Toronto’s First Canadian Place Marketplace Adding New Foodservice Tenants in Anticipation of Return of Office Workers: Interview

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The past year and a half has been a tough time in the retail leasing industry due to the pandemic but the team at Beauleigh Retail Consultants has been very active and has managed to ink a number of deals for the much sought-after First Canadian Place Marketplace in Toronto’s Financial District with a high level of pedestrian traffic expected as office workers return.

The following leasing deals have been made during COVID-19 for the remerchandising of the Concourse Level at the iconic skyscraper location in the heart of Toronto:

  • Ma’s Best – Replaced Soup it Up (To be opened Q4 2021);
  • Hazukido – Replaced Jugo Juice (Recently Opened);
  • Simple Kitchen – Replaced Davids Tea (To be opened Q4 2021);
  • Brasa Peruvian – Replaced Rocky Mountain Chocolate (To be opened Q4 2021);
  • Mean Bao – Replaced Prairie Girl Bakery (Recently Opened);
  • Sweetie Pie – Replaced Furama (To be opened Q1 2022);
  • Decadent Desserts – Legacy Tenant, New Design (To be opened Q4 2021);
  • Zen Kyoto Ramen & Torched Sushi – Replaced Brick St Bakery (To be opened Q4 2021); and 
  • Existing Tenants: Forno Cultura, Forno Cultura Focacceria, Kupfert & Kim.
Taylor Borg

Taylor Borg, Director of Leasing & Development for Beauleigh, said the Marketplace is the “polar opposite” to a food court, dealing with no kitchen exhaust, so you’re limited to the uses that can operate in this environment. Adapting and becoming creative when merchandising the area and avoiding redundancy in the retail mix is key. 

“We look at the Marketplace at First Canadian Place as being fast-paced, so more impulse and grab and go traffic.  Anchored by Longo’s urban format grocery, which provides a convenient and high-quality grab and go product, while every other tenant has their own specialty, ranging from best in class like Bao Bun from Mean Bao, to an authentic Peruvian Bowl from Brasa Peruvian. There is something for everyone at the FCP Marketplace. This roster of new tenants will live side by side with some of First Canadian Place’s most popular brands such as Forno Cultura, Porchetta & Co, Calii Love, Ladurée, and Mad Radish”

The 72-storey First Canadian Place, and the 36-storey Exchange Tower, are connected to PATH, Toronto’s 27 kilometre underground walkway. Prior to the pandemic, the PATH had daily traffic of about 250,000 people Monday to Friday. First Canadian Place itself had weekday daily traffic of more than 95,000 people. With over 300,000SF of Retail combined between First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower, it has become the epicentre of retail, food & beverage and services within Toronto’s Financial Core.

Hazukido at First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“The FCP Marketplace was remerchandised about 10 years ago now (done by Beauleigh). Given the evolution that has taken place on the food and beverage scene, and with a majority of our leases coming back between 2019 to 2021, we knew that we had to bring in more relevant brands and uses. In fact, this was something that we were aware of pre-pandemic,” said Borg. “As a centre, First Canadian Place definitely performs at a very high level, achieving some of the highest sales per square foot in the financial core.”

“The re-leasing effort of First Canadian Place has gone extremely well throughout the pandemic and ultimately the gaps that we still do have, we are actively seeking creative solutions to animate vacant space in anticipation of the Financial Core’s full revival.”

Beauleigh is an award-winning innovative retail consulting and brokerage firm. It was founded by Marcelle Rademeyer, who is President and CEO. Jean-Francois Nault is Partner and COO.

Beauleigh specializes in the curation and creation of dynamic retail environments with a portfolio consisting of over three million square feet of retail across Canada. The boutique retail real estate consulting firm specializes in creating repositioning, redevelopment, and rebranding strategies for retail properties with its vision of creating unique, vibrant, and animated environments.

The Market by Longo’s at First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Mean Bao at First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
First Canadian Place Market Place – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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