The fashion house will occupy 10,500 square feet in ICE District’s Stantec Tower, western Canada’s tallest tower.
Jordan Singer, President of the third-generation family business, said the street-front shop on the corner of 103rd St. and 103rd Avenue is a perfect fit for the area where new and old already meet, with “numerous historic warehouse buildings nearby, that were constructed over a century ago.”
There are eight to 10 brick-and-beam buildings in the area, constructed between 1910 and 1920, including the 111-year-old Horne & Petifield red brick warehouse next door.
“This is an iconic Canadian fashion story and I personally believe we owe it to Edmonton to do something really truly special, that will appeal to the next generation of consumer but remain true to our existing client base we have built over 85 years,” said Singer, grandson of Henry Singer who founded the company in 1938.
“Bricks and mortar in today’s retail landscape is all about the experience, and it has to be engaging in a special way to bring people into our new space, and provide a feeling that they can’t get online. For us it will be an evolution representing a unique intersection of speciality product, space design, amenities, and service.”
Henry Singer currently has two stores – in downtown Calgary and downtown Edmonton. The Calgary store is in the Eighth Avenue Place office complex while the Edmonton store is in the Manulife Place tower.
He said the new store, which will open in 2023, will stimulate customers’ senses from the moment they walk in the door.
“We’ve already begun on the design process and so hopefully we’ll be building, swinging hammers and building, early in the New Year. We don’t have a definitive opening date as yet but it certainly will be in 2023 without a doubt. It’s just how soon in 2023 and of course we’d like to do it sooner but we can only move so fast. I don’t know how to approximate but I would like to say probably somewhere midway through the year but no later than fall/winter of 2023,” said Singer.
The current location in the Manulife building will remain operating until the opening of the new ICE District store. It has been in business at that location, just a few blocks away from the ICE District, for more than 20 years.
He said the new store has a much more efficient floor plan and gives the retailer a chance with a blank slate to reinvent itself in the retail space.
The downtown ICE District is home to Rogers Place and Edmonton Oiler’s new NHL arena. The mixed-use development includes condos, a public plaza, sports, entertainment, a chic hotel and 208,000 square feet of retail and more than one million square feet of office space.
“We believe in downtown Edmonton. We’ve been there. We’ve been in downtown Edmonton since Henry’s era and here we are two more generations, a third generation of our company, and we still believe in downtown Edmonton as an amazing place to be. We feel like we owe it to the city to do something really special in the downtown city centre,” said Singer.
“In my mind, downtown city centres are a crucial part of any city. The texture and the layers of what happens in the downtown really in a lot of ways define the city and we looked at ICE District and said man this is an amazing development. It’s got offices. It’s got residences. It’s got luxury hotels. It’s got a full entertainment venue that is the home to our city’s hockey team. There’s so many amazing reasons to bring life to the district and that was really a big reason as to why we saw ourselves as a great fit there especially from a lifestyle standpoint.
“We’re going to be a lifestyle tenant in this mix and we believe that gives us an amazing opportunity and we really want to be a part of that energy that is ICE District.”
Henry Singer is partnering with design firm McKinley Studios on the project.
“This will be a flagship on the world stage and something the calibre and level of which has never before been experienced in Edmonton,” said founder Walker McKinley. “The secret is out. Edmonton has long been a fashion city, and this will put it on the world map.
“It’s a celebration of heritage through design, quality craftsmanship and all things beautiful, but it is also very much a fashion-forward, next-generation, post-COVID store with eyes firmly on the future.”
Cory Wosnack, principal and managing director of global real estate firm Avison Young, who negotiated the deal for the new Henry Singer location, said the move further solidifies the dynamism that is now Edmonton’s Central Social District.