Posts Tagged ‘Retail Space’

Western Investor: Retail Revival

May 15th, 2008

Dermot Mack and Andrew Petrozzi
May 2008
Western Investor

Vancouver street-front retail space may become the darling of commercial real estate this year due to authoritarian mall owners and a change in traffic flows. 

Increasingly, major mall space in Metro Vancouver is in fewer hands, allowing the owners to dictate rates and tenancy requirements that have some tenants chaffing. 

Oakridge Centre, Metropolis in Burnaby and Guildford Shopping Centre in Surrey, for instance, are all owned by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which runs them through subsidiary Ivanhoe Cambridge. A separate Caisse subsidiary, SITQ, owns Bentall Centre in downtown Vancouver. 

The Ontario Teachers Fund, through Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd, owns the other major shopping malls in the Metro region, Pacific Centre downtown and Richmond Centre in Richmond. 

“If the same person that owns Oakridge [Centre] owns [Metropolis at] Metrotown and the same person that owns Metrotown owns Guildford [Shopping Centre], they can decide, ‘You will not open up in any of our malls,’” said Thomas Skidmore, CEO, chairman and president of Glentel Inc. 

Skidmore’s company owns 101 WirelessWave stores and 60 stores branded either Telephone Booth or La Cabine Telephonique at malls across Canada. It also operates 63 Wireless Etc. kiosks within Costco stores. “I would love to open up 10 stores in the Greater Vancouver area, if I could get malls to allow Telephone Booth to come in and give competition to other cellular dealers,” Skidmore said.

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Vancouver Sun: Reflection of our Times

November 17th, 2007
The Inform store in Gastown has a new wide-open space on three levels.

The Inform store in Gastown has a new wide-open space on three levels.

Reflection of our Times – New design stores are pumping fresh air into Gastown
Vancouver Sun
by John Mackie
November 16, 2007

The stylish home decor retailer Koolhaus has done the unthinkable. When the lease was up at its Kitsilano flagship store, Koolhaus up and moved to Gastown. 

Yes, Gastown: The historic district known for its handsome architecture and deep-rooted social problems. A neighbourhood that has long been considered a retail no man’s land, save for tourist shops and rug dealers that always seem to be going out of business sales. 

Gastown has been the scene of many revitalization schemes over the years, all of which failed. But several new market housing developments have brought an influx of new people to the neighbourhood, bringing fresh energy and a buzz it hasn’t had in years. Gastown is still gritty, but it’s also becoming more balanced – and it has a feel and vibe you don’t get anywhere else in the city.

Of course, Gastown has always had more than just tourist and rug stores. One of Vancouver’s elite furniture stores, Inform Interiors, has been a fixture in the neighbourhood since 1970, But owner Niels Bendtsen senses this time, the neighbourhood may have turned a corner. 

I’ve gone through a number of revitalizations down there, but it does feel like it’s here to stay,” says Bendtsen. “We’re betting our business on it.” 

Indeed. Inform spent a record $6 million on it’s stunning new 30,000 square foot space at 50 Water St. that opened in the spring. In early December, Inform will also reopen its original 12,000-sq.-ft, store at 97 Water St as a “high end mono brand store” for two top-notch product lines, Boffi kitchens and B&B Italia furniture.

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