Large portions of Oakridge Centre shopping mall were originally slated to remain open during the years-long, multi-phased construction process ending in 2026.
Although the extent of the expected impact from construction has been compounded by the temporary slowdown in brick-and-mortar retail due to COVID-19, the property owner is using this downturn as an opportunity to accelerate the construction timeline for significant portions of the redevelopment.
Nearly all of the remaining businesses in the shopping centre will close beginning September 30 to allow for demolition and redevelopment to be expedited.
The businesses that will continue to operate for the time being are Crate & Barrel and Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), as well the businesses within the office building, which is largely occupied by the offices of health practitioners.
The change in construction phasing will mean The Kitchen, a larger portion of the new retail, and the majority of the nine-acre public park on the rooftop of the mall will open by 2024 instead of the previous completion timeline of 2026.
“When the opportunity came up to allow us to bring some of those things forward in the schedule by two years, that really drove the decision. It was a community-based decision on how we can get to construction faster and bring on those elements that would otherwise have to wait longer,” Chrystal Burns, the senior vice-president of Retail West for QuadReal Property, told Daily Hive Urbanized in an interview.
“A number of factors that fell into place that allowed us to make this decision to move forward faster and deliver some of the best features that Oakridge is going to offer.”
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