Les Galeries de la Capitale, a 1.5 million-square-foot shopping complex in Quebec City and owned by Oxford Properties, recently celebrated one year of re-opening its Méga Parc which attracted more than two million visitors.
Stéphan Landry, Director and General Manager of the shopping centre, said the amusement park re-opened January 18, 2019 following a massive $52-million redevelopment.
The shopping centre re-opened its fully redesigned Méga Parc with 18 rides, including 14 new ones, with a Steampunk theme as well as the first spokeless Ferris Wheel in North America. Construction took about 16 months for the transformation.
It was originally built in 1988.
“When Oxford acquired Les Galeries de la Capitale back in 2013, they had a plan to redevelop the entire property including the renovation of the mall of course and what existed was the old Méga Parc,” said Landry.
“After two years of analysis and looking at other parks in Canada and the U.S. – most of them in the U.S. – Oxford decided to invest $52 million. We did a complete extreme makeover of the park. The only ride that stayed in place was the rollercoaster because it’s really hard to move and relocate that big track.
“Before we had an ice rink with a real big ice surface. We just removed it so that gave us a lot of room and just in the middle of the park to put other rides and attractions and we kept the skating activity, which is very popular. We transformed the ice rink to a nice trail – the longest indoor skating trail in Canada.”
Landry said the new rejuvenated park also increased overall traffic in the mall which was up nine per cent from the previous year.
“Which is very, very great compared to the other malls in the country where everyone is having a little bit of a bad time these days,” he said. “So to end the year at plus nine for us was quite a big success.”
Overall traffic to the shopping centre in 2019 was 10 million people.
It is becoming increasingly more important these days for shopping centres in Canada to offer an entertainment experience to augment retail sales.
“Everywhere in the world the online sales are going up,” explained Landry. “So our customers are looking for something different. With Méga Parc and we also have the IMAX Theatre just next to the park within the mall and that’s the biggest screen in the country as well. So those two big entertainment components close together gives some really, really good reasons for young families – even adults and older people – to come.
“The entertainment component is a traffic driver. But also in our property we added a new food market that opened on October 29 of 2019. That’s a little bit different than the traditional retail. The future of the mall is there. We were successful this year with our big traffic increase. Same thing with the average sales of our retailers. We added another five per cent increase in sales per square feet. The strategy behind it is working and let’s say in the future everything that is food and beverage will get more and more important with that entertainment component.”
Landry said the shopping centre over the last five years has undergone renovations, the addition of new retailers, the renovated park, the introduction of the food market and all those initiatives have paid dividends as the results clearly show and the customers are happy.
The impressive new food hall, Les Galeries Gourmandes, has more than 20 tenants in about 46,000 square feet of space, including the l’Atelier Gourmand, a 48-seat demo-kitchen space.
Les Galeries de la Capitale has existed for about 40 years.
The Oxford Real Estate Group is an international platform working in investments, development and management in the real estate field. The company hires more than 2,000 employees and has nearly $ 37 billion under management assets. Oxford was founded in 1960 and operates offices in Toronto, London, and New York. Its portfolio includes more than 56 million square feet of office space, retail space as well as industrial space in addition to having assets in the hotel and multi-residential sectors.