Behind the Deal: Why Pusateri’s Is Heading to Oakville
Pusateri’s Fine Foods will be opening a 18k SF location at Oakville Place. We asked Pusateri prez Frank Luchetta what motivated him to sign a 15-year deal at the city's largest shopping centre.
RioCan REIT (which bought Oakville Place last year) is planning a $30M revamp to take the mall more upscale, which Frank says was key to his decision. He tells us Pusateri’s had been eyeing the Oakville market for five years but had struggled to find a location that offered adequate square footage and parking. Then RioCan acquired Oakville Place, built in 1981, with plans to renovate starting next spring. Frank says he and RioCan COO Fred Waks began talking shortly after that.
RioCan will, over time, change the mall’s tenant mix to become more of an upscale fashion centre, something akin to Miami's Bal Harbour Shops. (“That’s where we made our deal,” Frank says. “We were sitting in Bal Harbour.”) Oakville has the demographics to support a higher-end shopping centre, and demand is there, he says. RioCan’s hope is that securing Pusateri’s as an anchor will draw other posh TO retailers. (How come nobody ever backs into parking spaces in renderings?)
Pusateri’s will open at Oakville Place by holidays 2015, a quarter that’s typically favourable to the food industry, Frank notes, and it will will occupy a newly built space. It’s Pusateri’s fourth expansion in the GTA; its first since opening a 10k SF Bayview Village location (above) in 2010. In the intervening years, Pusateri's built a 10k SF commissary kitchen that produces all of its in-house products. “We’re now in a position where we can expand our brand,” Frank says.