Westmount Shopping Centre in London, Ont. is going through a $25-million transformation after being acquired by Corpfin Capital and KingSett Capital from Bentall Kennedy for $31.5 million early this year.
McCOR Management was chosen to oversee managing, leasing and redeveloping of the 538,150-square-foot mall which occupies a 31-acre site in the western part of the city on Wonderland Road South.
“We see it as a high-potential redevelopment,” said Westmount Shopping Centre general manager Sean Jackson. “We know what can be done with these types of assets and we have a history of delivering results to our strategic partners who benefit from investing in them.”
Westmount Shopping Centre history
Westmount Shopping Centre was built in the early 1970s by Sifton Properties. It expanded to two storeys in 1989, but a gradual loss of retailers brought about a conversion of the second floor to a space for office and medical uses.
Bentall Kennedy acquired Westmount Shopping Centre in 2005. A portion of the mall was demolished in 2010 and a number of stand-alone businesses now occupy the site, including a Cineplex movie theatre.
Now, the transformation is underway.
Urban Planet moved into the ground floor of the former Sears. Jackson said the rest of that space will be redesigned to fit within a mixed-use concept.
A 26,748-square-foot section of the former Target will become a Fit4Less health and fitness centre in the first quarter of 2019. Talks are underway with other tenants about occupying part of the main floor, and Jackson said a conditional agreement is in place with one. The top floor will become office space.
Jackson said Westmount Shopping Centre has “fantastic basic bones to build out from” in the changing and growing neighbourhood, including underground parking and its status as a transit hub, but the current retail offering isn’t meeting the future needs of the community.
Without disclosing specific details, Jackson said the goal is to create a neighbourhood hub which will support a “a live, work, learn, play” concept. A residential component is expected to be added to the Westmount Shopping Centre site in the future.
McCOR was formed in 2014 by the union of High Peak Group of Companies and NewWest Enterprise Property Group. It offers property and facility management, leasing and leasing administration, development, brokerage and advisory services.
McCOR has offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Gatineau, Laval, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
“We endeavour to go where our clients need our services,” said principal Luc Corneli, who co-founded McCOR with Doug McDonald.
The Toronto-headquartered real estate services company has more than $3 billion of assets under third-party management, including retail, office, industrial, multi-family residential and mixed-use properties.
Corneli said the company has a two-fold approach to its overall management, development and redevelopment strategy to build value for its retail properties.
“First, we look to understand ownership’s objectives for the investment. Second, we look to understand what the market needs and how we can service the community in which the property is located. Then we create the right environment for the shops and service tenants to welcome their guests.”
While Corneli said there are a few other confidential projects on the books for clients, he said McCOR is also in the midst of a multi-million-dollar repositioning and redevelopment of an office building in Winnipeg’s 11-block Sports Hospitality Entertainment District.