It has taken 10 years since the reconstruction of the Charleswood Shopping Center Plaza but finally every spot in it is fully leased. In 2004, a re-think was needed as Zeller’s de-camped to Grant Park Shopping Center. This left the enclosed mall with a major tenant gone and an older less desirable property. At the time, the mall was known as the Forest Park mall reflecting the Charleswood neighbourhood that was built around the same time in 1978.
It was decided that a new concept of a strip mall, big box would be more suitable and where Zeller’s once stood a new large style Shopper’s Drug Mart and Dollarama sit. Eventually, the whole mall and longtime tenants all did a re-fresh including Safeway in 2007.
There were only a few stubborn spots that seemed to lack for tenants.
The mall suffered a temporary setback just a few years ago when Blockbuster closed right across Canada but the spot quickly found a tenant elsewhere the coveted the larger spot. Pet Valu moved in fairly swiftly.
This left Pet Valu’s spot forlorn till now. In April, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt opened up, the second location in the city after Dakota in St. Vital. The mall is now fully leased for the first time as a result.
Menchie’s is a San Fernando-based restaurant that is rapidly expanding across North America. The variety and pricing has proved popular as well as gluten free, dairy free and vegan choices. Expect to see this restaurant snap up similar spaces all across the city.
Restaurants are a tough business and we have seen many chicken restaurants die such as KFC and Chicken Delight in the city. Also, there have been a few Quizno’s casualties. The tastes of the public can be fickle and their price points also come into play.
The extreme expansion of retail coming on the market means landlords will have to be ever looking for places that are unique and can stay the long haul. We have seen some persistently stubborn vacancies in some long time retail areas of the city. The Charleswood Shopping Center Plaza is no longer one of them.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations