaaaa!” wrote Keith Aldrige. “It’ll be nice to see it all gone and cleaned up.”“End of an era,” commented Russel Lolacher. “My mom used to work there.”Local realtor Jo-Anne Maynes’ parents worked there, too – her mom and dad owned Ed’s Furniture and Appliances. Her dad has since passed away, but she can still picture him wandering around the mall and pulling up on his motorcycle to open the store.When Maynes’ kids were little, she took them to visit Santa. “Sad to see it go for those reasons but oh sooo excited to see the new development,” wrote Maynes, who works at Re/Max Cloverdale/Langley along with her husband Bob.In addition to Santa visits, Lisa Bender-Foslett holds fond memories  of Easter egg hunts and frosty malts. “The mixer shack had the best cotton candy gum balls,” she added, promising to bring in her own pictures of the mall under construction in 1973.“I didn’t spend a lot of time there,” wrote Not Quite South Surrey, a popular local blogger. “But I remember that was one of the last ‘Real’ Safeways, before they all became HUGE stores. I remember ‘hanging out’ (aka loitering) as a teen… [it] will be interesting to see the changes and hopefully revitalization of the huge potential in Cloverdale.”Tapping into that potential is the main reason the mall is being torn down – to make way for a new, commercial and residential development. Construction on phase one of Cloverdale West Village is expected to get underway later this year.The first phase includes a new home for the Cloverdale Legion plus about 100 residential units proponents say will help build density in the downtown core.By coincidence, it’s also the end of the line for the Cloverdale Antique Mall, one of the last remnants of Cloverdale’s famed antique alley.It easily be argued that it’s been a victim of its own success. In contributing to the overall economic health of Cloverdale’s commercial sector, it got priced out, according to the man who started the mall in 1999, Bill Reid. The landlord wanted to hike the lease – a devastating development for the current owners, the 40-odd antique and collectible dealers under the mall’s roof, and the hundreds of local consignment sellers. Ironically, business has never been better – thanks to the liquidation sale. Reid says a third of the customers are locals who never knew the mall existed.“This is incredible,” they tell him. “How come you’re moving?”When it opened, Cloverdale was home to at least 10 antiques and collectible stores, most along 176 Street, including the incredible Red Barn Store, which is also getting out of the antique business, sooner rather than later. That will leave just two shops here.It’s impossible to deny it. Things are changing in every direction you look. Most are entirely positive: the new recreation centre is nearly complete. And kitty-corner from the old mall is the site of a new shopping plaza. Add to that the promise of a new car barn here for the Fraser Valley Railway Society – and  local launch for the heritage rail demonstration project – and it’s clear Cloverdale is changing for the better. – Find our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cloverdale-Reporter/208009899720 or via our homepage at www.cloverdalereporter.com.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Couple keeps South Surrey neighbourhood clean

Bob Cockerill, 83, and his wife Ev, 80, pick up garbage on their morning walks

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read