Toronto’s Yorkville Village — the shopping centre component formerly named Hazelton Lanes — is approaching the home stretch of a multi-year overhaul. Landlord First Capital Realty has invested millions with the hopes that it will attract shoppers to the area, reinvigorating Yorkville as a premiere retail destination.
The aim is to create a strong mix of fashion, food and fitness concepts that will get both locals and tourists to frequent the centre. The Yorkville area is growing quickly, with thousands of condominium units planned for the immediate area. “This transformation is being driven by the demographic tailwind that will see a meaningful increase to the local population and consequently the evolution of Bloor-Yorkville as a larger, stronger world-class retail destination in which Yorkville Village is very well positioned,” said Adam Paul, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Realty Inc.
First Capital Realty has revealed a number of new tenants confirmed to be opening in Yorkville Village this fall. Some of these we have discussed, while several are new.
We recently revealed that two luxury brands will be opening at Yorkville Village this fall — UK-based Belstaff and Italian brand Eleventy will further elevate the centre, creating a destination for affluent shoppers seeking out these and other brands.
The 1,100 square foot upper-level Belstaff store will be operated by the Zappacosta family which, this fall, will also be opening multi-brand men’s retail concept Nanni next door. Entrepreneur Philip Zappacosta is also the founder of his eponymous men’s luxury retail concept philip, which opened over a year ago in the centre.
The 2,200 square foot upper-level Eleventy will be operated in partnership with fashion retailer TNT The New Trend, which will unveil an adjacent 6,000 square foot space called ‘TNT Concept’ that will include rotational shop-in-shop concepts in an innovative retail space unlike anything the city has seen. TNT will soon boast more than 17,000 square feet of retail space in the mall with the opening of TNT Concept — the retailer already has men’s and women’s stores in the mall, and some of its existing retail space has been renovated and expanded over the past several months.
Quebec-based footwear retailer Jean-Paul Fortin will open its first store outside of the province of Quebec this fall, across from Belstaff. The 2,400 square foot ‘Ontario flagship’ will carry both men’s and women’s designer footwear styles, with brands and styles catering specifically to the Yorkville demographic. Jean-Paul Fortin operates freestanding stores in the Quebec City and Montreal areas, and it is also currently the footwear concession for Montreal’s Ogilvy, which is in the process of merging with Holt Renfrew in an enlarged Sainte-Catherine Street building.
Yorkville Village’s 5,735 square foot concourse-level Rexall drug store was recently renovated and expanded, and it’s now almost twice the size of the previous location. Being that it’s in Yorkville, Rexall took the opportunity to debut its first-ever high-end cosmetics section in the store, which includes a number of leading brands.
Food & Beverage
Enhanced food and beverage offerings will further draw consumers to the centre. The Chase Hospitality Group (The Chase, Kasa Moto, Colette Grand Café, and Planta), for example, will debut a new 2,100 square foot full-service restaurant concept called Palm Lane, which will have a strong focus on lunch but will also serve breakfast and dinner in both its take-out/café area and in the full-service seated area. We’re told that the concept will feature an eye-catching ceiling treatment.
On the ground floor facing Avenue Road, Alternative Café will open in a 925 square foot space this summer. The concept is the brainchild of celebrity chef Max Brenner, and it will serve espresso based beverages including Japanese Cold Brew, “Beer Latte”, pour over, smoothies, and more. Alternative Café will also serve fresh pastries, croissant sandwiches, and light breakfasts.
This summer, “sushi laboratory” Mi’Hito will open in a 300 square foot space on ‘The Oval’ — the mall’s central atrium which in a former life, housed a popular skating rink. Mi’Hito will serve poke bowls, sushi burritos, sushi tacos — as well as regular sushi.
Fitness: While it’s not news to regular Retail Insider readers, spin club concept SoulCycle will open its second Toronto studio this summer at Yorkville Village. The 4,150 square foot space will have access both from within the mall, as well as from an entrance facing onto Avenue Road. SoulCycle joins fitness club Equinox, which opened in Yorkville Village in the spring of 2016.
Yorkville Village is further animating its spaces by utilizing temporary retail to create interest, and diversity. A dedicated pop-up space on ‘The Oval’ has housed a number of different tenants, and The Oval itself will become animated regularly throughout the year. The Yorkville Avenue outdoor entrance hallway known as ‘The Lane’ features the Yorkville Village Summer Market every Wednesday until the end of August, and other vendors/activities will be featured depending on the season.
Over the past several years, First Capital Realty has invested approximately $600 million in the Bloor-Yorkville area with a portfolio that now includes 400,000 square feet of space. Included is the former Hazelton Lanes property which was rebranded as Yorkville Village last year, as well as street-front retail properties on Yorkville Avenue (including future locations for Chanel and Jimmy Choo) and the retail podium at One Bloor Street East (to house Nordstrom Rack). First Capital Realty’s aim is to create synergies between its mall and street-front properties, by driving traffic to each though a variety of retailers, food concepts and other amenities. We’ll update this article in the fall with a photo-tour of the completed Yorkville Village shopping centre.