If you haven't shopped at Dartmouth Crossing in a while, you may not quite recognize it next time you visit.

Nova Scotia's biggest commercial development keeps getting bigger and bigger as it continues to gain more retail businesses, more hotels, and more shoppers, and that growth doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

“Last year, Dartmouth Crossing paid more than $15 million in taxes,” says Glenn Munro, who runs the company that owns Dartmouth Crossing.

“It was a big idea, but it took a while to build out,” Munro said.

Dartmouth Crossing is now the biggest commercial development of its kind east of Montreal.

A recent wave of growth has seen new hotels going up.

“The hotels show a lot of visitors that work in Burnside are staying here, they're staying in Dartmouth Crossing, they're eating in Dartmouth crossing,” Munro said.

But the crown jewels are Costco and Ikea.

“If you're coming to shop from away, you're definitely coming to Dartmouth Crossing because you're coming to Ikea,” Munro said.

Kevin Harnish drove to the shopping centre from Truro, located about an hour away.

“We come to Dartmouth Crossing to do most of our shopping,” Harnish said.

And he keeps it simple, usually sticking to Costco.

Munro says people from across the Maritimes also travel to Dartmouth Crossing to shop.

“A lot more licence plates from out of province,” he said. “It's hard to quantify, but certainly anecdotally you see it.”

The downside to the growth is the traffic congestion and parking woes.

“Traffic is very heavy and it seems to be getting more and more, all the time,” said Fleck. “And when you do get a parking spot, they’re so narrow you can't even open the doors.”

As for the reasons behind Dartmouth Crossing's explosive growth? Munro points to the new apartment buildings and condos being built around the Halifax Regional Municipality.

“Those are people moving into the market,” Munro said. “Whether they are immigrants or people from elsewhere in the Maritimes, that's growth. They are people that need to eat and buy clothes.”

Up next for Dartmouth Crossing: residential buildings that should be up within three years.

With a 500-plus acre parcel of land to work with, Munro says there's still plenty of room for more growth.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Paul Hollingsworth.