Upscale outlet mall construction begins

April 26, 2012 - All News

Ground was broken for the new Toronto Premium Outlets centre near Milton yesterday morning and construction is set to begin immediately.
Owners of the mall — Calloway REIT and Simon Property Group — are hoping Ontario shoppers who regularly head across the border to shop the U.S. outlet stores will instead make the trek to the new mall slated to open next summer in Halton Hills.
Representatives from Calloway REIT, Simon Property Group, developer partner SmartCentres, local politicians, Town of Halton Hills and Halton Region staff and others working on the project were on hand at the property located at Hwy. 401 and Trafalgar Road for the groundbreaking ceremony.
“This is the first upscale outlet mall to be developed in Ontario, and Canada for that matter,” said Josh Kaufman, vice-president of development for SmartCentres, the developer partner of the mall.
He called the outlet centre a “true collaboration of the greatest development minds within the public and private realm.”
It will allow shoppers to buy direct from a collection of fashion designers and name brand manufacturers. The first phase will be 360,000 sq. ft., housing approximately 100 outlet stores ranging in size from 600 sq. ft. to 25,000 sq. ft. and offering savings of 25 to 65 per cent.
There will be a mix of product categories including apparel and shoes, fashion accessories, leather goods, home furnishings and specialty items.
“The Ontario shopper now has a reason to keep its outlet mall shopping dollars on this side of the border,” said Kaufman. “It will include the best U.S. and Canadian fashion apparel brands offered and, in some cases, for the first time in Canada.”
The names of centre retailers weren’t released except for one.
John Klein, president of Toronto Premium Outlets, said Hudson Bay Trading Co. owned by NRDC, will be opening a Bay outlet in the centre— it’s first “designer outlet prototype in the country.”
The unenclosed centre with entrances off Trafalgar and Steeles Avenue will have a single-level village-style setting with outdoor pedestrian courtyards that will provide sufficient coverage for all-weather shopping. It will be a racetrack design, meaning the stores will be in the centre surrounded by parking and feature several landscaping and natural elements and a centrally located food court.
In total, there will be four entrances to the mall— a right turn only from Trafalgar, a right turn only for eastbound Steeles traffic and two full access entrances from Steeles, one at Eighth Line and another just west of Eighth Line. Both those entrances will be controlled by traffic lights.
Preliminary work has already begun on widening Steeles.
The centre is expected to provide 500 construction jobs and, once opened, 800 to 1,000 permanent full and part-time jobs.
A job fair will be held in Halton Hills, said the town’s Mayor Rick Bonnette.
“The economic benefits will be felt throughout Halton Hills, Halton and the GTA,” he said. “Shoppers will have that option of buying brand names at factory outlet prices without having to go to the line-ups (at the border) and keeping the Canadian dollars here in Canada.”
Calloway CEO and President Al Mawani thanked Bonnette, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Town and Region staff for working hard to make the centre possible.
“Premium Outlets are more than just key spots for bargain hunters, they represent destinations for people who appreciate fashion and those who want a taste of luxury without the traditional luxury price tags,” said Mawani. “At Calloway we’re excited to see this come to fruition.”
Carr said the taxes paid by the mall will be put to good use.
“We’re going to do all we can to make you successful,” said Carr.
Klein said Premium Outlet Centres are “known to thousands of Canadians” as there are 57 of them in the U.S., and others in Japan, Mexico, Korea, Puerto Rico and Malaysia.
He said the facility will draw shoppers, not just from the GTA, but from all over Canada and international tourists.
Bonnette called it an “exciting day” and thanked Town staff for their hard work.
He said it has been an 18-month process to bring the outlet mall to fruition.
— Metroland News Service