New Amherstburg Development to Tap Into Town's History

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Amherstburg is getting a new candy shop, but it may look like it's been there all along.

One of the town's more high-profile retirees is behind the project to be built at 63 Richmond St. that will include two commercial spaces on the ground floor with two residential units upstairs.

Richard Peddie retired from his post as CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment back in 2011 and eventually settled in Amherstburg with his wife Colleen.

He says the couple opened the River Book Shop last year and were able to acquire the neighbouring property.

Peddie says his architect came up with a design that will make the corner of Richmond and Ramsay Streets something special.

"I instructed him to really study Amherstburg and build me something that looks like it's more than 100-years old," he says. "That's something we're doing, but it's not something the town is forcing us to do at all."

He says Amherstburg's heritage and small town feel are strengths he wanted included in the design.

"Let's do things that either restore that heritage or build stuff that compliments existing heritage in town," he says.

Peddie joked that he and his wife are "actively retired" and they'll continue to invest their time and money into the town.

"My wife and I look at it and say, listen, we can be philanthropists and do those things, but lets put our money where our mouth is," he says. "We're really committed to Amherstburg, a wonderful little town of 22,000 ... and I think it could be really special town."

Peddie says the project is expected to be completed by December at a cost of $1-million.

The Peddie's are still looking for a tenant for the second commercial unit.

He says they'll lease the space to someone with a unique business plan, but are also willing to fill the vacancy themselves.