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Laurier Quebec Shopping Centre in Quebec City to be Redeveloped, Hudson’s Bay Store to Close in September

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Ivanhoé Cambridge has partnered with Douville, Moffet & Associés (DMA) to redevelop the popular Laurier Quebec shopping centre in the Quebec City suburb of Ste-Foy. The mall’s Hudson’s Bay anchor store will also be shutting in September according to signage on the premises. 

The partnership involves DMA taking a 50% interest in the shopping centre property as well as two adjacent office buildings as part of the overall redevelopment of the site. Ivanhoé Cambridge has owned the massive shopping centre property since the year 2000. 

Residential buildings will be added to the site as part of an intensification effort to extract value from the property which spans about 30 acres facing Boulevard Laurier. Retail uses will also be maintained on-site according to the partners in a statement. 

Ivanhoé Cambridge said in a statement that more details of the project would be revealed by joint announcements in the coming months. That will include details on the site’s densification and development potential. “Together, Ivanhoé Cambridge and DMA are committed to making a positive impact in Quebec City,” said the statement. 

Mall site plan via JLL
Click image for interactive Google Map

Since the fall of 2021, JLL has managed the Laurier Québec property and will continue to do so according to the landlord. Asset management for Laurier Quebec will now be handled by DMA as part of the partnership. 

The Hudson’s Bay store at Laurier Quebec is also set to close according to signage in the store. The closure date is set for September 11, 2022 although the store could close a few days earlier as has been the case with other recent store closures for the retailer. The mall’s two-level 157,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay store opened in the early 1980s as part of an expansion of the property. The closure coincides with the expiry of the store’s lease which was not renewed — the Hudson’s Bay store also lacked the renovation investment seen at a location at Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City. 

Laurier Quebec spans more than 1.1 million square feet with its enclosed shopping centre component. The property also includes two office buildings: the Édifice Champlain measuring 82,586 square feet and Tour Frontenac which spans 46,944 square feet over multiple floors. All three properties are part of the deal with DMA.

The location of Laurier Quebec is strategic, being accessible via several roads while being close to various services including the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université Laval and Université Laval. It will also eventually be served by the Tramway de la ville de Québec light rail service. 

Some may know Laurier Quebec by its former name, Place Laurier. It was the first enclosed shopping centre in Quebec City when it opened in November of 1961 and it’s now home to over 200 retailers, 25 restaurants and 10 anchor stores. It’s the second-busiest tourist destination in the city after Old Quebec. 

Hudson’s Bay store at Laurier Quebec — image via Google
Image: Laurier Québec (1961 via Facebook)

Anchors and larger-format stores include the soon-to-close Hudson’s Bay store as well as Walmart, Winners, Marshalls, Sports Experts, Best Buy, Linen Chest, Renaud-Bray, Toys R Us, Old Navy, H&M and Structube.

Across the street from Laurier Quebec is the upscale Place Ste-Foy which is home to a flagship La Maison Simons store and was once home to Holt Renfrew before it exited the Quebec City market in 2015. The mall is about half the size of Laurier Quebec and is home to Apple and several other big name brands. 

Ivanhoé Cambridge has been divesting some of its retail assets in recent years. That includes the 2020 sale of Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo to Chinese investment firm Central Walk which was followed by Ivanhoé Cambridge selling Mayfair Centre in Victoria and Tsawwassen Mills near Vancouver to Central Walk as well. Past high-profile mall asset sales by Ivanhoé Cambridge have included Oakridge Centre in Vancouver which is now undergoing redevelopment in a QuadReal/Westbank partnership. In September of 2021, Mic Mac Mall in Halifax was sold to a local group which plans to intensify the property. That month, as well, Ivanhoé Cambridge sold its stake in Ottawa’s Bayshore Centre to KingSett Capital which now owns the entire property. 

Even before the pandemic, Ivanhoé Cambridge was reducing its retail assets — in August of 2019 Ivanhoé Cambridge reportedly halted a partial sale of 10 Canadian malls because it wouldn’t get the price it was looking for at the time. And in February 2020, shortly before the pandemic saw lockdowns of malls across the country, it was reported that Ivanhoé Cambridge was selling a third of its Canadian shopping centres while looking to intensify some under-utilized sites. 

Image: Laurier Québec/Ivanhoé Cambridge

In 2021, Ivanhoé Cambridge transferred the operations of its Canadian shopping malls to  Chicago-based JLL. More than 300 workers were transferred from Ivanhoé Cambridge to JLL and another 26 positions were eliminated.

Ivanhoé Cambridge invests internationally alongside strategic partners and major real estate funds. Through subsidiaries and partnerships, the company holds interests in more than 1,200 buildings, primarily in the industrial and logistics, office, residential and retail sectors. Ivanhoé Cambridge held C$69 billion in real estate assets as of December 31, 2021 and is a real estate subsidiary of CDPQ a global investment group. 

Douville, Moffet & Associés inc is a property developer and manager that focuses mainly on the residential rental market in the Quebec City area but has developed, operated and owned all types of real estate assets, including office, retail, industrial, subdivisions, hotels and condominiums. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, Publisher of Retail Insider the magazine and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The surprise is not that Hudson’s Bay would close a major store, but that it would close its strategically located Laurier Quebec anchor in the largest shopping complex in the agglomeration. Perhaps, taking into account Oxford Properties’ investments at Les Galeries de la Capitale and its own downsizing plans, Hudson’s Bay decided it would be more convenient and cost-effective to simply shut at Laurier Quebec. As for Ivanhoé Cambridge, it made sense for them to go ahead with redevelopment as the center was about to lose its largest anchor and the company still has the adjacent, thriving Place Sainte Foy. It’s interesting to anticipate both companies’ next moves in the commercial real estate chess game.

  2. What a strategic lease expiry for Ivanhoé Cambridge? Unfortunately for Hudson’s Bay it misses the 4th quarter and the Holiday season at this mall.

    This store at Laurier Québec is a “Gold” level store. (Other ranks are silver, platinum, diamond and flagship.) I wonder if how many other Siler and Gold level stores are at risk for closures. When I visited Winnipeg’s St Vital store this spring I noticed how sparsely inventoried the store was compared to previous years. I wonder: how this wiill affect the St Vital store if the similar sized Québec City metro area only has 1 Hudson’s Bay store?

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