New Hazelton Lanes renderings, including the Avenue Road/Yorkville Avenue corner. Photo: Greybrook Realty Partners 

Toronto's Hazelton Lanes will grow even larger than anticipated, and it could include an upscale department store. We previously reported that Hazelton Lanes' landlord was seeking to renovate the mall for luxury tenants, and we posted the originally proposed lease plans for the project. The mall's owner has since secured space for further development. Hazelton Lanes will therefore become even larger than we expected, expanding to the corner of Yorkville Avenue and Avenue Road. 

Originally, that corner site was to be developed by landlords Empire Communities and Greybrook Realty Parnters. It would have included some retail underneath a luxury residential highrise. Empire/Greybrook have decided to align with Hazelton Lane's landlord First Capital Realty to create a substantially larger Hazelton Lanes with a corner retail presence. This development was first mentioned in a Toronto Star interview, which was published on website Urban Toronto

This latest expansion will create a substantial amount of new retail space for the Yorkville area. However, being about two blocks north of popular Bloor Street, the expanded Hazelton Lanes may have difficulty attracting desired luxury tenants. A possible solution would be securing an upscale anchor which would attract more shoppers to Hazelton Lanes, thereby setting the stage for the luxury retail it desires. One such anchor would be a department store like Bloomingdale's. This would be a score for the mall's landlords. 

Bloomingdale's stores have traditionally been over 200,000 square feet. Lately, though, Bloomingdale's has been opening smaller stores. Its new Glendale and Palo Alto California stores will be about 120,000 square feet, and its Honolulu store will be 167,000 square feet. An expanded Hazelton Lanes could possibly offer space for such an anchor.

We would like to be clear that Bloomingdale's at Hazelton Lanes is speculation. At the same time, we've been told that there are rumours that Bloomingdale's may be part of the retail assortment being proposed to brokers seeking to fill Hazelton Lanes with luxury retailers. We doubt Bloomingdale's would move in, though we're keeping an open mind. We'll keep you updated on the expansion and renovation of Hazelton Lanes. 

[Hazelton Lanes website]