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Deerfoot City in Calgary Launches Outdoor Activations as it Looks to Phase 3 Restaurant Campus Addition

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The transformation of Destination: Deerfoot City continues in the northern part of Calgary as the shopping centre introduces this summer its third annual #YYCBlockParty, an outdoor retro inspired roller rink and interactive art installation.

And the property is also looking at embarking on its third phase of redevelopment to include a Restaurant Campus in the future.

PARK (Promoting Artists | Redefining Kulture) has teamed up with Deerfoot City for the 120-foot roller rink with a 215-foot vintage-inspired artwork from WKNDRS, Tyler Lemermeyer, Sarah Lamoureux and Natalia Ionescu. 

The experience continues until the end of September.

Deerfoot City (Image: Courtney Verbeek)

“What we do is provide platforms and opportunities for artists to show and share their work and they do these through a lot of unique and interesting partnerships within the community to create experiences and events. In this case, it is an experience,” said Jessie Landry, Vice President and Co-Founder of PARK.

“We initially embarked on this project with (Deerfoot City) at the beginning of the pandemic because we were looking for outside projects because we could no longer host our events indoors and Deerfoot City became a really good fit because of course at the beginning of the pandemic a lot of food courts were closed and we needed to make use of outdoor public spaces.”

She said the initial project was intended to draw people to the outdoor space at the shopping centre as well as draw traffic to tenants there.

“This year we felt like we really stepped it up and just added a really, really fun element which is the roller rink,” said Landry.

Deerfoot City (Image: Courtney Verbeek)

Courtney Verbeek, Manager of Creative Services for Shape Properties which owns and operates Deerfoot City, said one of the things experienced through the pandemic was people increasingly embracing outdoor spaces. 

“So given that we are an open-air shopping centre, what we really wanted to do over the past few years is just invite people to play in our space. So have that personality and energy living in between maybe the other more traditional aspects of the centre which is shopping and eating, dining and entertainment,” she said. 

At the heart of #YYCBlockParty, visitors will have the chance to strap on their skates at the colourpop roller rink and street mural, designed and painted by artistic duo, the WKNDRS. In addition to the rollerink, ping pong, tetherball, and lawn games can be found across the boulevard for people of all ages to enjoy. Also new this year: supersize sculptures of a vintage boombox and roller skate designed by Tyler Lemermeyer – the perfect spot for an Instagram photo-op. 

“Innovation is really a priority for Shape and what we love about working with PARK is collaboratively we’ve been able to build on the momentum of this project,” said Verbeek. “We set out with a plan to do it for one year and just see how it goes and now it’s evolved into a three-year, annual project that’s continued to drive traffic to the property and just be an incredible addition to the community and celebrate local artists.”

Deerfoot City (Image: Yellowhouse Aerial | @yh_aerial)

The Deerfoot City transformation began in 2014 and will culminate in 1.1 million square feet of redevelopment with 550,000 square feet of outdoor retail space. Key anchor tenants include The Rec Room, iFLY, Cabela’s, Walmart, Canadian Tire, GoodLife Fitness, Winners, Old Navy. 

In the past five years, the shopping centre has seen the opening of more than 50 shops and services including the opening of The Boulevard, a pedestrian friendly shopping zone with plenty of landscaping, modern architecture and new additions to Deerfoot City’s fashion offering including Old Navy, Ardene and La Vie en Rose with more to come. It has also included the opening of The Food Lodge, an indoor and outdoor dining space where people can relax, retreat and eat from one of the Food vendors which include: Viet Lounge, Chatime, RE:GRUB, Ono Poke, Chachi’s, Mia Pasta, Opa! Of Greece and Chronic Tacos.

As well, Furniture Row has opened with Structube, Ashley Homestore, Sleep Country and F2 Furnishings.

Verbeek said the location of Deerfoot City is one of its highlights with its accessibility right off of the busy Deerfoot Trail roadway and only 15 minutes to the airport and 15 minutes to the downtown core.

Planning is well underway for Deerfoot City’s third phase of redevelopment which will establish the Restaurant Campus and additional shops and services over the next few years, she added.

The Restaurant Campus will include a few large format restaurants and a handful of retailers and services in a phased rollout over the next few years.

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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