SmartCentres, owners of the Haney Place Mall, say they are looking at the closure of Thrifty Foods with optimism.
“Thrifty Foods has been a positive presence at our shopping centre and within the community,” said Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres.
While SmartCentres is losing an anchor tenant in its mall, they say it is a great location in the middle of Maple Ridge’s downtown.
“While we are disappointed with Sobeys’ decision to close its Thrifty’s banner, this situation, along with its central location, presents an opportunity to enhance the centre with new and exciting offerings, catering even further to the growing needs of the Maple Ridge community.
“Our leasing team is speaking with prospective tenants to re-lease the space, but we are still early in that process.”
Sobeys announced the closure of the Maple Ridge Thrifty Foods last week, to take effect on May 29. It opened there in 2012. The store is 35,000 square feet in size.
Asked about potential redevelopment of the mall, Kaiser said there are no immediate plans. There is, however, a general SmartCentres strategy to upgrade their properties, with an intensification program which began in 2015.
“We’re always looking at our sites, to see if we can revitalize them,” said Kaiser.
She noted the company has condominium projects in downtown Toronto, office towers, seniors housing in partnership with Revera Long Term Care Homes, and even SmartStop Self Storage.
SmartCentres has owned the Haney Place Mall since 2015. That same year, the company took over former Target locations, including the one in Maple Ridge and opened Walmart stores. The company has 166 properties across Canada valued at more than $10 billion.
Another downtown mall site is currently in redevelopment, as Haney Plaza on Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge has been torn down to make room for commercial/retail space. The development is being done by a partnership of Bruce Johnston and Tom Meier of Johnston Meier Insurance and SwissReal Group.
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