Haney Place Mall could be changing hands, based on letters tenants have received in recent weeks.
Store owners have been asked to sign letters confirming the terms and conditions of their leases, one of the steps in what can be lengthy real estate transactions.
This on the heels of the announcement of Target closing its Canadian stores, including the one in downtown Maple Ridge.
Blue Line Sports owner Cheryl Sahota hasn’t been told that Narland Properties, of Vancouver, the current owner, has sold the mall or when a transaction may take place.
Her store has been there for 21 years and she wasn’t pessimistic about any possible change.
“New money, you never know, maybe we’ll get something new.”
The mall’s recently been through a major renovation. Still, she said there’s always room for improvement.
“Maybe bigger tenants, more shopping, so people will shop local. Keeping them home instead of sending them away would be good.”
She got her letter a few days after the Jan. 15 announcement of Target closing its 133 stores in Canada.
The departure of one of the mall’s anchor tenants, after an $11-million renovation and expansion to the old Zeller’s store, is a concern.
“That’s a huge concern, not only for the mall but for the community because we need shopping, right. We’re trying to keep people downtown, promote downtown, so you want to have shopping.”
There are lots of seniors in the area, she added.
She’s happy in the mall and is negotiating a new lease.
She had heard that if the mall sold to new owners, Narland would continue to manage it.
Narland wouldn’t comment on the possible sale.
Phil Brain, at Town Square Cobbler, said the mall has been up for sale for awhile.
“It’s been public knowledge for about two years now.”
He likes the mall and has been there for 15 years. It’s been really good, awesome location. I just signed a 10-year lease. I’m not going anywhere.”
But perhaps the departure of Target will scuttle the deal, he added.
Brain said he wasn’t worried about Target’s departure and said when Zeller’s closed for renos, his sales increased.
He said he’s heard lots of speculation about what may move into the Target space.
“Whoever moves into that location is going to get a beautiful location. They did all the plumbing, wiring … whoever moves in there will get a good solid building.”
Grant Balfour, owner of Haney Bakery, also signed the letter confirming his lease terms.
“It doesn’t affect anything I do today. I’ve gone through three or four owners since I’ve been here.
“It’s not a big concern for me at all. I’m more concerned about no Target.”
Narland Properties bought the mall in 2005 from the Ontario pension fund. The value of the mall property is currently assessed at $35 million.