Mayfair Shopping Centre’s new owner, Central Walk, has a vision for the mall to become a mixed-use destination with a significant offering of housing, retail, recreation and educational opportunities.
Mayfair has been redeveloped no less than six previous times since it first opened in 1963. The most recent expansion was completed in 2019 at a cost of $72 million and added 100,000 square feet of retail space.
Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge sold the shopping centre to Central Walk in 2020.
“If we make an investment and we acquire, we want to build communities, we want to turn our shopping centres into truly accessible, inclusive and sustainable community hubs,” said Valen Tam, Central Walk’s director of asset management. “Involving the community is very important as we move on and really build out this plan.”
The Vancouver-Island-based company, with the City of Victoria, has begun the formal process of consulting with the community about the long-term future of Mayfair mall and the adjacent property that is home to Bed Bath and Beyond. Central Walk is offering residents an opportunity to provide input on the development through a series of open houses on Nov. 1 and 2.
Tam says the company’s proposal is currently in the planning stages. He says plans for the two retail sites will evolve as residents provide input on the future of the properties.
“We’re looking to evolve the shopping centre to the community’s needs,” said Tam. “We are very careful; we know the value of Mayfair Shopping Centre to the folks here, its history, and we really want to make sure that this project is done correctly.”
Tam says once a redevelopment plan is selected by Central Walk, the project will move forward in a phased approach. He says he expects the cost of the development to be in the hundreds of millions and to take 10 or more years to complete.
“Our hope is to immediately tackle the situation at Mayfair where the underutilized and underdeveloped portions of the site are first addressed in our design,” said Tam. “That will help us, in a short time, maximize our service capacity to the community.”
Though the company says the redevelopment project for both the Mayfair site and the neighbouring retail site will include housing, the number of units and building heights are yet to be determined.
“In terms of the greater plans or even the first phases and exactly how it will look, we’re hoping to have public amenity spaces, that’s what we think is really important,” said Tam. “Overseas, we’ve been pioneering sustainability for 20 years at shopping centres and here we want to do the same thing because the culture here embraces this and we can work together to achieve something great.”
Central Walk manages a portfolio with a value in excess of $3 billion. It includes Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Shopping Centre, Arbutus Ridge Golf Course near Cobble Hill and Mayfair Shopping Centre in Victoria.
To register for the Mayfair Shopping Centre redevelopment open houses, visit the community consultation website.