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This article was published 23/9/2010 (3313 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Polo North has landed its first major retail tenant, and this one is sure to cause a stir in the local ethnic-food sector when it opens next year.
Shindico Realty Inc. officials confirmed Thursday that a 45,000-square-foot Asian supermarket will be the anchor retail tenant in Cadillac Fairview's 210,000-square-foot Polo North development, which is being built on the former Winnipeg Arena/CTV-WTN site at Polo Park.
The Shindico officials — development manager Bob Downs and broker/developer John Pearson — refused to disclose the name of the Asian grocer, saying some aspects of the leasing deal have not been completed.
However, all signs point to it being Canada's largest Asian supermarket chain — Vancouver-based T & T Supermarket Inc.
T&T marketing manger Sandra Creighton said in an interview last November, after Edmonton-based Lucky Supermarket announced it was opening a new 32,000-square-foot Asian supermarket here, that T & T was also interested in opening a store in Winnipeg.
Creighton said Thursday the company has been looking at several locations, including the Polo North site. But she maintained a leasing deal has not been completed and she wouldn't speculate on how soon that might happen.
She said the fast-growing company, which started in 1993 with one outlet in Vancouver, will be opening its 19th megastore later this fall, also in Vancouver. The company has eight stores in the Vancouver area as well as two in Calgary, two in Edmonton and six in Ontario.
The Lucky Supermarket store near Notre Dame Avenue and McPhillips Street boasts about 20,000 square feet of retail space and is Winnipeg's largest Asian supermarket.
The next biggest is believed to be the 13,000-square-foot Sun Wah Supermarket on King Street. The remainder of the more than one dozen Asian grocery stores in the city are smaller operations.
Downs and Pearson said the Asian supermarket is one of a number of prospective tenants they've been negotiating with. They said they hope to complete a number of other leasing deals before the end of the year.
"We really have solid momentum on the leasing now," Pearson said.
"Once they (other prospective tenants) know you've got an anchor, they're more confident it will work," Downs said.
The only tenant that has been publicly identified is the Corus Entertainment network. It's leased the second floors of the CTV and WTN buildings, which are joined to one another, for its three local radio stations — CJOB 680 AM, Power 97 FM, and Groove 99.1 FM.
The multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the CTV-WTN buildings is already well underway. Downs said construction of a new 150,000-square-foot, three-storey building on the former arena site will begin later this fall and should be completed by late next year.
The Asian supermarket will be one of the retail tenants on the main floor of that building. Downs said there is another 32,000 square feet of space still available, "and that could be taken by one (retail) tenant or a couple of tenants."
The top two floors of the building and the third floor of the WTN building will be office space, he and Pearson said.
They said a 7,000-square-foot restaurant is expected to go on the main floor of the WTN building, with another roughly 20,000 square feet of retail space available on the main floor of the CTV building.