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This article was published 2/6/2011 (3061 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A dozen stores in Grant Park Shopping Centre are relocating to make way for the expansion of what is already the province's largest Liquor Mart.
Mall manager Sandra Hagenaars confirmed Thursday the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission outlet at the back of the mall will be moving next spring to larger quarters at the front of the shopping centre.
To accommodate the move, the mall is shuffling its retail lineup. Hagenaars said nine stores will be moving to new locations, and three that were renting space on a month-to-month basis have lost their spots altogether.
These are heady times for the Grant Park mall, which learned just last week it will be getting a Target store when the U.S. retail giant begins converting Zellers stores to Target outlets in 2013 as part of its takeover of the Canadian retail chain.
The reconfiguration of the mall was in the works long before Target announced its plans, and is part of a longer-term redevelopment plan for the shopping centre.
Hagenaars said the mall's owner, Toronto-based Primaris Retail REIT, will also be renovating the entranceway and common areas at the west end of the mall at the same time. And the rest of the common areas in the mall will eventually get a similar facelift.
Hagenaars and MLCC spokeswoman Diana Soroka didn't have an estimate of how much will be spent on the mall redevelopment or the Liquor Mart expansion.
Soroka said work on the new store won't begin until fall, so the project hasn't gone to tender yet.
Hagenaars said this first phase of redevelopment should be completed by next spring. No deadline has been set for the rest of the project.
She said the stores that will be affected by the liquor store's move include six that now occupy the space where the new store will be built. Most of them will be moving to an area near the centre of the mall, which made it necessary to relocate six others from that area, including the three month-to-month tenants who have already left.
"So we're playing a bit of a chess game right now. This one over here has to move to make room for that one over there"
Hagenaars said this part of the redevelopment should be competed by next spring. Once the liquor store moves, the mall will then have to redevelop its old space.
"We're still in the planning process with that," she said, but added it could be an opportunity to introduce some new tenants to the nearly 400,000-square-foot mall, which has about 70 shops and services.
The new Liquor Mart will be about 1,400 square feet larger than the existing one, which is just shy of 14,000 square feet.
Although Grant Park is already the MLCC's biggest store in terms of size, its recently renovated outlet on Dakota Street is its "flagship" store because it's only slightly smaller and has the highest sales volume, Soroka said.
"Grant Park for many, many years was our flagship store," she said, but lost its title about a decade ago.
Karl Hasse, manager of the Grant Park liquor store, said the store's 17 employees are looking forward to moving into newer, larger quarters.
"We're going to be able to provide a little better convenience for our customers," he said. "Our entranceway will be closer to the parking lot, so it will be a little easier for our customers to get in and out."
Soroka said having more space should also allow for wider aisles and a more attractive layout. But there are no plans to expand product offerings, she added, since it's already one of the most extensive in the city.