Shopping centre landlords in the Canadian Maritime provinces are investing heavily into their centres to maintain market share.
The Halifax area, which is the largest metro region in the Maritimes, has seen millions of dollars of investments in shopping centres including the Halifax Shopping Centre and Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth.
The Halifax Shopping Centre has seen interior renovations as well as the addition of various new retailers with a similar mix seen in shopping centres in larger markets. More than $70 million was spent on a mall makeover that included renovated common areas as well as an additional 75,000 square feet of retail space. Enhanced food and beverage offerings have been added to increase dwell time as well as visitor frequency.
Mic Mac Mall, located in Dartmouth, is also seeing substantial investments which next year will include a location for French sporting goods behemoth Decathlon, a first for the region. Landlord Ivanhoé Cambridge is investing over $55 million in the centre which will include a renovation to its common areas, washrooms, and a relocation of the centre’s foot court, among other changes. Other new retailers are being added as well, no doubt to keep up with the competition across Halifax Harbour.
In Newfoundland, landlord Crombie REIT is investing well over $100 million in its Avalon Mall property in St. John’s, coinciding with the shopping centre’s 50th anniversary. Included are new retailers such as H&M and Old Navy, while other retailers such as Winners/HomeSense relocate as part of a centre redesign. Common areas are seeing renovations while a former Sears box was demolished, and new space is built. In keeping with the trends of food and beverage and entertainment, Avalon mall is adding new restaurants. And in 2019, Cineplex-owned entertainment concept ‘The Rec Room’ opened to the public. Avalon Mall is one of the most productive shopping centres in Canada and its most recent updates will solidify its position as the dominant shopping centre in Newfoundland and Labrador.
BY CRAIG PATTERSON