When the two-year, $100 million overhauling of Yorkville Village — formerly Hazelton Lanes — is complete, the old shopping centre will be unrecognizable.
“We’re not renovating; we’re not doing a facelifting; we are completely building a new mall,” said First Capital Realty CEO Dori Segal of the 285,000, square foot plaza which adopted the new moniker last month. “Our marketing team thought that to reflect that major change you have to also have a name change.”
First Capital and its parent company Gazit-Globe purchased the site for $110 million in 2011 with a vision to connect the mall to Yorkville Ave., where they own another $100 million worth of real estate, including the buildings housing Anthropologie, Teatro Verde and Diesel, with a new main entrance next to The Hazelton Hotel.
“It’s a fabulous location, fabulous demographic, but the mall was, we think, not properly configured,” said Segal of the 38-year-old centre. “It was a maze. There was a way to keep it the way it was, but we thought given our position on Yorkville Ave. to connect Yorkville into the mall. “What I liked about this property very much is the combination between young students and well-to-do middle aged (potential consumers); it’s a great combination for retailers.”
North end anchor tenant Whole Foods is the only one of the existing businesses that will remain in the same spot. The others will be relocated and several are expanding. Of the new business anticipated, only U.S.-based fitness club Equinox is confirmed.
A soft opening of the south side, which is being completely gutted, is scheduled for next fall.