The City Square mall at West 12th and Cambie Street across from City Hall has sold for $225 million.
Details of the blockbuster sale were outlined in a recent CBRE market research report.
The 249,881 sq ft. shopping centre was purchased by Sun Commercial, also known as SUNCOM. The mall was last assessed in 2018 at $102 million.
The Richmond-based commercial real estate company’s other holdings include the Best Western Sands Hotel on Davie Street near English Bay; the Mylora golf course, and the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club.
Retail expert Craig Patterson of Retail-Insider.com says he expects a redevelopment of the mall in the near future.
“City Square is in one of the most strategic locations in Vancouver, being on the Canada Line and steps south of the new Broadway SkyTrain extension. The value paid for the property is more than twice its assessed value, leading me to believe that there will be a redevelopment play for the site, which will be somewhat challenging given historical building components and office components.”
The mall is a mix of heritage buildings and modern construction. The heritage portions of the mall were built in 1905 and 1908 to house the Model School and Normal School, which were teacher training facilities. The mall as we know it opened in 1989.
City Square mall retail spaces challenging
Patterson says the configuration of the retail at City Square needs a rethink.
“The current configuration of the centre’s retail component is awkward at best. Redevelopment of parts of the centre could extract value if done right, and it will be interesting to see if a residential component will be added to City Square as well,” he added.
A 25,000 sq ft. Safeway store at City Square mall closed in 2018 as part of the grocer’s closure of 10 stores across the Lower Mainland.
The City Square mall sale was one of the biggest of 2018, second only to the sale of the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby, to Chicago-based Mesirow Financial for $253 million. Mesirow Financial also picked up the Starlight Casino in New Westminster for $103 million.
City Square mall is a mix of heritage buildings and modern construction. The heritage portions of the mall were built in 1905 and 1908 to house the Model School and Normal School, which were teacher training facilities.
International Village also could be sold
In April, urbanYVR reported that International Village — also known as Tinseltown — was on the market.
The 195,000 sq ft. shopping centre in Chinatown was being marketed as a potential “repositioning opportunity.” The listing was pulled one week after the story was first reported.