A new supermarket in Jackson Square will not only reflect the community, but change the face of the shopping centre, says the manager of the downtown landmark.
The upcoming Nations Fresh Food store will cover 55,000 square feet of space in the west end of the building, much of which has remained vacant for the bulk of the past 20 years, Scott Kyle said. There was a farmers market in the space from 2009 to 2011.
The target date for opening is May 2013.
Management is also working on securing an additional retailer to occupy a 7,000-square-foot section on the north side of Phase 4’s main corridor. This would be a “complementary-use” retailer, Kyle said.
The Mr. Print All copy shop in that corridor will be relocated in the building. The main-level dental office will be removed along with a number of other stores north of the Sheraton Hotel.A layout of the new Nations store
“Everything’s going,” Kyle said, gesturing to the vacant concrete interior of the space, occupied only by pillars, and sinks that were installed for the temporary farmers market.
Yale Properties, which runs Jackson Square, will be adding two passenger elevators, a freight elevator, “and a mile of construction hoarding” to the building in upcoming months to prepare the facility for Nations to begin its renovation, said manager Jocelyne Mainville.
The ceiling inside the space will also be raised to about 18 feet.
Jackson Square management had been working on getting a grocery store in the building for about the past two years, Mainville said.
“We talked to just about all the major grocery chains,” Kyle said, but most required too much space.
Nations’ format — a new store type of the Oceans Fresh FoodMarket — fit the space they had available. Mainville had been negotiating details with Oceans’marketing manager Frank Ho for the past year, she said.
As part of sussing out the company, Mainville visited one of the current Oceans stores. There are currently two in Brampton and two in Mississauga.
“I was floored,” she said of her test shopping experience. She wasn’t expecting such world variety in one store.
“What I wanted to see was — I have three young children — am I going to be able to do all of my shopping in this store?” Mainville said. “Absolutely.”
Through a Nations store, she wouldn’t have to go elsewhere for the tapioca balls to put in bubble tea, she offered as an example.
A key factor in signing with Nations was that the store tailors its merchandise mix to the community, Kyle said.
Nations will cater their food selection “depending on the ethnic mix of the community,” Mainville said.
Oceans is opening its first Nations store in Woodbridge shortly. Hamilton’s Nations will be the secondstore, but the largest of the two, Kyle said.
It will also offer an “experiential” atmosphere, Kyle said.
Apprentice chefs from Liaison College will perform different styles of cooking throughout the store.
“One will demonstrate, say, Indian cooking while another teaches German and another, maybe Parisian,” Mainville said.
“All at the same time,” Kyle chimed in.
The store will also have a “huge hot table area in their café,” he added, emphasizing that people in the area, including Sheridan Hotel guests, could stop in for a take-out lunch or dinner.
The two managers hope that the opening of the store will also extend the mall’s overall retail hours.
Nations is planned to be open daily from at least 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. With success, it could be opened longer, Mainville said. Other retailers’ hours “are likely going to be extended as well.”