As first reported by OBJ in August 2009, Morguard is planning to enlarge the mall’s footprint by redeveloping its properties to the west, namely the site of the former Coca-Cola bottling and distribution facility, the TD Waterhouse office building and the EMCO distribution facility.
The expansion would cost “north of $200 million,” Scott MacDonald, Morguard’s executive vice-president of retail, said in an earlier interview.
“St. Laurent, properly developed and expanded, has the potential to be one of the top 10 properties in the country,” he said.
Documents on file with the city say the expansion plans include a new two-storey, 164,500-square-foot Sears store, a new one-storey, 80,000-square-foot department store anchor tenant and an additional 233,700 square feet of retail space.
The concept also includes a redeveloped parking structure and, in the longer term, office buildings and standalone retail structures.
The rezoning application going before the city’s planning and environment committee on Tuesday would allow those office buildings to be up to 17 to 20 storeys in height.
The maximum footprint of the property, covering all uses, would increase to 1.83 million square feet, up from 888,000 square feet.
The shopping centre itself would increase to 1.5 million square feet, up from 828,8000 square feet.
Ottawa’s regional malls have performed strongly in 2010 and, when combined with the city’s large power centres, have collectively posted vacancy rates below one per cent for the past two years, according to Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa.
Noting that Bayshore Shopping Centre and the Rideau Centre also have expansion plans, the commercial real estate services firm noted in a report earlier this year that Ottawa’s regional malls are aggressively vying for shoppers, especially the growing number of seniors who are more likely to appreciate having multiples stores under one roof, as well as amenities such as food courts.