Chilliwack’s Rona will not be moving into the old Target location in the Cottonwood Mall.
Rona announced last May that they had won a bid for the space, with a goal of moving in by early 2016. At that time they were excited to expand their potential space. But Rona spokesperson Valerie Gonzalo said that the Chilliwack Rona will stay where it is for now.
“We were not able to come to an agreement with the landlord of the Cottonwood Mall,” she said.
The 90,000 sq. ft space in Cottonwood was left empty when Target pulled out, along with its entire Canadian operations. Rona won a bid to take over the location through an auction process.
With the lack of an agreement with the mall management, Rona will stay at its current location near the corner of Yale and Airport Road.
The lease on that property was set to expire at the end of 2016.
Now, Gonzalo said that Rona will “perhaps be looking into enhancing our offer on the existing site.”
The old Target location sat empty for most of 2015, after that retailer’s slow and dismal sell-off of products and store fixtures.
Kristal Hambly, general manager at Cottonwood Mall, confirmed that Rona will not be moving in.
“Rona was the successful bidder for the Target lease at Cottonwood in the Target CCAA process,” she said in an email to The Progress. “As a result, Morguard Investments Limited and Rona engaged in discussions, which were very productive, concerning the conversion of the Target store at Cottonwood Mall in Chilliwack to a Rona store.
“However, a few significant issues for Morguard were not resolved before the deadline imposed by the court in the Target CCAA process with the result that an agreement was not concluded with Rona and the Target lease was disclaimed.”
She added that they are still looking for a business to fill that space.
“Since the store is no longer controlled by a lease or a court process, Morguard has been actively pursuing several other alternatives for remerchandising the former Target store,” she said.
Update: On Wednesday morning, Rona and Lowe’s announced that Lowe’s would be buying Quebec-based Rona Incorporated in a $3.2 billion deal. Rona has about 500 stores across Canada.