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Thornhill’s Promenade Mall up for sale
Cadillac Fairview spent $25 million redeveloping the 879,000-square-foot shopping centre in 2009.
Feb. 18, 2016
Francine Kopun

Cadillac Fairview confirmed on Thursday that the Promenade Mall in Thornhill is up for sale.

“At CF we are constantly reviewing our assets and looking for ways to refresh and diversify our portfolio. Over the years, we have regularly sold properties and redeployed the capital to invest in other opportunities,” wrote Cadillac Fairview spokeswoman Janine Ramparas, in response to a question from the Star.

“Given that we’re privately held, we won’t be disclosing further details.”

Tenants said they learned this week the property was going up for sale.

A short memo from management was sent out, assuring tenants it would be business as usual during the sale period.

The mall has 117 tenants, including a Sears and a T&T supermarket.

Cadillac Fairview spent $25 million redeveloping the 879,000-square-foot centre in 2009.

“You can’t question what they put into the mall and how they support the mall and keep it up to date,” said tenant Jacob Stevens, owner of Tripsetter Inc., a tour operator specializing in day trips and tours for groups.

“It’s not one of those malls where you look around and think, ‘Man, if it rains, it’s going to pour around you.’ ”

Stevens said he has lived in the area for 35 years and retail competition has increased along with the burgeoning population.

A plaza anchored by a Walmart opened across the street a few years ago, and many big-box stores, including Winners, Home Depot and Best Buy, have sprung up.

Stevens said the price of real estate has soared, making it difficult for young families to remain in the area.

“This area really needs more condos and apartments. There are a lot of young people who grew up here who still want to be by the synagogues and other amenities.”

He said if Cadillac Fairview were to sell to a condo developer, he’d buy a condo and relocate his business.

There are many possible outcomes of the sale, ranging from a pure condo development to a mixed-use development.

“Someone could partially demolish the centre, make it an outdoor lifestyle centre and intensify the site with residential condo towers on the outside,” said Don Gregor, executive vice-president at Aurora Real Estate Agency.

The Promenade serves Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge and Maple, according to Cadillac Fairview’s website, and the trade area ranks as one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, with an average household income 25-per-cent higher than the Canadian average.