The new owner and property manager at Cornwall Square is expecting the mall will have a new and fresh look very soon— one that won’t include apartments, for now.
Melissa Boyer, executive director of Montreal-based property development and management company Groupe Quint, confirmed that Urban Planet will be moving into the second floor of the space formerly occupied by the Sears Outlet store, and that it’s just the start of more shopping options in the building.
“It’s a priority for us to fill the empty space,” Boyer said. “We own a lot of malls in Quebec, we have a lot of connections and we’re good at what we do. . . the intention is to fill the space quickly. It’s a great mall, big (and) well located.”
Early last fall Partners Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) announced it had sold Cornwall Square for $8.4 million, and Groupe Quint officially acquired the property early in December. The purchase price was lower than the $13.3-million mortgage Partners REIT took out on the property in 2017. It also came after the former owners replaced a frequently broken escalator and had made several necessary repairs to the parking structure.
Urban Planet, which has had a standalone store in Cornwall at Eastcourt Mall for five years, will move to Cornwall Square and possibly as soon as next month, and Boyer said it will occupy the entire second floor of the old Sears store.
“(Urban Planet is) preparing the space this month, to fit it to their needs, and we’re doing a few things to help them out,” Boyer said.
Boyer added Groupe Quint is talking to several potential tenants to fill up the first-floor space at the old Sears, and to occupy other available areas of the mall.
Last March, the previous mall owner, Partners REIT, announced that retail space vacated by the Sears Outlet in 2017 would be converted into residential accommodations, primarily one-bedroom and two-bedroom luxury apartments.
But that’s not the direction Groupe Quinte is going in.
“Certainly not in the short-term,” Boyer said. “We would have to analyze it (at a future date) but the approach now is to put retail (in the Sears space).”
Boyer said one administrative assistant at Cornwall Square decided to stay on in the job after the changeover, and that “some in administration decided not to stay. We also kept several of the maintenance crew, that’s why the mall is so clean and nice.”
Boyer said Cornwall Square is the company’s first mall in Ontario, and that Groupe Quint is “growing fast” and that it will be acquiring retail properties “across Canada and some in the U.S.”
Boyer said there is currently a property manager working part-time at Cornwall Square, and that Groupe Quint’s intention is to hire a full-time property manager.
“Send a resume to Groupe Quint,” Boyer said.