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Sneak Peek: YVR’s New Outlet Mall Is Unlike Anything On This Continent

When the hotly anticipated McArthurGlen Designer Outlet opens near YVR this spring, it’ll be the first location on this continent for the UK-based outlet builder. We caught up with North American development director Joan Jove—in town for the ICSC convention in Whistler—to find out more.

Sneak Peek: YVR’s New Outlet Mall Is Unlike Anything On This Continent

Joan tells us the centre, the first designer outlet of its kind in the Vancouver area, is being built in two phases. The first, opening this spring, has 240k SF of retail space, with 75 tenants, including cafes and eateries. The second phase will add 140k SF and bring the total retailers at the outlet to 120 (there’ll be 2,500 parking spots, and free Canada Line service from the airport). The centre is a JV between McArthurGlen and Vancouver Airport Authority, the not-for-profit organization that operates YVR.

Sneak Peek: YVR’s New Outlet Mall Is Unlike Anything On This Continent

The centre is laid out like an open-air village, with tree-lined streets, a fountain, three piazzas and children’s playground. The design—while European flavoured, as per the look of McArthurGlen’s 20 outlets in eight countries on that continent—also draws inspiration from historic Vancouver architecture, like the city’s first post office building (now part of the Sinclair Centre complex) and the Vancouver Rowing Club, as well as the brick facades found in Gastown. (In 2013 McArthurGlen became a JV between the world's largest retail developer, Simon Property Group, and Kaempfer Partners.)

Sneak Peek: YVR’s New Outlet Mall Is Unlike Anything On This Continent

The outlet will offer a mix of brands, Joan notes, including mid-market, premium, luxury and sports retailers (he won’t name names ahead of the grand opening). “We like to appeal to a broad range of customers." The market for the outlet mall, Joan says, will be both tourists (with 9 million of them coming to Vancouver each year) and locals, who’ve never had this kind of outlet mall on home turf. “We felt there was a gap here. Now people won’t have to cross the border to shop at outlets.”