By Devon Johnson
Quebec based real estate developer Harden has revealed plans to bring a new shopping experience to the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec. Les Avenues Vaudreuil, a major retail project, will bring a total of 1.4 million square feet of stores, restaurants, and services to the off-island Montreal suburb.
"This is, without a doubt, our largest and most exciting project to date,” said Harden's President and CEO, William Harden. “When complete, Les Avenues Vaudreuil will be an impressive destination. Customers will find everything they need and desire from a diverse lifestyle shopping destination offering new entertainment experiences," he said.
The Les Avenues Vaudreuil shopping centre, designed in partnership with Montreal-based GH+A Design, will comprise of four distinct shopping areas. Each "shopping node" will have a different theme, and different array of stores, restaurants, and services. The shopping centre will also be car-friendly, as all four nodes surround the junction of Highway 40, Highway 30, and Highway 20. This specific junction of highways sees over forty million vehicles a year, and also connects nearby drivers to downtown Montreal.
With each shopping node having differentiating factors between them, below is a breakdown of all four sites that will make up Les Avenues Vaudreuil.
Harden's Méga Centre Vaudreuil will be rebranded as Les Avenues Vaudreuil Mode. Harden will be focusing on placing popular and trendy fashion retailers at this site. The current 'Méga Centre' contains 50 stores, but Harden is set to add more retailers including Quebec's first Forever 21 RED. Other retailers that can be currently found in this district include Winners, HomeSense, GAP, DavidsTEA, and Atmosphere.
Harden's Place Cité Vaudreuil will be rebranded as Les Avenues Vaudreuil Marché, and will focus on food and grocery offerings. The current site is anchored by Costco, and includes ten smaller retail spaces from SAQ Depot, Urban Barn, and various quick service food chains including Subway and Mucho Burrito.
The shopping centre's third district Les Avenues Vaudreuil Loisirs will focus on sports and leisure retailers. The site will be anchored by a Canadian outdoor retailer SAIL. Other retailers including Starbucks Coffee, La Belle & La Bouef, and Nickles Delicatessen have also announced locations for this district. The new district is set to open in Spring 2017.
The final district will be titled Les Avenues Vaudreuil Avenir. This site will contain not only a retail component, but also an office component. More detailed plans will be announced for Avenir in Spring 2017. New retailers that currently lie outside the Quebec market are expected to be built here.
In total, all four completed districts will bring Les Avenues Vaudreuil to a total of 225 stores, restaurants, and services, making it one of the largest shopping complexes in the area.
Rebranding efforts are already underway at Méga Centre Vaudreuil and Place Cité Vaudreuil. Both shopping centres will see both exterior renovations to match the new vision of Les Avenues Vaudreuil. "We're redoing the facades completely," Mr. Harden states. He also emphasizes the company will be carving out new green space, and repaving all sidewalks and parking lots at its larger property.
Although Harden CEO Bill Harden acknowledges the shopping centre remains a short drive away from downtown Montreal, he remains optimistic that the new Les Avenues Vaudreuil will become a major shopping destination.
"Vaudreuil is a very up and coming area in Quebec." Mr. Harden says. "This area has significant growth of young families who want better retailers and better services in the area,” As of 2016, the area has grown 67% over the past 10 years."
Speaking to the family-friendly nature of the shopping centre, Mr. Harden mentioned that the Montreal suburb also contains the highest birth rate in Quebec. "There are lots of young families moving in to the area". Mr. Harden said, going on to say, "Les Avenues Vaudreui plans to cater to families - amenities including a "mummy's corner" will be built at Mode, and family-friendly events will take place regularly."
Harden will ultimately invest $475 million dollars into the shopping centre, which will in turn create 2,400 full and part time jobs. All four districts are set to be rebranded and built by Summer of 2018.