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Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 1:53 AM
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Hi Folks,

There was some debate going on in recent times on the Moncton retail section regarding malls and I had some time tonight and thus decided to do a small "checkup" on our malls to see how things are looking.

Some of the data I used may be outdated, I used the property owner data (Cadillac Fairview / Primaris) and tried to recall things from various news and discussion but please by all means let me know if you see something off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
CF Champlain
666,568 sq ft
CRU Productivity: $600/ sq ft

vacant
8,356 (former GAP, potential Forever 21?)
213
1,453
1,400
3,184
1,601
2,788 (former Champlain dental, potential Starbucks?)
6,837 (former Tommy Hilfiger, potential restaurant?)

TOTAL OCCUPIED: 640,736 (96.1%)
TOTAL VACANT: 25,832 (3.9%)
TOTAL OCCUPIED STORES: 119
TOTAL VACANT STORES: 8

note: above data does not account for fully occupied "annex" (Chapters @ 22,000, Bass Pro Shops @ 98,000, Cineplex @ 39,000)


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Regent Mall
499,000 sq ft
CRU Productivity: $563/ sq ft

vacant
1,551

TOTAL OCCUPIED: 497,449 (99.7%)
TOTAL VACANT: 1,551 (0.3%)
TOTAL OCCUPIED STORES: 102
TOTAL VACANT STORES: 1



----------------------------------------------------------------------
McAlister Place
483,000 sq ft.
CRU Productivity: $495/ sq ft

vacant
74,000 (former Target, portion not leased by H&M)
43,500 (former Sobeys, potential Goodlife? Winners?)
2,341
1,135
994
675
2,097
2,508
2,233
2,868
290

TOTAL OCCUPIED: 350,359 (72.6%)
TOTAL VACANT: 132,641 (27.4%)
TOTAL OCCUPIED STORES: 86
TOTAL VACANT STORES: 11



----------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't think any of these malls are in danger of becoming "dead" by any means, McAlister Place obviously needs to find a couple large tenants which can happen fast, Regent is doing extremely well with regards to occupancy, Champlain falls somewhere in the middle.

What are your thoughts on the standing of these malls in general? Rumors of future stores etc?
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Last edited by mmmatt; Sep 21, 2016 at 2:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 2:32 AM
Taeolas Taeolas is offline
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Regent, as pointed out, seems to be in excellent shape. It's survived Corbett Centre filling up, and is pretty much completely full now, or will be once Lawton's opens up. The stores are, IMO, well suited for the community; a few higher end stores for those who want it, but mainly midrange offerings for the office crowd, and enough Teen/Twenty-something places for the university crowd.

Going forward? That's where things get hazy. While there's nothing official, you can be sure Walmart is itching to get into bigger non-mall based digs. There's already talks of expanding the North side Walmart at 2NC into a proper Supercentre; and if the North side gets one, the Southside is well overdue for it. (Walmart itself is almost always packed every weekend and every day from Sept to January). If/when Walmart moves, that will leave a huge gap.

Another worry is Cineplex. Freddy is in desperate need for a new theatre; Cineplex hasn't put any money into the mall since forever; those screens are 20 years old and its showing. A few years ago, we had a glimpse of the leases of the big anchors in the mall (back when Cadillac Fairview was selling Regent) and Cineplex's lease expires/expired this year. I'm sure Cineplex is anxious to get into their own digs (but Empire's sale to Cineplex in the meantime has probably tossed the plans in disarray), but the mall probably likes having the theatre there to keep the Student crowd coming. I still believe the theatres will be moving at some point in the future, leaving another gap in the mall. Luckily the gap isn't all that big and should be relatively easy to fill in.

Finally, there's the biggest unknown of them all; the albatross at the other end of the Mall. Sears is struggling nationally and has staked out a claim at Death's door for the past few years. When it eventually throws in the towel, that'll be another big gap.

Regent's current status is in excellent shape; but they have a perfect storm of disaster brewing in the relatively near future. The worst case scenario they have is Walmart and Cineplex leaving at once at the same time Sears goes belly up. More likely they'll lose them spaced out enough to keep the mall fairly full. Any two at once would be fine. (Especially if the rumour of Cineplex moving into the Sears anchor happen; though that's probably not true). There's also a fairly decent chance that if Sears folds, the Bay will look to grab store sites, and Regent (and Champlain and McAllistar) would all be prime locations for Maritime expansion.

Luckily they got the huge facelift a few years ago before they were sold off, so appearance-wise they are good for a long while now. And overall the mall synergizes well with Corbett centre, so the two support eachother fairly well. Lawton's moving in is a good hedge bet to Walmart leaving; it provides a lot of toiletries and pharmacy items that Walmart currently supplies for University students.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 2:33 AM
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Do these large malls ever go up? Regent Mall is in the process of adding a Lawtons (I believe?) with a second storey - for a medical clinic? Either way, these malls take up so much area - it seemed pretty simple for Lawtons to punch through the roof with some new structure and extend the building up an additional level. Especially for the Regent Mall, being at such a low % vacancy, adding tenants that could go up seems like a good idea?

Then there's parking - some of the larger malls in large urban centers that I have been to do not have a significant amount of open surface parking but have a parking structure that obviously extends vertically and takes up less land area. Would any of these malls mentioned ever look at these options of increasing tenant space by going up or by using parking space for additional building expansion and have parking go vertically as well?
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 2:45 AM
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Regent has acres of parking; but for the Sept-December period, it NEEDS every slot it can get. I toyed with the idea of Cineplex moving to the corner of the Sears parking lot, and it might be feasible, but the parking loss would probably be too much. (And that's the most isolated lot around Regent).

If Regent's future was more certain, I could easily see the Lawtons up-spansion extending across the entire wing of the mall for another wing of stores. Regent itself doesn't really have much more horizontal expansion space, so if it were to grow further, upward is the direction to go. That might lead to a parking garage, but I'm not sure where that would fit best; likely in behind the mall behind TRU/at the Food Court.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 3:38 AM
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I think Urban Planet would suit Fredericton and Saint John rather well, there is one in Charlottetown now, so that could be a possible future tenant of the malls.

EDIT
I suppose I should have checked that there wasn't already locations elsewhere in both cities, but I do think that if a sizeable opening came up that it would fit nicely.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 1:12 PM
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I'm glad to see Regent currently doing so well in Freddy. I've always liked the mall, but I haven't been inside the mall in probably 18 months or so.

My thoughts:

Regent Mall

Has a strong stable of retailers and currently has the lowest vacancy rate of the "big three" in NB, but I do agree Taeolas that, paradoxically, Regent is the mall most at risk for the greatest fall.

As pointed out, Walmart could decamp for a standalone supercenter, Sears will likely die in the next 3-5 years (according to analysts, that's when their cash reserves will be eaten up) and Cineplex could choose to move to a new location rather than upgrade their current location in the mall. The loss of these three anchors could really knock the stuffing out of the mall. They would be hard to replace given the current Canadian retailing climate.

prediction - Regent will survive, and will prosper
- Walmart will stay and undergo a mini-superstore conversion like at Champlain Place
- Sears will die, but probably will be replaced by a Hudson's Bay store
- Cineplex will likely move, but this space could become attractive for new to market retailers in Fredericton.

McAllister Place

Currently the weakest of the three malls, and is the one in the greatest trouble. There are already big vacancies where Target and Sobeys used to be, and if Sears dies, then there are essentially no anchors left. Another big problem is that East Point is just up the hill, and this serves as a major competitor for the mall. If East Point continues to fill out, it could draw even more retailers from the mall to their own development.

prediction - McAllister Place will survive, but unless Hudson's Bay moves in to replace Sears, there will have to be radical changes, like converting the mall to a retail strip development or a power centre of some form.

Champlain Place

Has more vacancies than usually seen, but the vacancy rate is still only a paltry 3%. Any vacancies in the mall have not been because of any fault on the part of the mall and are more due to national chain bankruptcies or major chains contracting in size. Champlain Place still has more upscale tenants than the other malls in the province and has several unique to market retailers. The main issue with the mall is that, in the past, whenever a vacancy has occurred, it has been rapidly filled. This does not seem to be happening any more.

Prediction - Champlain Place will live on and prosper. Sears will fail, but will rapidly be replaced by Hudson's Bay. I wouldn't be at all surprised if discussions are ongoing right now between CF & HBC. Walmart will stay in the mall as a superstore conversion has already taken place. There are conflicting rumours about Sobeys, but I am currently inclined to believe that Sobeys will stay and will renovate. I'm also of the opinion that CF is preparing to reshuffle stores to allow consolidation of footprints in the mall for new to market retailers. This might be one of the reasons why vacancies are not currently being filled. They may be preparing for the "big fix".
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 1:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh_cat_eyes View Post
I think Urban Planet would suit Fredericton and Saint John rather well, there is one in Charlottetown now, so that could be a possible future tenant of the malls.

EDIT
I suppose I should have checked that there wasn't already locations elsewhere in both cities, but I do think that if a sizeable opening came up that it would fit nicely.
Fredericton has an Urban Planet in the Uptown Centre.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Taeolas View Post
Another worry is Cineplex. Freddy is in desperate need for a new theatre; Cineplex hasn't put any money into the mall since forever; those screens are 20 years old and its showing. A few years ago, we had a glimpse of the leases of the big anchors in the mall (back when Cadillac Fairview was selling Regent) and Cineplex's lease expires/expired this year. I'm sure Cineplex is anxious to get into their own digs (but Empire's sale to Cineplex in the meantime has probably tossed the plans in disarray), but the mall probably likes having the theatre there to keep the Student crowd coming. I still believe the theatres will be moving at some point in the future, leaving another gap in the mall. Luckily the gap isn't all that big and should be relatively easy to fill in.
I'm not sure that Cineplex is anxious. From what I've heard the theatres are very profitable as-is – not too surprising since there is no competition. The customer experience there definitely isn't the greatest, though.
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 3:58 PM
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Originally Posted by OliverD View Post
Fredericton has an Urban Planet in the Uptown Centre.
Yeah I realized that after I posted. But if Cineplex moved out and Uptown centre started going down hill, would they be inclined to move to the mall? What I was getting at is even though they aren't currently located there, they still could move as they fit will in that type of environment.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 9:30 PM
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Could have sworn that much of the so-called empty space in McAllister Place has been spoken for ..H & M, other?
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 9:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Freddypop View Post
Could have sworn that much of the so-called empty space in McAllister Place has been spoken for ..H & M, other?
I forget The exact math as I'm on my phone now but target was about 94,000 sq ft...H&M is taking about 20,000 sq ft of that leaving 74,000 sq ft still vacant. Sobeys just left the mall recently for a much nicer new store at East Point
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---Moncton-----------(NB)
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(CMA)-----144,810---(1st)
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(CSD)------71,889---(1st)----------*Be Magically Transported to Downtown Moncton in Autumn*
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 9:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
I'm glad to see Regent currently doing so well in Freddy. I've always liked the mall, but I haven't been inside the mall in probably 18 months or so.

My thoughts:
I won't paste your whole quote to save space but as usual I concur with your assessments
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---Moncton-----------(NB)
(ER)-------209,256---(1st)
(CMA)-----144,810---(1st)
(POPCTR)-108,620--(1st)
(CSD)------71,889---(1st)----------*Be Magically Transported to Downtown Moncton in Autumn*
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2016, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Taeolas View Post

Another worry is Cineplex. Freddy is in desperate need for a new theatre; Cineplex hasn't put any money into the mall since forever; those screens are 20 years old and its showing. A few years ago, we had a glimpse of the leases of the big anchors in the mall (back when Cadillac Fairview was selling Regent) and Cineplex's lease expires/expired this year. I'm sure Cineplex is anxious to get into their own digs (but Empire's sale to Cineplex in the meantime has probably tossed the plans in disarray), but the mall probably likes having the theatre there to keep the Student crowd coming. I still believe the theatres will be moving at some point in the future, leaving another gap in the mall. Luckily the gap isn't all that big and should be relatively easy to fill in.
I worry a bit about the desire of Cineplex to upgrade facilities in Atlantic...the Dieppe theater was lucky enough to get a massive overhaul before Empire left but since then Cineplex hasn't done much out here in the east as far as I can tell. Heck it took them many months more than they planned just to put their brand on the buildings!

Are they just here to grab cash in the most cost effective way for the short term and then bail?? I doubt it, but until I see evidence to the contrary I'll be concerned.
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---Moncton-----------(NB)
(ER)-------209,256---(1st)
(CMA)-----144,810---(1st)
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(CSD)------71,889---(1st)----------*Be Magically Transported to Downtown Moncton in Autumn*
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2016, 3:07 PM
Ire Narissis Ire Narissis is offline
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I worry a bit about the desire of Cineplex to upgrade facilities in Atlantic...the Dieppe theater was lucky enough to get a massive overhaul before Empire left but since then Cineplex hasn't done much out here in the east as far as I can tell. Heck it took them many months more than they planned just to put their brand on the buildings!

Are they just here to grab cash in the most cost effective way for the short term and then bail?? I doubt it, but until I see evidence to the contrary I'll be concerned.
They did convert one of the theatres in the Saint John building to the "Ultra AVX" format... other than that, no real change from how Empire left it. And they're not doing as well with upkeep; the new hand dryers in the bathrooms mounted on bare plywood are kind of ridiculous.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2017, 2:31 PM
Taeolas Taeolas is offline
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So with recent retail news, I think all of NB's big malls are affected.

Regent is losing HMV (and Magnolia Jewelers) and may lose Tip Top. But otherwise it is still in good shape. Lawton's has opened up so the mall is effectively full at the moment (until those two or thee move out).

Tip Top will probably be an awkward spot to fill. It's in a high traffic spot, but not a corner spot, and it's at least 2 units big if not bigger. They may need to subdivide it unless there's another largish mall-retailer waiting for the space.

HMV is just a normal sized unit so it can be filled by most anyone. While in the high traffic corridor near the food court, it's still somewhat tucked away. Still, it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone to take it. Hopefully it won't be empty too long; but I have a sneaky suspicion that next fall it is where Calendar Club will set up. :/

Magnolia is just a kiosk near the food court so its loss isn't a huge deal one way or another.

So all in all, and judging from the other retail threads, I get the feeling that Regent is still possibly the most 'healthy' of the big malls in NB. It still has a few swords of Damocles hanging over head (with the fate of Sears up in the air, and possibly Walmart and Cineplex itching to move); but it is still at/near full capacity and most of the businesses seem to be doing well.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2017, 2:47 PM
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I would tend to concur that Regent may currently be the healthiest mall in the province.

As far as Champlain is concerned, I'm beginning to think that a bit of an existential crisis is beginning to develop at the mall. Some of this might be related to Cadillac Fairview being the management company.

Champlain Place is a bit of an "odd duck" for CF. Their portfolio is otherwise almost exclusively based in Canada's larger cities, and they are able to get away with focusing on fashion retail & accessories in their other retail locations. With the polarization of the retail trade in Canada between high end & low end (and the gutting of the middle ground), CF can focus solely on the high end segment in Toronto, Calgary & Vancouver, but what does this mean for Champlain???

This might be the reason why retail vacancies are starting to pile up at Champlain Place. CF doesn't know what to do with their "odd duck". Will CF begin to allow local content at the mall again? Will CF sell Champlain in order to streamline their portfolio? Time will tell........
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2017, 7:58 PM
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Great post MonctonRad, could not have said it better myself.

If I might add, I don't think Champlain is planning anything big for now. I think what we see is what we get. They (local mall management and CF in Toronto) are riding the wave on this one and hoping that the best days of Champlain are not behind them, but they probably are...

It is interesting to note that Regent is doing better now than when it was run by CF, it is now run by H&R REIT. I also think the retail synergy in Fredericton is different there than here, their location (Regent) next to their big box development is also beneficial to the mall itself. In Greater Moncton we have 2 or 3 large retail areas... with disconnections.

Meanwhile, Halifax is officially the retail capital of Atlantic Canada and top shelf retailers only have eyes for them now.

Last edited by OUIR@random; Feb 21, 2017 at 8:08 PM.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2017, 9:33 PM
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I was looking at H&R Reit's website Last update Regent Mall was still listed at 100% Occupancy, and there other mall in NB McAllister Place is only at 73% Occupancy, and yes Champlain Mall in Dieppe does seem to be suffering from a disconnect from our shopping areas, and there is also prices per Sq Ft, and lack of Sq Ft'age from what I've heard from friends of mine who work for large chain stores.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2017, 3:19 PM
Ire Narissis Ire Narissis is offline
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I also think the retail synergy in Fredericton is different there than here, their location (Regent) next to their big box development is also beneficial to the mall itself.
I suppose the same could be said about McAllister place in Saint John; it's literally surrounded by retail developments putting it more or less in the heart of our shopping district with East Point on one side, McAllister Drive's retail strip/Parkway Mall on the other, and the Walmart/Best Buy power centre in between.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2017, 5:44 PM
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I agree, having Regent in the middle (or at least next to) Freddy's main Big Box centre has probably ultimately helped both of them; they are basically two sides of the same shopping coin.

If (for whatever reason) Costco had set up shop say out at 2NC, and spurred that Smart Centre development instead of Corbett Centre; I suspect Regent's current situation would be a lot less rosy.

Even if the theorized Bishop Centre takes off and pulls Walmart and the theatres out of Regent, the mall should still be fine; Bishop is close enough to be in the same area, so it wouldn't be pulling people too far away.
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