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

Greenspace

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It's going to be a very uphill battle for ECC. With people not wanting to return to the office, there's much less foot traffic. In addition some major brands, for example Lululemon, already have 2 locations in the 'core' -- one on Whyte and one at Kingsway. Why would they also open one up at ECC. Just using that as an example of how difficult it's going to be, with the Bay gone added to the situation.

We need a lot more people in the office, or a lot more people living Downtown, or both. I choose to remain hopeful but am realistic about the challenges. I have shopped at ECC for 20 years and want to see viable retailing Downtown. ICE District is a bright spot for retail Downtown and opening of Loblaws could have spill over effects, plus we finally have a 'normal' year of being able to show pedestrian numbers to Rogers Place that will influence future retailers in the area.
 

David A

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It's going to be a very uphill battle for ECC. With people not wanting to return to the office, there's much less foot traffic. In addition some major brands, for example Lululemon, already have 2 locations in the 'core' -- one on Whyte and one at Kingsway. Why would they also open one up at ECC. Just using that as an example of how difficult it's going to be, with the Bay gone added to the situation.

We need a lot more people in the office, or a lot more people living Downtown, or both. I choose to remain hopeful but am realistic about the challenges. I have shopped at ECC for 20 years and want to see viable retailing Downtown. ICE District is a bright spot for retail Downtown and opening of Loblaws could have spill over effects, plus we finally have a 'normal' year of being able to show pedestrian numbers to Rogers Place that will influence future retailers in the area.
I'm downtown every day and I see more people around - it is day and night compared to six months ago or a year ago.

Maybe we are not yet back to where it was before COVID, but I think people who are stuck in all the doom and gloom are looking at the past not at the present or future.

As for the Bay, quite frankly that is a struggling chain that doesn't always make good decisions. I haven't shopped there since they closed their downtown store and I don't think I'm missing much. Yes, it is a gap, but something better can eventually fill it.
 

Greenspace

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^Great to hear. I have also seen and heard there are more people around. However I know from data that only about 50% of people are back or intend to come back even part of the time. Most major employers Downtown are not requiring full return to work now or in the near future. The City for example has delayed full return until at least January, Enbridge, Telus and others have no intention anytime soon of requiring full return to work. So I base my comments on those things.

And I totally agree with your comments about The Bay. COVID, LRT construction and safety issues just put it over the top.
 

thommyjo

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^Great to hear. I have also seen and heard there are more people around. However I know from data that only about 50% of people are back or intend to come back even part of the time. Most major employers Downtown are not requiring full return to work now or in the near future. The City for example has delayed full return until at least January, Enbridge, Telus and others have no intention anytime soon of requiring full return to work. So I base my comments on those things.

And I totally agree with your comments about The Bay. COVID, LRT construction and safety issues just put it over the top.
My sense is that it’s best for us to just step into the new reality. The “return to pre pandemic” stats don’t matter much at this point because we’ve entered a new era of work, the internet, how people live/move/socialize. I think we stop waiting for the 2019 people to return and focus ahead of the 2023 people we want to attract to live, visit, shop, play, work downtown.

In some ways, Edmonton not being as heavy in our HQs/downtown workforce as other cities will help us not have to do as much recalibrating for the new economy. We do need to keep getting transit, parks, and “fun” into our core though. Good progress in the works, but we need to keep accelerating those efforts.

Here’s a good article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-08-17/as-remote-work-endures-downtowns-are-adapting

“Even where offices remain relatively empty, downtown neighborhoods are abuzz with all manner of social activity. Restaurant reservations are at 98% of their pre-Covid levels; attendance at arts, theater, and cultural venues has similarly rebounded; and basketball and hockey arenas are full.”

704E0C61-92FF-4853-AC1C-19C441AE032D.jpeg
 

IanO

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Um, are my replies getting censored?

I replied to this with 'semantics' as in that last paragraph is semantics and yet it is no longer there.


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That clock!
 

Greenspace

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^^Some of that is true for Downtown Edmonton, some of it doesn't apply. Hospitality is very important, but it's still a gamble in Edmonton being so decentralized, car-oriented and there being less happy hour traffic from office workers in the short term. Also, our members/residents have identified that retail is the #1 reason they leave Downtown.

On the quote about arts -- our arts organizations are hurting. Not just because of COVID but because of ongoing safety issues and LRT construction restricting access for some folks. I hope they will do better in the short term. I'm a long time ESO subscriber and have put my money where my mouth is and resubscribed this year but overall attendance and subscribers/visitors to WInspear, Citadel and AGA is still significantly down.
 

westcoastjos

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Um, are my replies getting censored?

I replied to this with 'semantics' as in that last paragraph is semantics and yet it is no longer there.


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That clock!
Yes, when they aren't specific and nonsensical. Put some thought into your replies so they add to the conversation instead of coming across as confusing.
 

IanO

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My sense is that it’s best for us to just step into the new reality. The “return to pre pandemic” stats don’t matter much at this point because we’ve entered a new era of work, the internet, how people live/move/socialize. I think we stop waiting for the 2019 people to return and focus ahead of the 2023 people we want to attract to live, visit, shop, play, work downtown.

In some ways, Edmonton not being as heavy in our HQs/downtown workforce as other cities will help us not have to do as much recalibrating for the new economy. We do need to keep getting transit, parks, and “fun” into our core though. Good progress in the works, but we need to keep accelerating those efforts.

Here’s a good article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-08-17/as-remote-work-endures-downtowns-are-adapting

“Even where offices remain relatively empty, downtown neighborhoods are abuzz with all manner of social activity. Restaurant reservations are at 98% of their pre-Covid levels; attendance at arts, theater, and cultural venues has similarly rebounded; and basketball and hockey arenas are full.”

View attachment 425487
That last paragraph is pure SEMANTICS.
 
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Gronk!

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I was at the food court yesterday - I agree, lots of patrons. They still need to reopen Pressd and fill the spaces vacated by Fatburger, Thai Express and Paramount. One of these spots must be dying for a Taco Time or an Orange Julius.
 

thommyjo

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That last paragraph is pure SEMANTICS.
Maybe. But language does shape reality. Rebranding “downtown” to be seen even as a neighbourhood more than just a workplace is a large shift in many peoples views.

We have a small DT pop, but everyone I talk to is SHOCKED to learn there’s 20k people DT. More than an area like summerside.

Friends are always surprised by some of the nice parks and different spaces that exist DT beyond offices. Again, because they see it as a place to work, not to gather like they would see whyte, large parks, malls, etc.

You don’t add playgrounds to CBDs. But you do to central connecting & social hubs.
 

David A

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Rebranding is a word that often makes me cringe. Yes, there are perception issues to deal with, but there is no magic marketing wand that can make various real problems go away.

There are usually no police in the central business district (maybe they are in Chinatown) and more than a few people do not feel safe downtown. There is litter, graffiti and other problems caused by anti social elements.

However, downtown is and will continue to be a place people go to work (although it really would help if these problems are addressed more) as well as a place where people live. Of course these same problems don't make it a desirable area to attract residents or remain a place to live either and the diminishing number of stores and services also makes it less attractive.

Rebranding isn't going to fix any of these things. It is a meaningless platitude - the appearance of action, but accomplishing nothing, maybe that was part of what the person who referred to semantics was trying to say.
 

thommyjo

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Rebranding is a word that often makes me cringe. Yes, there are perception issues to deal with, but there is no magic marketing wand that can make various real problems go away.

There are usually no police in the central business district (maybe they are in Chinatown) and more than a few people do not feel safe downtown. There is litter, graffiti and other problems caused by anti social elements.

However, downtown is and will continue to be a place people go to work (although it really would help if these problems are addressed more) as well as a place where people live. Of course these same problems don't make it a desirable area to attract residents or remain a place to live either and the diminishing number of stores and services also makes it less attractive.

Rebranding isn't going to fix any of these things. It is a meaningless platitude - the appearance of action, but accomplishing nothing, maybe that was part of what the person who referred to semantics was trying to say.
Obviously a rebrand can’t just be in talk and not action. But brands are powerful…

That’s why I loved what our Downtown Business Association is doing. They’re branding and promoting downtown to be fun and lively, energetic and cool. Not just appealing to professionals in a traditional sense. And I think they’ve made good strides for us!

Look at the downtown block party they did with norquest and Macewan this week. Such a success! Or Downtown Spark and Al Fresco. Those are real steps in changing perceptions of our city and downtowns “brand”.

What someone says when they think about a place is the brand. And how people form those opinions can be pretty simple/quick. A good night out downtown, fun in the moss pit at playoffs, good canada day festivities, taking kids to city hall fountains, having a rooftop party at a friends new apartment. Those all are formative. Trying to make downtown more social, playful, family friendly, etc will help us imo vs just trying to make it business and professional in brand/experience.
 

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