Walmart Takes Target Space at Erin Mills Town Centre
The Target-sized hole at Erin Mills Town Centre will be filled by a 136k SF Walmart Supercentre, opening later this year, a big win for the Mississauga mall as it completes a $100M makeover.
Erin Mills Town Centre VP Nance MacDonald says the mall was “devastated” by Target’s abrupt departure last spring (it only opened in August 2014). “So to fill that space is fabulous,” she tells us, noting EMTC, owned by Ontario Pension Board, is one of a few Target-vacated GTA malls to do so thus far. The Walmart Supercentre (groceries plus the usual fare) will be EMTC's third anchor, joining Hudson’s Bay and Sears. Nance (seen below monitoring the mall's redevelopment) doesn’t anticipate much work will be required to repurpose Target's space, itself a revamped Zellers. “They did a good job. It’s almost a brand-new store.”
Walmart’s arrival adds momentum to the sprucing up of Erin Mills Town Centre, which includes a new food court with a 26-foot-high ceiling, a 350-foot-long window wall, and an outdoor patio yielding panoramic views of Mississauga’s growing skyline. A 50-foot-high glass facade frames the 850k SF mall’s new main entrance. And EMTC will soon unveil its light-flooded Centre Court, with infinity fountain and limestone floors. While regional competitors Square One Shopping Centre and CF Sherway Gardens are expanding, Nance, with 20VIC Management, notes her mall has maintained its size, "getting better, not bigger."
In EMTC’s central atrium, the mall’s iconic old clock tower has been replaced by a slick sphere (above), which we're told, at 283 feet in circumference, is the world's largest structural double-curved glass. The renovation is aimed at drawing new retailers and capturing more customers, including the influx of residents coming via developments like Daniels Erin Mills, a condo-rental community at the southwest corner of Erin Mills Parkway at Eglinton Avenue West; and Pemberton Group’s Downtown Erin Mills Condos, a two-tower project. Credit Valley Hospital, another source of traffic, is down the road.
The Walmart deal comes at a key time for Erin Mills Town Centre. While the reno will resuscitate a 27-year-old mall that had significant vacancies when OPB bought it in 2010, Nance notes it created short-term upheaval. "We redeveloped the whole mall; there basically wasn’t anything we didn’t touch.” The situation was exacerbated by Target leaving. With everything falling into place now, though, she's confident EMTC will succeed in luring new tenants. Sport Chek, departing soon, will be replaced by a 26k SF Urban Planet. “And our leasing team are out on the street talking to other retailers we know will fit the bill.”