Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Muji entering Vancouver retail market

I have already mentioned Japanese retailer, Uniqlo as a potential retailer that could be a fit in the Amazing Brentwood development and Uniqlo has been said to be preparing to enter Metrotown. Now there is word that another Japanese retailer, Muji is looking at entering the Vancouver retail scene. Shape Properties should have its eyes on this retailer as a potential retail tenant.

Vancouver Sun article below

Asian retail giant Muji likely to enter Vancouver next year

Posted On: December 4, 2016 | Last Updated: December 4, 2016 7:49 PM PST

With Vancouver’s retail sector continuing to outperform other Canadian markets, one industry observer says the city can expect an explosion of new brands, both international and domestic, in the coming year, with a prominent Asian retailer leading the way.

That would be Japanese clothing and accessories brand Muji, which is expected to come to Vancouver in 2017, said Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of industry publication Retail Insider. Muji, known for its minimalist goods, operates about 300 stores outside of Japan, including three in Toronto, its only Canadian presence to date.
“I don’t know where Muji is (looking to locate in Vancouver) just yet, but I think it’s safe to say the Vancouver market will be seeing an announcement very soon,” Patterson said. “I’m actually surprised Muji didn’t enter Vancouver first. It might have just been because of a real-estate play, but Vancouver to me would have made more sense as a market because the brand awareness for Muji is higher.”
Officials from Muji Canada could not be reached for comment.
Vancouver’s retail market, driven by wealthy locals, tourists taking advantage of the devalued Canadian dollar, and new immigrants, currently ranks as Canada’s top location in terms of annual sales-per-square-foot at more than $1,000. Toronto sits second at around $860.
“Vancouver is a very young retail market and many brands have not yet opened street stores,” said Mario Negris, executive vice president of CBRE’s retail group in Vancouver. “We anticipate a vast number of new entrants into the downtown retail landscape. … In the mid-market, we anticipate a revitalization on streets such as Robson and Granville as larger international users solidify locations in the market.”
Patterson, when asked about brands other than Muji that could come to Metro Vancouver next year, said their may be as many as 30 brands looking at the city.
“I can go on for an hour,” he said, noting that Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre — one of Canada’s most lucrative malls — provides a good example for Vancouver, given the similar consumer demographics. “You can actually go to the floor plan of Yorkdale, see who’s opening, and kind of see who’s coming to Vancouver. Yorkdale and Toronto’s Eaton Centre are the two malls that usually get the first stores in Canada for a lot of brands.”
That is because, despite Vancouver’s high sales number, the city continues to suffer from a relative lack of space. According to recent data from the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity at Ryerson University, Vancouver’s per-capita mall space (at 11.4 square feet for every person living in the region) falls far behind the same figure for not only Toronto (at 16.4), but also Alberta (15.2 for Calgary, 16.2 for Edmonton).
That is why, according to Patterson, brands such as Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret actually chose Alberta as their first Canadian locations. But Vancouver, he noted, continues to hold an edge as the preferred entry point for luxury brands: Jaeger-LeCoultre, St. Laurent, Rolex, Delvaux and Berluti, for instance.
Vancouver also has another demographic advantage for certain retailers, one that makes sense for Muji and other Asian retailers: The city’s large population of residents with links to Asia means that well-known brands from that market have a built-in recognition. Patterson said that is why another major Japanese brand, clothing retailer Uniqlo, may also be looking to come to the city.
“Vancouver is unquestionably going to get one (Uniqlo outlet). … Given that it is already in Toronto with two stores, Vancouver is almost a no-brainer,” Patterson said of Uniqlo. “It’s just a matter of when they can find the real estate. You will likely see them going into some of Vancouver’s best real estate. So they’re probably looking at somewhere in, or near, Pacific Centre, and they will look at a mall that does high sales per square-foot. You won’t see them trailblazing.”
Ironically, many of the brands that have not expressed interest in Vancouver are Canadian. Patterson said that, while Vancouver’s own Aritzia started the Babaton brand, it chose Toronto for its first standalone location. Another popular brand, Canada Goose, also has not expressed interest despite doing record-breaking business at its new standalone store at Yorkdale, which opened recently.
But Patterson said other names are lining up for potential openings in 2017. Among those are coffee boutique Nespresso (possibly in Oakridge), H&M’s COS brand, European apparel retailers Reiss, Sandro and Maje, as well as New York-based eyewear retailer Warby Parker.
“Just given the strength of Vancouver, you’d have to have a catastrophic event to stop retailers from looking at the region,” he said. “Let’s just say that, if I was an international retailer, Vancouver would definitely be in my sights.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

3 towers and commercial space for Gilmore Place Phase 1

The first phase of Onni's Gilmore place will include 3 towers at the corner of Gilmore Ave and Lougheed Hwy.

Posted on 

First Phase of Gilmore Place to Include Three Towers, 1,563 Units

The first phase of Onni’s large scale mixed-use project known as Gilmore Place, goes before City of Burnaby council next week. The 12.9 acre site next to the Gilmore Skytrain Station in the Brentwood area of Burnaby was initially approved via master plan earlier this year, though requires further detailed rezoning applications for each phase of the project.
The Gilmore Place master plan represents one of the larger projects in Metro Vancouver currently, with over 2.5 Million SF of residential development and 1 million Sf of commercial space.
Phase 1 of the multi-phase project is the subject of this rezoning and includes:
  • a 64-storey signature tower with 643 units
  • a 51-storey tower with 510 units
  • a 43-storey tower with 410 units
  • 71,498 SF of residential amenity space atop the commercial podium
  • 291,652 SF of commercial space in a large 3-storey podium
  • large format retail and smaller CRUs as well as potential office and educational space on upper levels
  • total density of 6.6 FAR
  • connection to Skytrain station
  • 1,720 total parking stalls


The application describes the design rationale:
“The proposed tower design complements the quality and timelessness of the commercial and public open space components advanced under Rezoning Reference #15-54. Tower I and Tower III are designed in tandem to support the signature tower at the corner ofGilmore Avenue and Lougheed Highway. Tower I and Tower III are the counterpoint to Tower II in the use of dark and light colours, drawing from a charcoal and white motif. The subject tower is distinct from the other two towers in that it breaks up the verticality by using offset balconies with fritted balcony glass in a zipper like pattern. The tower terminates in a large lantern element at the corner as a beacon element symbolizing the entry into the Brentwood Town Centre. At the 35th floor is a Sky Lounge the provides residents within the Phase I the opportunity to have social gatherings with unobstructed views to the west and North Shore Mountains.
Residential entries are clearly demarcated on the exterior of the building with floor to ceiling glass, metal and stone elements. Atop the commercial podium is an expansive residential amenity, complete with 71,498 sq.ft. of indoor amenity area with fitness facility (gym, yoga, running and spinning), movie theatre, games room, lounge, golf simulators, bowling alley, indoor and outdoor pools, steam room and sauna, half-court basketball court, three party rooms, four guest suites, indoor and outdoor children’s play area, study centre, kitchen facilities, karaoke room, outdoor dog run, pet wash area and extensive outdoor leisure and landscaped area.
Within Phase I the Gilmore Plaza provides an open air, but weather protected linkage between on-street bus service on Gilmore Avenue and the SkyTrain station, with access to convenience commercial, signature retail, and anchor tenants. The Gilmore plaza is also connected by a grand staircase to second level commercial and retail uses, with opportunities for direct connection to the SkyTrain ticketing level. Movement to the second and third commercial levels is also accommodated by several escalator and elevator banks to ensure universal access and inclusion. The upper commercial levels are characterized by larger format uses with smaller commercial uses at the ground level to engage passersby. The third level allows for more flexible uses including service commercial uses, medical dental offices and institutional uses such as education and training facilities.”

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Escala and Triomphe on Gilmore

    The eastern street front of Gilmore Ave is about to dramatically change as two developments are now progressing.  The Triomphe project by Millennium Development at the southeast corner of Halifax and Gilmore is replacing the old International Sausage House which has been demolished.

    Across Halifax on the north side, the Escala site has been excavated.  Escala is being built by Ledingham McAllister along Gilmore Ave to Douglas Rd.

    The showroom on Gilmore titled, 'Seasons'is for the the low-rise development by Ledmac on the north side of Lougheed Hwy across the street from Rev's Bowling.

    View to Metrotown

    This unobstructed view to Metrotown from the Sears rooftop will no longer exist by 2020.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016

    Amacon's 'The Dawson' at full height

    The Dawson development by Amacon has reached it's full height.  The sold-out low-rise building will sit atop a commercial front slated to be a restaurant on the southwest corner of Dawson St and Willingdon Ave.  The restaurant is yet to be named.

    Sunday, November 6, 2016

    Koby's Produce Town ownership change

    I had earlier posted that Koby's was closing down because their stock of produce was low as the shelves were more than half empty.

    Driving along Rosser Ave tonight, I was pleasantly surprised that Koby's Produce Town is still open.   When I asked the person at the counter, I was told that it was taken over by new owners and that what I had seen earlier was the transition.  Noticing that there was still no kimchi in the cooler, I had to ask.  Luckily, their supplier will soon be delivering the good stuff.