Tsawwassen First Nations malls taking shape for 2016 opening

Construction continues, although nothing new to report on the tenant front

The mega-shopping centre that will change the face of retail in the Lower Mainland is steadily taking shape at the Tsawwassen First Nation.

Located at the northwest corner of Highway 17 and 52nd Street, Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Tsawwassen Mills will include 1.2 million square feet of retail, while the adjacent Tsawwassen Commons, a Property Development Group project also under construction, will have 550,000-square-feet of outdoor retail.

Both are scheduled to open in May of next year.

A spokesperson for Tsawwassen Mills said in the next few months construction will include structural steel work continuing from the east side of the building to the west side, installation of exterior walls, installation of the roof, which will include energy-efficient skylights, and installation of underground utilities.

Tsawwassen Mills is expected to have 16 anchor stores, a mix of premium fashion brands and factory outlets as well as a 1,100-seat food court. The mall is modeled on the successful CrossIron Mills in Calgary and Vaughan Mills in Greater Toronto.
The first Bass Pro Shops in B.C. is the only confirmed tenant thus far, but a Tsawwassen Mills spokesperson said more tenant announcements are expected in the coming months.

Tsawwassen Commons will include a blend of national, regional and independent retailers, big-box outlets, restaurants and financial services. PDG Investments is managing the leasing of its project with FORM Retail Advisors, a Vancouver-based retail broker.

Tsawwassen Commons’ only announced tenants thus far are Walmart and Rona, however the project is already 50 per cent pre-leased, with 78 per cent of the retail area under letter of intent or offers to lease, according to GVest Private Equity LP, which has come on board as a 50 per cent shareholder in the project.

When completed, Tsawwassen Mills and Tsawwassen Commons will combine to be the second-largest shopping centre complex in B.C., slightly smaller in leaseable retail space than Metropolis Metrotown in Burnaby.

Meanwhile, work continues on Highway 17 to widen the highway from east of 56th Street to Tsawwassen Drive. Upgrades are also being made at the 52nd Street and 56th Street intersections.

As the roadwork continues, Delta is seeing what, if anything, can be done to alleviate noise concerns by residents across the highway in Imperial Village. Delta council recently discussed a petition asking for a berm to help block out the noise.

Noting the highway comes under provincial jurisdiction, engineering director Steven Lan said staff has been in touch with the Ministry of Highways and TFN about the issue.

“I have some empathy for people who suddenly find themselves next to a major project, but I don’t want to encourage them Delta can do anything and give them false hope,” said Mayor Lois Jackson.

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