In the fall of 2014, landlord 20 VIC Management Inc. announced that Londonderry would see a modernization that would be led by MMC Architects and GH+A Design. The project has lived up to the renderings, revealing a bright, contemporary shopping centre with easy-to-navigate hallways, an impressive sun-flooded food hall, and some of the finest looking washrooms in any Canadian mall. Other regional malls may want to take notes.
Individual retailers have also renovated their premises, including some that have had the opportunity to add height to their facades. Ceilings were raised as part of the costly mall overhaul.
A unique ’Shop Canada Runway' initiative has seen the opening of eight new local retailers over the summer, in an effort to support local and up-and-coming designers, fashion brands and businesses. Included is the first-ever PARKSHOP, from the team behind the local PARK fashion initiative, as well as Step In Shoes, Continental Shoes, women’s lifestyle shop LemonDress, local designer Kelly Wollf, menswear clothing and accessories store Moltisanti, menswear label Adesso Accessories, and men’s/women’s fashion retailer Opulence. These local retailers set Londonderry apart from other major shopping centres in Northern Alberta.
While most of Londonderry’s retail space has been spoken for — new retailers have been added while others were relocated — Marketing Director Nancy Jarnevic explained that the landlord is in talks for a number of innovative new retail concepts to open in the remaining few vacancies at the centre. “The centre is almost unrecognizable now,” she said, noting that the addition of La Maison Simons will be a key addition that will add to the excitement.
Although Simons already has an Edmonton location (the West Edmonton Mall store opened in October of 2012), the Londonderry Simons will be somewhat different in its offerings. An expanded shoe department will be featured at Londonderry’s Simons, acting as a prototype for future stores. As well, Simons Londonderry will feature new initiatives in environmental sustainability — over 50% of the store’s electricity usage will come from on-site renewable energy sources. The north parking lot beside Simons will include approximately 80 car parking spots that will be covered with canopies featuring 720 bifacial solar modules with glass on both surfaces to capture both direct and reflected sunlight. There will also be 950 high efficiency solar modules on Simons’ roof, and the entire solar-electric system is expected to generate over 550,000 kWh per year (the equivalent of 80 homes) in energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 350 tonnes per year.
Inside the store, LED lamps and fixtures throughout will reduce electricity devoted to lighting by more than 40%, when compared to traditional halogen light fixtures, and electric car charging stations will be installed in the parking lot adjacent to the store.
Londonderry opened in 1972. At the time, it was the largest mall in Canada west of Toronto, as well as the only two-level mall in Western Canada. Today, the 780,000 square foot centre features about 150 retailers and is anchored by Hudson’s Bay, Winners, Save-On Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart and, soon, the La Maison Simons store housed in a space exceeding 100,000 square feet.
We will feature an article with photos of the new Londonderry Simons stores when it opens on Thursday.
See below for more photos.