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Edmonton City Centre Mall (Renovations) | ?m | 2s | LaSalle Investment Management

David A

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I think keeping the original Edmonton Centre on the west side is one of the options to seriously consider, but something tells me that is really not the best choice to make, although it may be the easier one.

For over a decade, this has been the incredible shrinking mall. Most malls expand, this one shrinks and with every contraction there is less and less reason for people to go there and eventually the decline feeds on itself and that is what has happened here.

First the third floor in the east closed, then the basement in both sections with the food court moving to the third floor east. I think at this point they have to try fill the empty space however possible. One of the problems is it has been hard to entice popular large national chains here, so perhaps the thinking needs to change to get more local and unique retailers. Maybe that can be the silver lining here. It is a deep hole, but I don't think contracting more will get the mall out of it.
 

tkoe_

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Someone with more experience in this area can chime in, but emptying out CCW doesn't seem that abnormal to me if the owners want to do a significant reorganization/renovation of the property. An owner's hands are somewhat tied based on tenant leases -- even if they have relocation provisions to move tenants to CCE, that normally isn't cost free.

While it looks like hell right now, fewer tenants in CCW should in theory make it easier to completely reformat the premises. Let's hope that is still the plan.
 

archited

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What has been proposed is a 100% makeover. The few remaining tenants will go once major construction begins -- H E double hockey-sticks!!! -- the whole roof is coming off and the architecture will be completely reformatted. The work will start when drawings have been finalized and the last tenants vacated. No need here for thumb-twiddling and uninformed speculation.
 

David A

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What has been proposed is a 100% makeover. The few remaining tenants will go once major construction begins -- H E double hockey-sticks!!! -- the whole roof is coming off and the architecture will be completely reformatted. The work will start when drawings have been finalized and the last tenants vacated. No need here for thumb-twiddling and uninformed speculation.
Well it sure does need a makeover. I think what has been already put out there for City Centre West does still include some retail, so unless something has changed, the contraction to City Centre East would be temporary, not permanent.

In that regard the timing could be very good, as there are not that many tenants to relocate and surely Shoppers can get by with only one store in the mall, at least for a while.

If so, now would also be a good time to do something about the parkade facing the street on the north and west, and build the tower that never quite took off, but it might be too much to hope for to fix all the problems at once.
 

CplKlinger

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What has been proposed is a 100% makeover. The few remaining tenants will go once major construction begins -- H E double hockey-sticks!!! -- the whole roof is coming off and the architecture will be completely reformatted. The work will start when drawings have been finalized and the last tenants vacated. No need here for thumb-twiddling and uninformed speculation.
Oh yeah, a complete redo will be lovely and I don't wish to complain about that. I'm just surprised they aren't taking the opportunity to at least demolish a bit and add one or two mixed-use towers. Mixed-use developments are becoming quite popular for some mall sites, so I was just a bit surprised that they're going all-in on the concept of a retail/service-oriented mall.
 

archited

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Here is some speculation -- the powers-that-be will build this first and introduce a new proposal that demolishes the existing parking structure, trading for underground parking with a twin-tower residential complex above -- one tower condo the other rental.
 

thommyjo

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I’ll say it again, I’m voting for seniors residences above. The boomer population is retiring at a massive rate. Having residences tied to the mall is a huge amenity for them, gives great customers for tims, pharmacy, grocery, etc. access by transit is great for workers and visiting families.

I know it’s not the young and hip thing, but I think it’s a huge market need this could uniquely meet. Especially with how bad our sidewalk care has been, seniors need large indoor spaces to move and socialize.
 

IanO

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Here is some speculation -- the powers-that-be will build this first and introduce a new proposal that demolishes the existing parking structure, trading for underground parking with a twin-tower residential complex above -- one tower condo the other rental.
As much as I would like to see that, I cannot see that happening.
 

IanO

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Why? The parking structure can be replace by underground parking and land above could host 2 towers or one large one. Even a mixed use tower.
If it were only that simple.

The prohibitive cost to demolish structures like that means they will remain until they are literally going to collapse. Add in the cost of new structure/retrofitting for anything on the existing mall portion and our limited market for multi-family product in the core means this is higher risk and high cost versus their current plans which mitigates much of that. Certainly not highest and best use, but a palatable middle ground for HQ.
 

David A

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I realize replacing the whole above ground parkade would be a big undertaking, but it is on land that has some significant value and likely is now not the highest and best use of it.

Yes, it has been there for years, but perhaps due to the recent change of ownership, the new owners are more open to significant changes and more imaginative than the previous owners.

Also there has been a lot of change in the area nearby in recent years and I think that is another important factor to consider here.
 

David A

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If it were only that simple.

The prohibitive cost to demolish structures like that means they will remain until they are literally going to collapse. Add in the cost of new structure/retrofitting for anything on the existing mall portion and our limited market for multi-family product in the core means this is higher risk and high cost versus their current plans which mitigates much of that. Certainly not highest and best use, but a palatable middle ground for HQ.
Well this parkade is now around 40 years old, so it may be getting close to that point where it will need some major outlay to maintain it, so demolition will become an option. I also can't see it being that much of a draw for the mall - come and park in our unheated parkade in the winter?
 

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