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Grandin mall tenants get walking papers

Tenants have 60 days to move out; office tower, bank and theatre to remain for now

By: Viola Pruss

  |  Posted: Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 04:30 pm

MALL CHANGES – Workers dismantle the large sign in the parking lot of Grandin Park Plaza recently. Mall tenants recently received notice that they have 60 days to move out.
MALL CHANGES – Workers dismantle the large sign in the parking lot of Grandin Park Plaza recently. Mall tenants recently received notice that they have 60 days to move out.
CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

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It's almost closing time at Grandin Park Plaza.

Last week, Vancouver-based management company Amacon sent a letter to its tenants that businesses have to be out of the mall by April 30.

Scotiabank, Grandin Theatres, Little Einsteins Daycare and businesses in the office tower will remain open for now, based on information provided by some of the mall's tenants.

Amacon is planning to reveal its plans for the mall at a public meeting on March 25. A spokesperson for the company said it was not ready to comment on its plans. But business owners inside the mall expect the property will be redeveloped.

"It is assumed that they want to demolish and get ready for a new property," said John Volorney, owner of Alberta Radio & TV. "But at what stages they want to do it, I am not sure."

Redevelopment plans

Amacon bought Grandin Park Plaza in 2007. The company wanted to turn the mall into a $450 million urban village that would include five high-rise towers between 15 and 19 storeys high and 157,000 square feet of commercial space.

Development was expected to start in 2008 but a year later the project was delayed due to the global economic downturn. Since then, plans have remained on hold but tenants were informed that their time in the mall would eventually end. A 60-day moving clause is part of their lease.

Now, a website by Amacon promoting plans for the site since 2008 has been taken down and city councillors received a letter that the company is looking to meet with them in late March.

"I don't know much more than that. Our staff don't have much detail and Amacon is going to come to St. Albert to give us information," said Mayor Nolan Crouse.

Crouse said he's looking forward to seeing development at the site and that it is about time something happened with the mall. But he also feels badly for the tenants who, at this point, are possibly vulnerable, he said.

He added that he left a voicemail with Amacon but has also not received any additional detail. In the past year, he remembers seeing sketches of what looked like a scaled-back proposal for the development with low- and high-rise towers.

"Frankly, I'd be starting rumours if I said more than that because I honestly don't remember it," he said.

The public meeting will be held on March 25 at Grandin Park Plaza. More information will become available soon.


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