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Old June 15th, 2005, 10:00 PM   #1
rt_0891
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Mall developer scouting Vancouver, Calgary & Montreal for expansion

Mall developer scouting Vancouver for expansion
Owner of several major malls is looking to add another one

Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun, with files from Bloomberg

June 15, 2005

Canada's biggest pension-fund manager wants to build a $300-million, one-million-square-foot, "super-regional" mall in Vancouver as part of a $1-billion expansion of its retail property holdings, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec said Tuesday.

The Caisse's Ivanhoe Cambridge unit and Mills Corp., an Arlington, Va.-based property developer, want to build three malls by 2015, with the other two to be located in Montreal and Calgary, Paul Gleeson, Ivanhoe's vice-president of development, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The intent is to emulate the success the companies have had with their $355-million Vaughan Mills development, the first mall to open in Canada in 14 years, which saw 6.5 million visitors and sales of $450 per square foot since opening last November.

"We are focusing on cities of at least one million people," Gleeson said during a Montreal conference organized by the International Council of Shopping Centres. "We are most advanced in Calgary, where we hope to open in 2007."

Vancouver-based retail consultant Blake Hudema said the plans that the Caisse revealed Tuesday revives a plan it talked about four or five years ago to build a network of centres in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

"Then [the plan] went away for about four years," Hudema said. "Vaughan went through its birth, is the best way to put it. Word is they seem to be happy with it, and the rumour is [Vancouver is] back on the plate," Hudema said.

He suspects that Edmonton was cut from the plan because of the dominance that West Edmonton Mall and a new power-centre facility, South Edmonton Common, have in that market. Calgary is a natural location, however, because Ivanhoe Cambridge already owns property in the city.

Hudema said Montreal is also a natural expansion spot because the city has "scads of land" available for development.

British Columbia, which hit a record $47.2 billion in retail sales in 2004, would be a desirable location. The difficulty will be finding a site to put such a large shopping centre.

Canada-wide, retail sales rose to a record $30.4 billion in March, the 10th gain in 11 months, according to Statistics Canada.

In Greater Vancouver, Hudema noted that malls in the past have been built on sites that are peripheral to the city, such as Guildford Town Centre or Metropolis at Metrotown.

"But, industrial sites that have been rezoned can be purchased at a reasonable price. Where do you go in Greater Vancouver is the great question," he added.

A centre of one million square feet in size would need 50 to 60 acres of property, Hudema estimated, with a desired "epicentre" near the 200th Street exit of Highway 1.

Hudema said the Port Kells community on the boundary of Surrey has asked for a community plan, "but I don't think the Langley [municipalities] or [Greater Vancouver Regional District] would entertain a competing centre to existing town centres."

Hugh Kellas, the GVRD's director of planning, said that from a regional perspective, the GVRD board's preference would be to see any large development placed somewhere with good alternative transportation links so people can get to it "by some other means than the automobile."

Placing it, however, would be up to the community plans of individual municipalities.

Mark Startup, president of Retail B.C., said the Caisse's announcement shows that there is a sense of confidence in B.C. and Canada's retail environment. In the case of B.C., he added, forecasts hint at continued growth in the retail sector.

The Caisse is a "savvy investment vehicle," and the pension managers see potential in the Lower Mainland market, which is reassuring, Kevin Evans, B.C. vice-president of the Retail Council of Canada.

"Beyond that, I have some questions about the ability of the market to absorb something that large," because it already has the reputation for being over-retailed, he added.

Hudema said if the B.C. project emulates Vaughn Mills, Ivanhoe will build what the industry refers to as a "internalized power centre," a mall that collects a smaller number of medium to large stores in an enclosed environment.

Ivanhoe already owns the Lower Mainland's largest mall, Burnaby's Metropolis, as well as Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, Oakridge Centre and Richmond Centre.

However, a Vaughan-Mills-style mall would have a "super-regional" focus, attempting to draw customers from Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and Interior.

"That starts to spread the impact around such that [a super-regional development] is warranted," Hudema said. "It offers singular, unique tenants to a provincial market that you wouldn't find in a one-million-square-foot Park Royal or Pacific Centre."

He added that national expansion could have something to do with the tenants that Ivanhoe wants to bring to its Vaughan Mills development.

Hudema said Burlington Coat Factory, a major U.S. factory outlet store, plans on locating at Vaughan Mills, but has told Ivanhoe that it wants to have more potential locations for stores.

"As I understand it, Burlington is very desirous of Canada and Vaughan Mills, and is waiting for a chance to [better] justify its distribution," he added.

"We would like to get the ball rolling in the next four years," Gleeson said. "Vaughan Mills took eight years to get done, but now that the concept is in place, we are hoping things can go faster for the other malls."

dpenner@png.canwest.com

MALL SPRAWL:

Greater Vancouver is already home to three shopping malls that exceed one million square feet.

Fourth-place Coquitlam Centre comes close at 920,000 square feet.

Metropolis at Metrotown:

1.6 million square feet

Pacific Centre:

1.08 million square feet

Park Royal:

1.05 million square feet

Coquitlam Centre:

920,000 square feet

Ran with fact box "Mall Sprawl", which has been appended to the end of the story.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005
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Old June 15th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #2
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Metro Town is huge. I heard its the biggest mall in Canada other then West Edmonton Mall which sucks since it has like 3 of each store. I heard Oak ridge will be expanding and a new shoping distric is going to be built at 2nd AVE both at RAV stations.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #3
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gross. I thought malls were exactly the kind of thing the GVRD was trying to avoid.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjoeda
Metro Town is huge. I heard its the biggest mall in Canada other then West Edmonton Mall which sucks since it has like 3 of each store. I heard Oak ridge will be expanding and a new shoping distric is going to be built at 2nd AVE both at RAV stations.
Not quite. You have to understand Edmontonians rely on that mall for entertainment in the winter so it provides more services than Metrotown. There's a huge theatre, a massive waterpark, a gig lounge, a casino, a theme park and several other gimmicks to grab money from your pocket. I don't think there are more than a handful of stores that have more than one location, either.

Metrotown has nothing over WEM.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:39 AM   #5
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Where would the Vancouver mall likely be built?
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.x
Where would the Vancouver mall likely be built?
One possibility was 200 St. and Hiway One in Surrey

transportation being the key.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #7
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I think they should demolish Oakridge and build a better mall. Oakridge is a fairly nice mall but its getting outdated.

It would be really cool if a part of the mall would streach over top of Cambie. I think it is a really great location, there is already a mall there, a college, businesses, the parking could be underground and RAV will be right beside it.
I also heard that something was happening to Oakridge... Does anyone know what that was?
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #8
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I am only for some urban malls. I like Pacific Centre in Van but hate all those suburban malls. Too much surface parking.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer4893
I think they should demolish Oakridge and build a better mall. Oakridge is a fairly nice mall but its getting outdated.

It would be really cool if a part of the mall would streach over top of Cambie. I think it is a really great location, there is already a mall there, a college, businesses, the parking could be underground and RAV will be right beside it.
I also heard that something was happening to Oakridge... Does anyone know what that was?
all the info is here:
http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/current...idge/index.htm
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerrero
I am only for some urban malls. I like Pacific Centre in Van but hate all those suburban malls. Too much surface parking.
yeah, i'm with you to. those suberban malls are so blah! except i do like coquitlam centre. it's friendly. take victoria for an example. they have the bay centre downtown which fits in really nicly, and then you have mayfair and hillside which are both blah!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjoeda
Metro Town is huge. I heard its the biggest mall in Canada other then West Edmonton Mall which sucks since it has like 3 of each store. I heard Oak ridge will be expanding and a new shoping distric is going to be built at 2nd AVE both at RAV stations.
Your forgetting Square One in Missisauga, I'm pretty sure thats the second biggest mall in Canada. Theres also another mall in the GTA, I remember it from when I was a kid, that has rides in it similar to West Edmonton...I think it's called Woodbine Mall or something? Maybe some TO forumers would know.

Thats cool that they want to build another large mall here, but yeah the questions is WHERE. 200th st in Langley seems way out of the question to me. For one, the only land vacant at that interchange is to the south, which is all zoned industrial, with the exception of a site on the SE corner, but a small retail plaza is going in there soon (I'm working on plans for that at work right now). Further down 200th St would just be getting too close to Willowbrook, and it's a bit too far out in general from the population core of the GVA.

If it wasnt for all that protected Ag land in Delta, I would say somewhere along HWY 99 would be best. Right around Panorama Ridge in Surrey, near Boundary Bay...Theres nothing down there, but the population is growing fast!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #12
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i've heard that metrotown is the second largest in canada. larger then square one.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #13
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when the renovations were happening in metrotown, the boards on the walls said it was the 2nd largset in Canada
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #14
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Metrotown probably assumed the No. 2 title when Metrotown Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown (formerly Eaton Centre) came under the common ownership of Ivanhoe Cambridge a few years ago. They were probably considered two separate malls before that. Plus the expansion probably added more area.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #15
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Oh no.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:33 PM   #16
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^Hey, this is already in the Canadian Retail Thread!
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:17 AM   #17
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Haha, what a coinidence...I came into work today to find out that my company is getting the contract to do the environmental assessment, and planning for the site this mall is to go on!
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoast604
Haha, what a coinidence...I came into work today to find out that my company is getting the contract to do the environmental assessment, and planning for the site this mall is to go on!
haha
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Old June 17th, 2005, 04:46 AM   #19
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And just to confirm, its not going at 200th & Hwy 1. Funny how they throw things like that in to throw people off.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 04:24 AM   #20
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I hope Calgary doesn't get one. Calgary's highly concentrated downtown has helped the community and transit, it doesn't need to follow WED.
A supersize mall in Montreal or Vancouver can be absorbed but a city the size of Calgary it could really hurt downtown.
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