Bayfield purchased the Niagara Square Shopping Centre together with RioCan REIT. The property was a hybrid retail centre of about 390,000 SF comprised of about 180,000 SF of enclosed mall and 210,000 SF of large box retailers including a Cineplex Movie theatre. It became apparent to Bayfield in 2016 that the retail concept of the shopping centre as it then existed, would not work in the near future. Bayfield purchased the interest of RioCan and developed a strategy for the conceptual reinvention of the property.
The retail model to be adopted was that of a well anchored, service oriented, easily navigable modern open format retail centre which would include a number of successful destinational retailers. The project involved planning for enhanced pedestrian and vehicle traffic circulation, the demolition of the enclosed mall portion of the property, the retention of the existing successful large box retailers and the two enclosed mall bank tenants, bringing a large retail anchor and additional destinational tenants to the site, and the renovation/construction and leasing of an additional 70,000 SF of inline space and pad buildings.
In the execution of its redevelopment concept for the property, the Bayfield team has accomplished the following:
- Vacated all tenants from the enclosed mall portion of the property, completed the demolition of that portion of the property and have almost completed the construction of the new space, storefronts and facades for the remaining portions of the Project.
- Attracted a large and important anchor retailer (Costco Wholesale) to the site. A new state of the art Costco store and gas bar has been constructed which will open in early November of 2020.
- Renewed the leases of all box and pad tenants whose leases were expiring and which Bayfield wished to remain on the site including Cineplex, Michaels, Jysk and Mandarin.
- Completed the relocation of the 2 banks formally in the enclosed mall portion of the property, (BMO and CIBC), to Drive Thru pads in the parking area fronting the highway. Both Banks are now open in their new locations.
- Built a new store for Winners and extended their lease for an additional 10 years.
- Leased and completed construction of a new medical clinic which opened on the pad next to the new BMO.
- Leased to and constructed a 10,000 SF unit in the Property for Dollarama.
- Leased a unit of approximately 27,500 SF to Giant Tiger Stores which will open for business in the fall of this year.
- Completed a renewal term and expansion of the existing Brick store from 20,000 SF to approximately 28,000 SF.
The property is approximately 92% leased and is expected to be essentially fully occupied by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2021.