Construction workers at Polo Park shopping centre are nearing the end of the biggest renovation at Winnipeg's busiest mall in 28 years.
The more than 90,000 square feet of space that housed Zellers on the second floor until last year is being reconfigured to fit two dozen retail shops.
Below it on the main level, workers continue to overhaul 25,000 square feet of space for H&M. The highly anticipated Swedish retailer -- the initials stand for Hennes & Mauritz -- sells a range of clothing for men, women, teenagers, children and babies.
Both sites are slightly ahead of schedule and are expected to have a grand opening Oct. 1, just in time for the start of the Christmas shopping season, said Darryl Schmidt, vice-president of national leasing for Western Canada for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd., which owns Polo Park. He said the redevelopment project will ring in at $50 million.
H&M will be the anchor at the mall's centre and the new tenants -- Anthropologie, a Georgia-based retailer of women's clothing and accessories, home furnishings, gifts and decor, is the only one to have been confirmed -- will have a heavy emphasis on U.S. retailers that will be new to Winnipeg.
Polo Park doesn't mess around with renovations. In 1986, it spent $75 million to add a second storey to the mall, and in 2007, another $30 million was dropped on expansion and renovation, adding 20,000 square feet of space.
Deborah Green, manager of Polo Park, was out of town at a conference on Tuesday and was not able to comment on the expansion.
Just across the road to the north, U.S. mega-retailer Target is in the process of building a unique concept on the former site of Canad Inns Stadium, featuring a parkade on the main floor and retail space above it. Target's fourth location in Winnipeg is also expected to open in time for the Christmas rush.
The store is part of the Plaza at Polo Park mixed-use development Shindico and Cadillac Fairview plan to build on the former stadium site. It could be one of several multi-storey buildings in the development, which is expected to include a mix of retail and multi-family residential space.
-- with files from Murray McNeill