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Vaughan Mills...new info

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Vaughan Mills getting all set to sell

Rare enclosed regional mall

Scheduled to open for business Nov. 4

DANA FLAVELLE

BUSINESS REPORTER

The long-awaited opening of Vaughan Mills, the first enclosed regional shopping mall built in Canada in 14 years, is scheduled for Nov. 4.

The 1.2 million-sq.-ft. mall, one of the largest in the region, will introduce a number of new retail concepts to Canada, including Hudson's Bay Co.'s first "Designer Depot," an off-price, brand-name clothing outlet, the developers disclosed yesterday.

The mall will also bring to Canada the first Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, a fishing and hunting superstore; and the first Burlington Coat Factory, a brand-name discount clothing superstore. Both U.S.-based retailers were previously announced at the mall's ground-breaking ceremony a year ago.

The joint venture between long-established Canadian mall developer Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. and U.S.-owned relative newcomer Mills Corp. is under construction near Highways 400 and 7 in Vaughan.

Altogether, the company has leased out 75 per cent of the available floor space, including to 12 of 15 anchor tenants and 140 of 200 specialty shops, plus restaurants and entertainment venues, Ivanhoe Cambridge vice-president Paul Gleeson said in an interview yesterday.

The company released a long list of retailers that included three larger than usual stores by retailers already well known to Canadians: a Linens 'n Things, an Urban Behaviour and a combined La Senza/Senza Girl.

A previously announced skateboard park will be replaced by a Nascar Speedpark, which features indoor and outdoor Go-Kart tracks, a mini-golf course, Nascar-branded clothing, a climbing wall and corporate entertainment facilities, the mall developers also said.

The mall also marks the introduction to Canada of Lucky Strike Lanes, a "hip" bowling concept. The specialty retailers include the first Tommy Bahama Outlet, Town Shoes Outlet and Benetton Outlet in Canada, along with numerous other factory outlet concepts, including Nike, Tristan & American and La View En Rose.

The mall, with its bare-bones structure and off-price merchandise, is likely to present more of a competitive challenge to the big-box retailers and power centres immediately to the south than to conventional regional shopping centres further afield, said retail consultant Anthony Stokan of Anthony Russell & Associates.

Originally, Vaughan Mills was going to attract more U.S. retailers that weren't already operating in Canada, giving more consumers a reason to visit the site, he noted. Now, it looks as though Vaughan Mills will duplicate a lot of what's already available elsewhere, he said.

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