May 31, 2020

Winnipeg
25° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Winnipeg Free Press

ABOVE THE FOLD

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Kildonan Place Sears store getting makeover

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/3/2019 (444 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Kildonan Place has seen Zellers, Target and now Sears stores come and go, but the Transcona mall appears to have plenty of fight left.

The city's urban planning division of the Planning, Property and Development department has approved plans for a major redevelopment of the property that looks like it will include a 39,000 square foot grocery store, a redevelopment of the existing Cineplex Famous Players movie theatre and a new food court.

Submitted renderings for a new movie theatre in Kildonan Place.

Submitted renderings for a new movie theatre in Kildonan Place.

The proposal needs to be approved by the East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee, where it is on the agenda for next Tuesday's meeting.

The mall management and ownership is not commenting at this point, but clearly a major project is in the works.

The Aftermath of Sears

Click to Expand

There were four Sears stores in Winnipeg that closed over the course of 2017-18. Here's the status of the redevelopment of those four locations:

Kildonan Place — It looks like a new 39,000 square foot grocery store (Save-On-Foods?) will be at least part of the redevelopment here.

Polo Park — there have been rumours of a Simons department store but mall management has said in the past that it's likely the two-storey space will be split up into smaller units. On Thursday, Peter Havens, Polo Park's general manager, was super non-committal, saying only, "We are working to transform the former Sears space to create a vibrant addition to our community in keeping with the expectations of Cadillac Fairview."

Garden City — this location is furthest ahead in its redevelopment with construction well under way on a 43,000-square-foot Filipino-American grocery chain called Seafood City Supermarket in the former 92,000 square foot Sears location.

St. Vital Centre — Kyle Waterman, general manager of St. Vital Centre, said the old Sears space has been prepped for redevelopment with the plan to break it up into six of seven units. He said construction is scheduled to commence in mid-May but there's no word on what new tenants will be moving in.

Sandra Hagenaars, Kildonan Place's general manager said in an email exchange, "We have submitted redevelopment plans to the city to begin the process to redevelop Sears. However, all plans are preliminary and we have no further comment at this time related to timing or tenants."

But the fact that it's already working its way through the zoning approval is a good sign that the intentions are serious.

"The mall has not made a public announcement yet," said Jeff Browaty, city councillor for the North Kildonan Ward. "But by the time they are coming in for a plan approval they are normally fairly advanced in their planning."

The submitted plans have been approved on the condition they are revised to show ramps, not steps, at all changes in elevation of all pedestrian routes.

The plan calls for a fairly substantial renovation and expansion including the redevelopment of a portion of the principal building, expansion of the parking area, removing part of the existing building and constructing an addition, recladding a significant portion of the building exterior as well as landscaping and new pedestrian routes in a large portion of the existing and proposed parking area.

It seems safe to assume that the major impetus of the redevelopment is a re-do of the old Sears store that was vacated in January 2018 with the wind down of that chain's Canadian stores. Sears was the anchor tenant of the mall since 1980.

The new plans look to include a grocery store in at least part of the old Sears location. While there has been nothing confirmed, Browaty, for one, believes Save-On-Foods would be the likely tenant since there is already a SuperStore, Sobeys, Safeway (currently being converted to a Fresh Co.), Walmart and Costco in the immediate neighbourhood.

The resiliency of this retail location likely has something to say about the strength of the community it is servicing.

"It's really encouraging," said Browaty. "Look at the regional shopping centre across North America. Lots of them have problems. The fact that this mall has been able to take over those empty spaces and replace them has been huge."

The mall has already successfully gone through the process of redeveloping big box-sized Zellers and Target stores. Most recently, in April, 2017, a Marshalls/HomeSense combo store and H & M stores opened in Kildonan Place's former Target store

In 2014 H&R Real Estate Investment Trust acquired the 460,498-square-foot mall from Toronto-based Ivanhoe Cambridge, for a reported $138.5 million.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

Read full biography

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.