Cottonwood Mall management is anticipating two big retail expansions in the next year or so.
“We can’t wait,” said Cottonwood Mall general manager Heather Andersen.
London Drugs will be expanding on the north side, and the existing Zellers location, which is set to become a Target, is also expanding its footprint on the north side of the mall.
It was actually just a coincidence that both store expansions are coming to fruition at roughly the same time.
“We were already negotiating with London Drugs for their expansion when we were advised that Zellers would become a Target,” said Andersen.
“We are lucky that Zellers will remain over this coming Christmas, and Target will likely be open by the following Christmas.”
The expansions on the north side will take over what was essentially parking previously. Both will also feature exterior improvements and new signage.
But city officials have said in staff reports there will still be ample parking space remaining after the construction.
“The city will tell us where if anywhere we need to add parking once the drawings start to come in,” she said. “We’ll restripe additional stalls to accommodate that if we have to.”
Overall, the changes are expected to strengthen the mall’s position in the retail landscape.
“We have our competitors, but they’re in other formats,” Andersen. “They’re not better or worse, they’re just different.
“People like to compare the (various retail centres) but we’re a different type of development because we’re an enclosed shopping centre.”
It sets the Cottonwood Mall apart from the new Eagle Landing development, for example, which is more village/strip mall style, or the Chilliwack Mall, which recently saw major renovations and new big-box tenants and mall anchor moving in.
Development permits from city hall have been approved for both construction projects in the Cottonwood Mall.
Zellers is expected to vacate the mall toward the end of February 2013. Target will start its demolition and construction phases after that.