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Friday, April 12, 2024

International Village mall for sale, could be redeveloped

Portfolio also includes location of T&T Supermarket in Chinatown and Henderson Place in Coquitlam

UPDATE: The listing for International Village was pulled one week after this article was published. Listing agents CBRE have declined comment.

Vancouver’s International Village mall — also known as Tinseltown — is up for sale, along with Paris Square (location of the Chinatown T&T Supermarket), as well as the Henderson Place Mall in Coquitlam.

CBRE’s Urban Properties Group is marketing the three properties as a package: The Henderson Retail Portfolio.

There’s no price listed, but the three properties include over 400,000 square feet of leasable space.

International Village, a 195,000 sq ft. shopping centre in Chinatown anchored by Rexall Drugs and Cineplex, is being marketed as a potential “repositioning opportunity.” 

“International Village’s vast retail space and superb location is remarkably under-utilized in its current form. Investors are offered the opportunity to dramatically increase International Village’s visitation and revenue by implementing a new space planning and tenant positioning strategy,” reads the listing from CBRE.

The upper levels of International Village are made up of small retail spaces with no anchor tenants, a challenging situation to attract significant foot traffic. 

International Village originally intended to be home to luxury retailers

Retail industry expert and Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, Craig Patterson, says the mall was originally intended to be a luxury-focused shopping centre.

“International Village never lived up to its original concept, which was to be a luxury shopping centre for tenants such as Gucci and Chanel. The developer attempted to secure high-end brands and managed to secure some relatively strong mid-priced ones,” he said.

Patterson says the surrounding neighbourhood poses a challenge, particularly for attracting luxury retail tenants.

“Two factors led to the overall failure of International Village as a luxury shopping centre, or indeed a strong centre generally. Construction materials were not up to a luxury standard, nor was the overall design. Also, the developer expected the area to rapidly gentrify and while it has certainly seen improvements over the years, it still suffers from various social issues from the adjacent Downtown Eastside.”

Patterson says one solution to attracting new retail tenants could be a reconfiguration of the shopping centre’s layout.

“International Village has tremendous potential for a repositioning, though it would cost millions of dollars. A new owner may wish to reconfigure the overall floor plan which could be complicated. Demolishing the entire complex would be the best move, as a developer could obtain considerably higher density for the site. However, that is complicated by the fact that there is a residential tower at the southeast corner of the complex, making a demolition challenging.”

T&T Chinatown
The building housing the T&T in Chinatown is up for sale.

Paris Square at Keefer and Abbott up for sale

Paris Square — home of T&T Supermarket — is also part of the package. Patterson says the design of the building poses a challenge, but the grocery store is a strong anchor.

“Paris Square benefits from having a very busy T&T grocery store as an anchor, however its overall retail design, utilizing a colonnade-like facade with walkways, has failed to attract substantial retailers because of lack of visibility. The visibility has improved as new residential developments have filled in the area, however many national and internationals tenants would be disinterested in a street-facing location along that stretch of retail.”

Henderson Place a possible redevelopment site

Henderson Place Mall is a 143,000 square foot enclosed mall in Coquitlam’s rapidly developing Town Centre.

The property could be an attractive redevelopment play, with Morguard transforming nearby Coquitlam Centre into a high-density, mixed-use community to rival The Amazing Brentwood and The City of Lougheed.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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