The first phase of the massive Township mixed-used development in south Calgary will include 300,000 square feet of retail space in a regional mall servicing burgeoning area communities.
Calgary-based Royop Development Corporation’s regional Township project spans 60 acres. It will eventually include retail, office, residential, hospitality, entertainment, and food and beverage spaces.
Jeremy Thal, Royop’s president and CEO, said Phase 1 of Township will begin construction in mid-July with an opening scheduled for April 2021. The initial phase will include grocery, regional and local retailers, services, childcare, and food and beverage options. It will set the tone for the entire community with public art, murals, outdoor fireplaces and areas for people to gather in their community.
“This the largest project to hit Calgary for some time,” he said. “Just our first phase is $125 million. It’s good for Calgarians. There’s belief in this economy despite what’s going on in the world, in the country.”
Grocer signs lease as retail anchor
Thal told RENX Royop has now inked a deal with a national chain for a 45,000-square-foot grocery store. He said the names of specific retailers and companies which will occupy the first phase of the development will be announced sometime later in June. There will be a total of about 50 retailers and businesses on site.
“We’ve broken the site up into a regional site that’s about 176,000 square feet with regional draws,” said Thal. “The remaining 125,000 square feet . . . that’s the grocery-anchored daily needs. Within that we’ll have the national grocery. We’ve got a large daycare of about 20,000 square feet. We’ve got Starbucks, we have quick-service restaurants, we have local eating establishments, new trendy places that are kind of like pub/good food.
“We’ve got financial institutions. We’ve got nail salons, hair salons, optical. Mixed-uses like that. We’re still looking for a lot of local businesses like fitness and maybe local juice bars and pre-schools.”
Thal said Royop has secured major international anchors to take space in the regional mall, leasing spaces of 43,000 square feet and 26,000 square feet. It also has tenants in place for spaces of 14,000 square feet, 18,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet.
“The whole goal is to create a destination for all of Calgarians,” he said.
“The Shawnessy Power Centre (just north of Township) I think vacancy there is zero. You can’t get into the centre. In fact, despite the economy, a lot of No. 1 retailers in the country are in that centre. Like you walk into the Best Buy there and there’s banners on the wall that say it’s the No. 1 Best Buy in the country. Golf Town is a top Golf Town in the country, maybe No. 1. There’s a lack of retail in the southwest . . . We’re spread out enough with Shawnessy that we’re picking up the group that aren’t in Shawnessy.”
Royop plans to make Township a “hub”
The Township development will also feature larger-than-life art installations and a unique combination of services and community spaces featuring immersive year-round programming with core and experiential shopping, Thal added.
The project is located at Macleod Trail and 210th Avenue S.E. near Highway 22X. Bordering communities include Legacy and Walden as well as the growing neighbourhoods of Yorkville and Belmont.
The company which later became Royop Development Corporation built Calgary’s first enclosed shopping centre – Westbrook Mall – in 1964. Royop’s experience in retail development spans over 50 years.
It develops, manages, leases and builds commercial and retail centres in Western Canada. Royop’s portfolio includes 75 Alberta properties in Calgary, Cochrane, Lethbridge, Strathmore, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Airdrie, and Fort McMurray.
“Township will be a complete community with a heavy focus on celebrating local businesses, providing everything a Calgarian would want in one place. It’s not just a spot to shop, but a hub where you’ll want to try the latest in boutique fitness or catch up with friends at your favourite craft brewery,” said Thal. “From pop-up farmers’ markets in the summer to outdoor public skating rinks in the winter, we’ll be bringing the community to life all year long.”
Royop seeks residential partners
Thal said Royop is beginning planning for future phases of the development. These will include residential and Royop will be looking for strategic partners for various types of housing, from apartments to condos to seniors to brownstones.
“We’re working with a hotel group to go down there. There’s a lineup of entertainment uses that will be coming. Entertainment nowadays is anywhere from those Topgolfs to the (Cineplex) Rec Rooms,” he said.
“Office use too. There’s a significant demand for professional services. We’re going to do a professional building. Doctors and dentists and skin guys, dermatologists, and laser guys and weight loss clinics. That kind of stuff.”
Thal said there will also be more retail coming.
“I can see us opening another phase, another 50,000 square feet or another 100,000 square feet of office and residential by the end of 2021, maybe early 2022. We’re just going to keep chugging along and create this master plan with the big feature being the commercial core.”