• John Jantak

Pincourt proposes indoor playground at Le Faubourg de L’Île

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Th e Town of Pincourt is considering opening an indoor recreational facility for children at Le Faubourg de L’Île as a way to draw more people into the mall and to attract business owners to consider opening new outlets.

The Town of Pincourt is looking into the possibility of opening an indoor recreational facility for youngsters aged between two and 12 years old at Le Faubourg de L’Île shopping plaza on Cardinal Léger Boulevard during the upcoming winter months. Mayor Yvan Cardinal announced the proposal during the Tuesday evening council meeting July 14, saying the project would serve a dual purpose by giving area children an indoor venue to participate in activities and as a way to draw more people to the centre which in turn would hopefully attract more prospective businesses to consider setting up shop in the mall.

“Our residents use our parks in the summer and we want a place where people can also go in the winter,” Cardinal told Your Local Journal. “It could also be used as a place where kids and parents can go to cool off next summer if we decide to extend the project.”

The indoor recreational facility is similar in concept to the privately owned and operated family recreational centres in some malls that feature playgrounds and other children-oriented activities, said Town Manager Michel Perrier, who added the proposal is also intended to try to attract more tenants to the mall.

“Council has been looking at different strategies to try to revitalize Le Faubourg,” said Perrier. “When you look at the demographics of our municipality, it’s comprised mostly of families with young children. Some schools are being closed in other areas because of low enrollment, but in Pincourt we’re either renovating or expanding our schools so an indoor playground is a good idea.” If the project gets the go ahead, Perrier said the anticipated steady stream of residents who would use the new recreational facility should help to entice business owners to consider opening up new retail outlets at the mall.

“Many retailers are having difficulties these days,” said Perrier. “Everywhere you go, you’ll see spaces up for rent. Shopping malls like Le Faubourg are having a bit more difficulty because they don’t have the variety of stores that you’ll find like in places like the power centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion. They have to renew their approach and type of stores they want to attract so they can cater more to what the clientele wants.”

Perrier said because the town is currently in discussions with the owner and operator of the mall, he couldn’t reveal specific details except to say that the town would not be paying rent for the proposed children’s recreational centre. “At this point, the only thing I can say is that the centre has to provide the space to the town and we have no intention of paying for it,” Perrier told Your Local Journal.

“We’ll provide the service and equipment for the population, maintain it and have the staff in place to make it secure, but we’re definitely not going to pay rent. There are other conditions attached but I can’t discuss them.” With about 20 vacant storefronts, the town would like to see a rejuvenation of Le Faubourg de L’Île which has been struggling in recent years. Perrier said the town has lost about $1 million in tax revenue in the past three years because of the lack of tenants and said it could lose another $1 million in potential revenue over the next three years if the store occupancy rate doesn’t increase. If the town’s project is accepted, the recreational facility should be open by the fall. It will feature specialized slides, climbing equipment, a racing circuit for tricycles and other activities. “It’ll be a place where kids will be able to spend their energy,” said Perrier.

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