Big box stores and chain restaurants are preparing to open their doors for business in Regina.

A growing population on the outskirts of the city has increased the demand for more shopping options in areas like Harbour Landing, the Greens and near Tower Road.

A number of new retail stores are planned for the Greens and the Towns developments, both in east Regina. Businesses include a Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart and a Save-On-Foods.

There are also a number of businesses moving into Harbour Landing. But, there is still a lot of vacant commercial property in Regina’s older neighbourhoods and downtown.

The Regina and District Chamber of Commerce is confident the downtown has enough to offer to keep businesses booming.

“Downtown has some very unique retailers,” John Hopkins, chamber CEO, said. “If you need to go to the Bay, you’re going to come downtown. If you really want to go to H&M, you’re going to come downtown. If you’re going to NWL for a dress, you’ve got to come downtown. So, that really seems to work quite well with a downtown setting.”

Commercial real estate experts say Regina is becoming a destination for larger brands to do business.

“We’re just catching up,” said Ryan Babey, a senior sales associate with Colliers International. “We were a fly-over province for a long time and now people are considering us as part of their growth plan, and an important part of their growth plan. So, we’re getting a lot more focus from a lot of these bigger companies.”

Questions still remain about whether there will be enough demand for the companies to remain viable in Regina’s economy.

With files from CTV Regina's Jessica Smith