Sneak Peek: Yorkdale’s 300k SF East Expansion
Oxford Properties Group is in the thick of a $331M expansion of Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s eastern flank, a 300k SF wing anchored by Nordstrom. GM Claire Santamaria gives us a preview.
We snapped Claire yesterday in the construction zone. In addition to Nordstrom (188k SF), the expansion features a 112k SF corridor with 30 new retailers, including Canada Goose's first standalone store, UNIQLO, Mackage, ARC'TERYX, Nadège, Wolford, Reiss, Muji and Samsung. The new space is nearly fully leased. Yorkdale, co-owned by AIMCo, is Canada’s best-performing mall, with $1,610 in sales PSF in 2015. Claire tells us the goal is to keep it in the top spot by catering to existing shoppers while luring new ones with offerings not found elsewhere. "Our success is built on being different, dynamic and open to change."
A view of the new wing, which Claire notes is the largest expansion in Yorkdale’s history (a 145k SF reno in 2012 brought Kate Spade New York, Loft, Microsoft and Ted Baker London to Canada). Next spring Restoration Hardware opens a 69k SF four-level, plantation-style flagship, its largest Canadian location. The store will anchor the redeveloped 120k SF former Sears at the mall’s west end, and Claire says leases are being finalized for the remaining space. All told, the new-look Yorkville will boast a 2M SF retail roster, with 250 shops and services. The expansion also brings 1M SF of parking (for 8,000 spaces total).
Above, the east wing’s sail wall floods the space with natural light. Like the rest of Yorkdale, the expansion is designed in a racetrack formation, notes Claire. The wing is the walking-distance equivalent of a city block, a pedestrian-friendly loop with no dead ends. Retailers adjacent to the new wing are renovating, too, including Sport Chek, H&M and Zara. Others, like Birks, are moving to bigger spaces in the east expansion, and global retailer UNIQLO is opening one of its first Canadian locations at Yorkdale. “We’ve got a long history of welcoming new brands,” says Claire.
The new wing is slated to open Oct. 18 (Nordstrom, seen above, on Oct. 21), and Claire, who previously worked on the revamp of Oxford's Square One Shopping Centre, is confident her team will hit its target. EllisDon is the GC, and she notes her company is used to carrying out big renos on tight timelines. “It’s nothing new to us.” Oxford's aim here is to solidify Yorkdale’s standing as Canada’s top-performing mall, says Claire, but its ambitions extend beyond our borders. “We want to be a global player, one of the world’s best shopping centres. And we’re on our way to doing that.”