Target coming to Haney Place

Maple Ridge one of 105 locations to be upgraded

Haney Place Mall in downtown Maple Ridge is on Target’s list of 105 locations that will be renovated.

Haney Place Mall in downtown Maple Ridge is on Target’s list of 105 locations that will be renovated.

Haney Place Mall in downtown Maple Ridge is on Target’s list of 105 locations that will be renovated.

Target Corp. of Minneapolis, Minn., bought 220 Zellers stores from The Bay earlier this year, but didn’t say which ones it wanted to keep or sell.

Those plans became more precise Thursday after Target Canada president Tony Fisher released the company’s plans for the first group of stores, 15 of which are in B.C., including the one at the west end of Haney Place Mall.

For now, Zellers will keep operating as Zellers.

But once renovation plans are ready, most stores will close for six to nine months.

On average, each store will require about $10 million in renovations.

Narland spokesman Chris Sherry expects renovations to take place sometime in 2013 and that expansion of the Zellers footprint will also be explored.

The mall and Target have worked out a 20-year lease agreement, plus options.

“At the end of the day, we’ll have a brand new Target. We’ll have opened the Thrifty’s on the other end,” Sherry said.

That will allow Narland to then focus on the smaller retail spaces and improving the mall overall. Target will be beneficial to the entire centre, Sherry said.

“We’ve been saying for years you can’t force development. We required something like this to trigger the direction of the shopping centre and I think we have that now and we can finalize our renovation and development plans.”

No specific plans for the Maple Ridge location were announced. However, the first Target store in Canada is set to open in 2013. Which one hasn’t been announced.

Each store will employ between 150 to 200 people and current Zellers employees may have a good chance.

“Target will also engage with Zellers associates to make it easy for them to apply for jobs at Target,” said a company news release.

“For them to actually put that to paper, is a great sign,” Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said of Target.

“For me, it’s confirmation that we are on the right track.”

When Daykin first heard that Target was buying the Zellers chain, he called a Target vice-president and sent a letter and a promotional package for Maple Ridge. Daykin also mentioned he was a huge Minnesota Vikings fan.

He said he didn’t care what method worked, as long as the company remembered Maple Ridge in its plans.

Daykin said then that he’d point out that Maple Ridge is the fifth-most attractive city in Canada in which to invest, according to the Real Estate Investment Network.

He also mentioned about the new streetscape, the money spent by on the central area, as well as the incentive plan that aims to attract investors into the core area and the goal to increase the downtown population from 8,500 to more than 20,000.

He pointed out the downtown incentive plan also applies to renovations. Under that plan, renovations exceeding $20,000 could see building permit and development fees cut in half, as well as cuts in property taxes.

Target’s plans for Zellers coincide with Narland’s plans this summer for redoing the south facade of the mall and parking lot, a $4.5-million project, including the purchase of two lots on 226th Street at Lougheed Highway.

Haney Place Mall’s east end revamp has also been secured, with Thrifty Foods’s plans to open a store next year in what’s now Haney Marketplace and Antique Mall.

Targeted locations:

The Lower Mainland outlets selected in the first phase of conversions are in Abbotsford (Abbotsford Power Centre), Burnaby (Metropolis at Metrotown), Chilliwack (Cottonwood Mall), Coquitlam (Coquitlam Centre), Delta (Scottsdale Mall), Langley (Willowbrook Shopping Centre), Maple Ridge (Haney Place Mall) and Vancouver (Oakridge Shopping Centre).

Additional B.C. stores are planned in Campbell River (Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre), Courtenay (Driftwood Mall), Cranbrook (Tamarack Mall), Nanaimo (Nanaimo North Town Centre), Prince George (Pine Centre), Vernon (Village Green Mall) and Victoria (Tillicum Mall.)