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Toronto's Rexdale Mall for sale in receivership process

West-end property anchored by grocery store, offers redevelopment potential

The Rexdale Mall property in Toronto's west-end Etobicoke neighbourhood. (Courtesy EY)
The Rexdale Mall property in Toronto's west-end Etobicoke neighbourhood.

Ernst & Young Inc. (EY) has been appointed receiver and manager and given responsibility to market and sell the Rexdale Mall in Toronto's west-end Etobicoke neighbourhood following an Ontario Superior Court of Justice order.

Romspen Investment Corporation says it was owed loan payments by mall owner Sunpact Holdings Inc., which is controlled by Chris Hinn. That brought about a Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act application, and the opportunity for an investor to acquire the grocery-anchored enclosed mall with significant redevelopment potential.

Located at 2267 Islington Ave., the 97,229-square-foot mall was built in 1971 and sits on 3.66 acres. The site also includes 189 surface parking spaces and 393 underground parking spaces on four levels.

Romspen has also made claims against Woodbine Mall Holdings Inc., Birchmount Howden Property Holdings Inc., Fantasy Fair And Kids Village Inc., Consolidated Group Of Companies Canada Inc. and Close Out King Corp., all of which are owned by Hinn and tied to Woodbine Mall and 1500 Birchmount Road Business Centre. 

The total amount allegedly owed to Romspen by all of the Hinn-owned companies is approximately $333.3 million, according to court documents.

Loan payments are also owed to Romspen for Woodbine Mall and 1500 Birchmount, and EY has been also appointed receiver to take control and handle their sales.

Rexdale Mall’s disposition is the immediate priority, however. It is being offered on an unpriced basis.

Marketing has just begun and no bid date has been set. Any sale agreement will be subject to the approval of the court.

Rexdale Mall’s selling points

Rexdale Mall, which is also bordered by Burrard Street and Bergamot Avenue, is 67 per cent occupied.

More than 40 per cent of the leasable area is occupied by a Fresh Value supermarket, while smaller tenants include Rexdale Coin Laundry and Dry Cleaners, Rexdale Mall PharmaChoice Pharmacy, Payless Video & Variety, Living Well, Island Cuisine and All Star Driving School.

Despite its high vacancy rate, the mall offers positive annual cash flow along with the potential for rental upside on vacant and expiring units.

The site is within walking distance of Walmart at an adjacent SmartCentres-owned property and a Home Depot is also in the vicinity.

New Canadian Tire, Costco and LCBO stores are scheduled to open nearby later this year as part of a Rice Group development.

The Etobicoke North GO Transit station is within walking distance, while Highways 401, 400 and 427 are nearby, as are Etobicoke General Hospital, Humber College, Woodbine Racetrack and Great Canadian Casino Resort.

Rexdale Mall is in a mixed-use area according to the Official Plan for the area and is zoned commercial residential.

Prime location for multi-residential development

Rexdale Mall is surrounded by numerous proposed high-density residential developments and offers a prime redevelopment opportunity.

First Avenue has been approved to develop a 12-storey, 262-unit condominium and townhouse project not too far away at 1184 Wilson Ave. 

That project provides a strong precedent for the approval of higher density for any Rexdale Mall purchaser looking to redevelop or intensify the site by adding a residential component.

Applications have also been made, but haven’t yet been approved, for these proposed developments:

  • an 11-storey condo and two four-storey condo townhome buildings with approximately 400 units from 2424355 Ontario Ltd. at 2422 Islington Ave.;
  • three condo towers of 19, 34 and 38 storeys combining for more than 1,000 units from Trolleybus Urban Development Inc. on Adriatic Road;
  • six towers ranging from 14 to 40 storeys for a mixed-use condo project with 2,452 units from Sorbara Group at 33 Walsh Ave.;
  • a 12-storey, 107-unit purpose-built rental apartment from Medallion Corporation at 2270 Weston Rd.;
  • and 29- and 35-storey towers for a mixed-use condo project with 733 units from Weston Asset Management at 1956 Weston Rd.

Woodbine Mall, 1500 Birchmount

EY engaged Avison Young as property manager for Rexdale Mall, Woodbine Mall and 1500 Birchmount and has been working closely with it as all three properties continue to operate without disruption to tenants and visitors.

Woodbine Mall, located at Rexdale Boulevard and Highway 27 several kilometres west of Rexdale Mall, is a 50.72-acre site comprised of four parcels of land.

It has one two-storey building and two one-storey buildings constructed in 1985 and contains approximately 745,000 square feet of multi-tenant retail space.

The site also has 3,580 surface parking spaces.

The 1500 Birchmount Rd. site in Scarborough is 21.1 acres and occupied by an approximately 293,000-square-foot mixed-use industrial/office building constructed in 1958.

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