Toronto non-mall retail (Odds & Ends)

Discussion in 'Retail' started by marksimpson7843, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Just a comment - Lots of demolition/site clearing in the golden mile area most likely to become even more big box

  2. samsonyuen

    samsonyuen Guest

    Interesting project in Vancouver, the Rise, that's not unlike the Metropolis project, except that it has residential (which I wouldn't object to at Metropolis). Also, the article mentions a big box electronics store (Best Buy to join the Future Shop going in Metropolis, or maybe a real Circuit City to join the Source by Circuit City in Eaton Centre?) and a supermarket. Does anyone know about these projects?
    Canada’s developers favor a mixed-use format as the focus turns to city retail


    Mixed-use centers are getting as much attention in Canada as they have lately in the United States.

    Combining a shopping center with residential, office or other uses is not a new phenomenon north of the border, but it is one being seen more frequently as retailers and shopping center developers turn their attentions to opportunities in the cities.

    Because urban real estate values are high, mixing uses can be an effective strategy for making a project profitable, real estate executives say.

    “Certainly the industry is maturing in Canada; there are fewer traditional shopping center opportunities out there,†said Blake Hudema, an urban planner and shopping center consultant who is president of the Hudema Consulting Group, in Vancouver, British Columbia. “But downtown, the land cost and density of the surrounding land uses dictate that you have to be more innovative and creative in your approach to shopping centers.â€

    It’s not entirely a matter of land cost, Hudema notes. Mixed-use centers are more practical in downtown settings, where there isn’t the space for traditional shopping centers and their sprawling parking lots.

    Density was a primary consideration for Grosvenor Canada in the case of The Rise, a retail and residential project that the Vancouver-based developer is undertaking on a sloping, full-block site on Vancouver’s Cambie Street.

    “This is an urban site and we’ve paid urban land prices,†explained Ryan P. Beechinor, a vice president at Grosvenor. “We have to utilize the full density or we will not be competitive.â€

    Given the adjacent neighborhood’s proliferation of large-scale retail, Grosvenor decided on a cluster of big-box stores to give its center critical mass as a shopping destination. Those five anchors, totaling 180,000 square feet of retail, will include a Save-On Foods supermarket, a Winners and a Home Sense store. There will also be 40,000 square feet of small retail at street level and 500 underground parking spaces.

    Grosvenor started out with a purely retail development concept, but the city’s planning department encouraged the company to add a residential component, in keeping with Vancouver’s goal of expanding the downtown population. Plans now call for 82,000 square feet of town houses on top of the retail premises.

    This 92-unit residential component takes advantage of Vancouver’s “reverse migration†trend in favor of downtown living, Beechinor points out, and its residents will provide a built-in market for the retail.

    And it isn’t just new projects that are combining uses. Toronto-based Cadillac Fairview plans an extension to the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto that will stack three levels of parking and a three-story building housing Ryerson University’s business school above 130,000 square feet of large-format retail.

    “This part of the [Eaton Centre] complex will allow larger-format retailers to be part of the mall, thus enhancing our retail mix,†said John Sullivan, senior vice president of development at Cadillac Fairview. Rents for the new stores, located at street level and below, will range from C$30 ($24) to C$35 per square foot, Sullivan says. Future tenants (the opening date is September 2006) are expected to include an electronics outlet and a grocery store.

    The Eaton Centre annex is the first of several mixed-use projects planned by Cadillac Fairview. Sullivan notes that there is a limited market at present for regional malls and office space, his company’s core investment vehicles. “As an adjunct to those activities, we’re looking at larger mixed-use projects in the major cities — Montréal, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver — as a way to continue our growth,†he said. The first of these initiatives will be announced in late spring.

    Introducing other uses helps revitalize malls in central locations, executives say. An example is Cadillac Fairview’s Don Mills Town Centre, a 49-year-old, 400,000-square-foot Toronto-area shopping center that is to be reconfigured as a hybrid “mall with a tail†with 1,500 apartment condominiums in adjacent buildings. The starting date for this renewal has not yet been set.

    The benefits of mixed-use refurbishment can already be seen at North Hill Centre, in Calgary, a Sears-anchored enclosed center that was underperforming when it was acquired by Regina, Saskatchewan-based Harvard Developments in 1999. Harvard’s C$26 million reconfiguration of North Hill, completed in 2003, created an almost entirely new retail mix totaling about 485,000 square feet of gross leasable area (GLA), and turned the center around to face the Trans-Canada Highway running alongside it. Six big-box tenants were added on the mall pad, including Kinko’s, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Petcetera.

    Harvard also incorporated 32,000 square feet of office space in the complex, and leased air space to a local developer who constructed two eight-story towers housing 175 luxury condominium units; the second of these was completed in 2004.

    Cameron J. Costley, CSM, Harvard’s general manager of North Hill Centre and suburban properties, attributes a significant share of the center’s revived customer traffic to the new residents. “With those towers, you’re bringing over 460 residents here multiple times per week,†he observed. The center is thriving, Costley says, ringing up sales of C$450 per square foot compared with C$314 prior to its redevelopment, and 96.7 percent of the retail space is leased.

    Including residential and office in a project makes good sense, he maintains. “It makes you wonder why more developers haven’t done it.â€

    Retail developers are not the only ones providing impetus to the mixed-use trend. Central City in Surrey, British Columbia, a suburban municipality near Vancouver, is a landmark C$26 million project originally conceived by the provincial government as a community revitalization initiative. In 1999, Surrey-based private sector developer Central City acquired the former Surrey Place Mall, a 626,000-square-foot enclosed center anchored by Zellers and Sears, and created an 860,000-square-foot office structure next to the shopping center.

    The new building, completed in 2003, is only 20 percent occupied at present, though a majority of its space was recently leased to Simon Fraser University and business and government tenants. The office presence has already produced dramatic results for the mall, now known as Central City, say executives.

    “The center was underperforming and we’re turning that around,†said Paul Reilly, president of Central City. “You can see the new demand for retail space.†New tenancies will occupy 100,000 square feet of GLA this year, among them a supermarket, specialty retailers and a Best Buy store in a new freestanding box. Sales per square foot climbed 5.2 percent in 2004 compared with 2003, Reilly reports, and he anticipates a much greater increase once the remaining 80 percent of office space is filled.

    In short, mixing uses, like drinks, can make for a potent brew.
  3. samsonyuen

    samsonyuen Guest

    I must admit, shopping in the middle of the night, not having to fight other customers, is awesome!
    May 21, 2005. 03:45 AM

    Buying groceries at 2 a.m. has flavour all its own
    Grocery shopping in the dead of night has pitfalls

    Perils include bulk candy, creepy security guard and cookie cravings

    I do my groceries in the dead of night.
    In fact, if you live near a 24-hour store, the late, late supermarket splurge is one of the finer points of urban living.
    The best time to visit my Dominion on College St. is just after the pubs close at 2 a.m., when you can lazily surf down the aisles without having to dodge toddlers and the elderly. Aside from a few drunken stragglers and potheads with cases of monster-sized munchies, the store is yours to explore.
    It's also the only time you will hear AC/DC's Hells Bells belting through the aisles. On my most recent after-hours odyssey, it seemed to be playing all night long.
    "Good tunes!" I congratulated the store clerk as he bent over a case of canned soup. I added something about the old AC/DC versus the new AC/DC, which was likely incomprehensible to us both.
    But he, like everyone in a grocery store listening to AC/DC in the middle of the night, knew exactly what I meant. "It's the only way to work," he replied, grinning up at me.
    I was getting on famously, gliding down aisles with my steel chariot and making thoughtful decisions about a householder's most vital responsibility — filling the fridge.
    Night time is always the right time for stocking up, but shoppers will often be in a slightly elevated mood, having just fled the club scene. This can make the experience both surreal and perilous.
    The danger begins at the candy bin. You know you've reached sugar fluency when you've memorized the bin numbers for the entire section. At my store a `101' is a chocolate-covered almond. `911' is the number I have to stop myself from dialling later on, after eating a few kilograms of the stuff.
    The craving for fresh-baked chocolate cookies can have similarly sinister results. I'm not much of a Martha around the kitchen, but I know that baking cookies late at night is rarely a good idea.
    You get impatient when preparing them. It only takes a couple of spoon licks to convince yourself the dough is just as tasty as baked cookies. In the end, there's only enough dough for three misshapen globs on the cookie tray. And, in the throes of your chocolate-chip high, you pull them out of the oven way too early anyway. The rest of the night is spent cradling your aching belly.
    Likewise, Haagen-Dazs comes in exactly the right-sized tub for sin. Dig into it, savour the flavour while hunting down every little chocolate-covered almond. Mmmmm. Two-thirds of the way through the tub, you realize you've done a very bad thing. Do you put the lid back on and hurl it back in the freezer? Well, it's hardly even a serving. It will only tease you next time you open the lid. Treat yourself. Ten minutes later, you're lying in bed trying to sleep after eating 5,000 tablespoons of sugar. Nighty night.
    Another pitfall of shopping late at night? The deli counter is closed. Ditto for the bake shop. It's probably just as well. You can stare at all the little cakes until the bake lady arrives in the morning, and still not know whether you should take home the double chocolate, Boston cream, or strawberry cheese cake.
    The security guard, however, can really put a crimp in your late-night odyssey. When it's just you and him strolling the aisles, things can get a tad uncomfortable. You're really his only quarry, and after a few walk-bys, you get the creeping sensation he's casing you. Fortunately, before you're totally overcome by rampant paranoia, the drag queen from the bar across the street strolls in to relieve some of the pressure.
    Just as all good things come to an end, every romp through the grocery store has its reckoning. It's called the checkout. That's where I learned Dominion had developed an ingenious method of testing shoppers for sobriety: bag your own groceries.
    At first, I could only stare at the cashier in disbelief as my groceries piled up at the end of the counter. You mean ... you're not gonna? She had already started ringing the next customer's items through, meaning I had better step to or risk having my groceries mingle with those of a stranger.
    Well, how hard could it be? "Those are for meat," the cashier snapped as I snagged a handful of tiny white bags. "Try the other ones." She was not feeling very AC/DC.
    I tried to reinstall the tiny bags on the rack, but ended up leaving them on the counter, only to have the cashier snatch them up and angrily hurl them to the ground.
    By now, a crowd had gathered behind me to process their groceries. They all ended up watching me juggle boxes of Kraft Dinner while trying desperately to peel open the bags.
    A couple of registers down, my old nemesis, the side-burned security guard, stood smirking.
    I ended up fleeing the scene with a few bags in my hand, half a dozen eggs in my pocket, and a carton of milk under my arm. Some things were left behind. But in my frenzied bid to get out of there I no longer cared about anything, save perhaps for the tub of rocky road ice cream.
    As long as I escaped from the Dominion.
  4. Ed007Toronto

    Ed007Toronto Guest

    New steak house coming to the EDS building. Houston is the name.
  5. roch5220

    roch5220 Guest

    Is this the same American chain? I've seen an uperscale one in Philly and a generic chain one in NYC.
  6. samsonyuen

    samsonyuen Guest

    I wouldn't like to see Club Monaco leave its gorgeous store now. Restoration Hardward is pretty cool, and they only have to stores in mid/uptown (Yonge and Eg and Bayview Village)! I asked a manager once why they didn't have more, and they said that their parent company was going through some trouble. It'd be cool there, along with maybe a Virgin Megastore to complement the Metropolis store. (Anything but Winners!)
  7. adma

    adma Guest

    The Stag Shop?
  8. samsonyuen

    samsonyuen Guest

    Oh, and I looked up, and it's not the same as the ones in Canada (or they don't list them on their website?).
  9. p5archit

    p5archit Guest

    I realize that this is a retail thread, and we are discussing certain closings, openings etc, but i am kind of shocked by how influenced people are by these brands which are running our lives.

    Many of these companies, could give a shit less about where they are located- as long as there is a market place that they can either take over or run, they will be happy.

    The fact that people get excited that a, b or c brands is coming to Toronto or to Canada is ridiculous. Its only a matter of time before our already homogenized landscape, becomes a mono-culture.

    The same stores occupying our streets-capes in Toronto, are on almost every other major street around the world; whether Montreal, Madrid, Vienna, Paris or Hong Kong- they are all over and forcing us to be clones!!!

  10. p5: But without my Mac Store then how am I going to get the latest in I-ccesories and allow myself to individualize myself through consumer goods to fit into the homogenous landscape?

    Really, Im not surprised how much consumerism has taken over some peoples lives. Just look at 'public' spaces such as Dundas Square which bombard you with endless images of advertising and drilling the idea of consumption further into some peoples brain. Not only do people not question the nature of Dundas Square but celebrate and get excited that we too can have our own version of Times Square, possibley the ultimate in advertising riddled urban environments. Not the first urban model I would have chose when it came to creating a public square.

    For those who want to learn a little more about how they have and are being manipulated I suggest these 2 documentaries, which can be viewed online.

    The Merchants Of Cool: Marketing and Youth

    The Persuaders: Advertising and You

    and one more just for fun...
    Is Wal-Mart Good For America: (Ill give you a hint...its not)
  11. p5archit

    p5archit Guest

    Exactly..! Same shit different pile!

    But it is good to know that others feel the same way i do regarding such issues..

    A good example of homogenization is right here in Vienna. Vienna supposedly has Europe's longest retail street: the Mariahilfe Strasse- (could be contested..) with a variety of stores, but when you look more closely, you will find 4 very large H&M stores, 4 Stiefelkoenig shoes stores-(big german chain), 3 Footlocker stores, 2 nike stores, 2 Swarovski Crystal stores, 2 Diesel Stores, 1 Puma store, approx. 20 stores belonging to the diverse Mobile providers..etc..etc.. The list goes on.

    The point is, that it may be the longest retail street, but it is not at all diverse. Successful yes, but at what cost? Most of the stores even belong to larger conglomerates, which peddle their goods under different names and brands..

    Sure it is nice to have name brand stores popping up- we get the feeling that we are a part of the bigger picture- in other words, becoming more international, but the main part is that these companies are only looking for new market access points..

    Now, this is not to say that all of these companies are out to get us, but just look at how little people question things-

  12. Danny225

    Danny225 Guest

    ^ The excitement in Dundas square, or (Times Square) is not the advertising per se, it's the ENERGY, the vibe, the lights, the sounds, and the people all in one space! Making the space your in an interesting experience

    DS I think is also doing GREAT, as soon as the weather improved it is always filled with people, events, bazars, and performers, combined with the lights and sounds giving the place amazing energy!

    When I'm there I hardly look at the billboards, (except for the L'Oreal one, hoping for it to go away!)
  13. I think the reason people want stores to open near them is accessability.
    People still drive across the border to hit US stores stocking goods you can't find (or easily find at a reasonable price) in Canada.
    Remember the days when you couldn't get an import record or had to travel all the way across town to get one?

    While comapnies are always out to make a profit, customers do benefit when stores open in their areas.

    Even stores like Wal-Mart (despite the negative "cultural" impact) provide access to lower income people. Here in Vancouver, Peter Busby, architect for the "green" Wal-Mart proposed for Vancouver was quoted in the newspaper as saying that there's no place in the City of Vancouver that you can buy "a $3.00 pair of underwear" - i.e. promoting boutiques and stores that lower income people can't afford just forces them to drive to the suburbs to do their shopping - and that's not serving the needs of the population. While individual boutiques may look asthetically pleasing, they often cater to one segment of the population.
  14. p5archit

    p5archit Guest

    So what you are saying, is that because you cannot find a pair of $3.- underwear in the city- which promotes unnecessary car trips across town to find them, a Wal-Mart is good and is in the end a benifit to lower income families or individuals..?

    Wal-Mart may cater to lower income individuals etc., but on the backs of all other shops, who in the end, close shop and disappear from the retail landscape forever. The issues with Wal-Mart run far deeper than just cultural issues- they are not a friendly corp. in any way, shape or form. Domination and extinction for all other forms of retail in the surrounding area is their goal. If you (maybe you do) what Walmart does in order to keeps its prices so low, i think you might think twice about wanting one in the area or one at all!!

    What i find disturbing is how these dirty creatures force their way into the marketplace..And exactly like this...

    Here in Vancouver, Peter Busby, architect for the "green" Wal-Mart proposed for Vancouver was quoted in the newspaper as saying that there's no place in the City of Vancouver that you can buy "a $3.00 pair of underwear" - i.e. promoting boutiques and stores that lower income people can't afford just forces them to drive to the suburbs to do their shopping - and that's not serving the needs of the population.

    To be honest, i will pay just that much more to keep scum and dirt like Wal-mart out of my area if need be.

  15. bingoluther

    bingoluther Guest

    Antiloop, it's "simply" for the love of God, "simply".

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