CREWS AT WORK - Parkland Mall begins demolition on the former Safeway façade in anticipation of new occupants. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

Parkland Mall begins renovations in anticipation of new retailers.

Red Deer Mall gets a face lift as they entertain potential big box retailers

Parkland Mall is beginning minor demolitions to the former Safeway façade in anticipation of two new retailers signing leases.

“We had to start construction as a leap of faith,” said Dan Hachey, manager of Parkland Mall.

They are not demolishing the space formerly occupied by Safeway, just removing the façade to create a flat storefront to accommodate the new potential retailers.

Hachey said he was unable to disclose who the new occupants might be at this time.

But he did share that there are two different major box stores that are in serious negotiations with the north-side mall.

They have been in discussion with these retailers for about eight months and are down to minor details in the negotiations at this point.

He added that the mall is also in serious negotiations for the two interior spaces as well, one being the former Sportchek.

Parkland Mall recently rebuilt the highway sign facing Gaetz Avenue and is adding a third sign to the southwest end of the parking lot to accommodate the requirements of these larger format retailers.

Hachey said the residential development happening in the northeast has been great for the mall.

“The future is great for Parkland Mall.”

He said the shopping centre has always been chasing retailers, but has struggled to solve its anchor spaces to create cross traffic, driving customers from one corner to the other.

He added that he thinks part of the problem for them is that every larger format retailer in Canada is already in Red Deer and has been for years.

“It has been a struggle, but there are a few out there that are seeing opportunity.”

Hachey finds it encouraging that despite the difficult economy over the past few years, some national companies can see that Central Alberta is bouncing back and that it is a resource-rich province that is a great investment for retailers.

“I would hope within the next two months that the deals are signed off and then the retailers allow us to make that announcement,” Hachey said.

The new stores would be projected to open by late 2018.

Bower Mall is also in the process of gaining approvals from the City for expansion.

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