Last week, Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens opened the first of three expansion wings planned for the shopping centre, as part of its $550 million overhaul. We spoke with the mall’s General Manager to gain insight into what landlord Cadillac Fairview has planned for Sherway between now and mid-2017, including new wings anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.
The mall’s north expansion opened last week with about 50 new stores and an additional 210,000 square feet of retail space. Replacement locations for Sporting Life (38,000 square feet) and menswear retailer Harry Rosen (24,000 square feet) joined new and relocating mall tenants. This north expansion is the first of three phases planned for the centre before the summer of 2017.
We spoke with CF Sherway Gardens General Manager Andy Traynor, who revealed details of all three expansion phases. Mr. Traynor discussed the north phase first, and how its high ceilings provide for dramatic store facades and an overall exciting shopping experience. He explained how the mall’s new upscale Gourmet Fare replaces Sherway’s previous food court, which some complained lacked variety. As well, a number of retailers with locations in older parts of the mall relocated to the new expansion, freeing-up retail space for more new tenants. Mr. Traynor explained how CF Sherway, being one of Canada’s most productive shopping centres, sees tremendous demand for retailers seeking space in west Toronto.
The mall’s east phase, set to open in the spring of 2016, will feature a 132,000 square foot three-level Saks Fifth Avenue location. Saks will occupy the southern portion of the mall’s former 225,000 square foot Sears space, with a 19,000 square foot Pusateri’s-operated Saks food hall on its basement level. Most of the remaining Sears space will be occupied by Sport Chek, which will take three floors and about 70,000 square feet for a technology-filled flagship modelled on the company’s highly successful West Edmonton Mall prototype. Mr. Traynor explained how this Saks phase has exceptional visibility from three major freeways which isn’t by accident — Eaton’s, which originally occupied the Sears box, requested the best highway visibility when the mall was being designed.
The mall’s south phase, set to open towards the middle of 2017, will involve the ambitious demolition of the mall’s former Sporting Life (once occupied by defunct Nordstrom-esq retailer, Bretton’s). In its place, Nordstrom will open a 138,000 square foot store boasting spacious 17-foot ceilings. High ceilings will also characterize the retail wing leading to the new Nordstrom, currently hosting smaller retailers and the former food court above. The current stairway, escalators and elevator will be removed now that the food court has relocated, providing clear sightlines towards the new Nordstrom from the mall’s centre court. Several two-level retail spaces will flank the new hallway leading towards Nordstrom, with the mall’s signature teflon-coated, stretch-fabric tent-like roof remaining above.
Valet parking will be available both at the north end of the mall, as well as in the new south wing where Nordstrom will be located. Mr. Traynor explained that the mall’s expanded parking facility will extend below Nordstrom and that shoppers will be able to access the store via a set of parking-accessible escalators.
Saks Fifth Avenue is scheduled to open on February 25, 2016, and the opening date for Nordstrom is possibly delayed. Although we were told several months ago that Nordstrom’s Sherway store would open at the end of March, 2017, it could now be delayed until later that summer.