Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa Dominating Market and Adding Tenants Amid Sales Growth [Interview]

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Bayshore Shopping Centre has firmly established itself as the premier and dominant retail fashion shopping destination within western Ottawa with the addition of a number of new retailers in the past year, more to come in the near future, and plans to densify the property.

Andrea McGowen, Executive Managing Director, Asset Services Canada, for Cushman & Wakefield which operates the property, said that in the last 12 months Bayshore has completed 77 leasing transactions equating to over 431,000 square feet leased.

Andrea McGowen

New retailers to the centre include Levi’s, L’Occitane, Specsavers, Mobile Care, Laurier Optical, Expedition Luggage, Boutique Galeria, Stuffy Riders and many more.

“These retailers have complemented our existing merchandise mix and align with the needs and wants of our customers,” she said. 

Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)

Renewals have also been completed with key retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Gap/Gap Kids, Apple, Michael Hill Jewellers, and Hudson’s Bay. Existing retailers who have relocated or upsized include Clement – Ottawa’s largest baby and kids store of +16,000 square feet – Calendar Club, and Acai.

“The deal momentum has been incredibly strong this past year and we are faced with the problem of retailers competing for space – which is always a good problem to have. The mix of successful retailers coupled with our strong and loyal customer base has successfully contributed to a nine per cent increase in sales year over year,” said McGowen.

“Exciting new retailers which will open before the end of 2023 include Poulet Rouge, Presotea, a temporarily relocated Soft Moc and the fabulous specialty retailers who form part of our annual Christmas program. We have just signed a lease with a large format international fashion retailer who will open Summer of 2024. This will be a huge draw to the centre and we look forward to the time when we can formally announce the name. We have another 11 locations totalling over 23,000 square feet currently at the paper stage with numerous first to market retailers – all will open at various times throughout 2024.”

Sport Chek at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Clement at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)

Bayshore Shopping Centre was originally built in 1973. The centre is owned by Kingsett Capital and managed by Cushman and Wakefield. It has roughly 900,000 square feet of retail space over three levels. Bayshore has undergone three major redevelopment projects, including most recently a food court relocation that was completed in 2021. Bayshore is home to 185 tenants, anchored by Hudson’s Bay and Walmart and is ideally positioned with excellent accessibility and visibility at the intersection of the 416 & 417 highways.

Future densification plans at the site include plans to develop the vacant land adjacent to the centre and future LRT station (2026). The project, which has received city council’s approval, will include two towers, 30 and 27 storeys situated on a three-storey podium with approximately 500 rental apartment units. 

Both towers will connect into an above-ground walkway directly connecting the mall and station. The building will be developed to ensure it meets the latest sustainability initiatives including energy efficient heating and cooling.

Bayshore Residential Rendering (Image: Kingsett Capital)

Justin Markey, General Manager, said the popular shopping centre is more or less fully leased out right now.

Justin Markey

He said the relocation of the food court from the second level to the third level has been a success.

“We had identified over the years that there were some challenges presented with how the traffic flow was working throughout the property. The third level certainly had a little bit of a difficult time . . . So in order to re-strengthen both traffic and productivity of the third level, we relocated the food court back up which in turn restructured how traffic flow moves throughout the property and we’ve seen the direct impact to that,” said Markey. “Productivity for the new food court is significantly higher than what it was when we were on the second level. The relocation has also transpired into a number of permanent leasing deals taking place on the third level.”

McGowen said the large format international fashion retailer who will open Summer of 2024 will take up 16,000 square feet. 

Recently, Bayshore Shopping Centre celebrated its 50th anniversary. It has been celebrating with a fantasy-filled outdoor space for shoppers to rest, refresh and escape the every day.

The space, called “Elevate”, sits atop a 4,000-square-foot vibrant ground mural created by Ottawa-based artists, Dems & Doll. The Candyland-inspired space features colourful lounge areas, custom pergolas, Insta-worthy displays, as well as a calendar of engaging programming and activations. These include guided meditation with #Sage, spa sessions with #L’Occitane, a circus camp, a Bears & Friends Event with #Build-a-Bear, a ‘Queen for a Day’ chess tournament, #Walmart Charity BBQ and so much more.

Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: Bayshore)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: Bayshore)

In addition to being a welcoming space for shoppers, “Elevate” is also a haven for pollinators. One side of the space is blanketed with a pollinator-friendly garden, featuring nearly 300 pesticide-free plants providing food, resting, and nesting for bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Rebecca Quinn

“We’re beyond delighted to be marking 50 fabulous years for Bayshore Shopping Centre,” said Rebecca Quinn, Marketing Manager for Bayshore. “To help our shoppers celebrate the milestone, we wanted to provide them with a whimsical, one-of-a-kind space to cap off this beautiful summer season. It has been so well received we are extending into the 2nd week in October!” 

Quinn said Bayshore has experienced an increase of 73 per cent followers and 96 per cent engagement on its social channels.

“Bayshore is known as the premium and dominant retail fashion shopping centre in western Ottawa. The city of Ottawa continues to grow westward. There is currently under construction a light rail transit system. We will have a new transit station built to replace the existing bus station,” said Markey.

“So this is going to connect us to a significantly larger population. We’ll be able to draw on a larger demographic. The mall is known as a clean, vibrant and bright shopping experience that welcomes in a variety of different shoppers. We cater to a wonderful family demographic along with a large number of young professionals. 

Bayshore Shopping Centre 50th Birthday (Image: Bayshore)

“And in the immediate area we do have a number of residential packages that both feed the centre in terms of retailers’ staff along with a shopping component.”

For five years in a row, it’s been voted as Ottawa’s top shopping centre by the People’s Choice Awards.

*** Bayshore Shopping Centre Images courtesy of James Park ***

Additional Photos from Bayshore Shopping Centre

Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Laurier Optical at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Levi’s at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
lululemon at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Swarovski at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
L’Occitane at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
L’Occitane at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Build-a-Bear at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Sport Chek at Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: James Park)
Bayshore Shopping Centre (Image: Bayshore)
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. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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