Edmonton's City Centre mall will get multi-million-dollar facelift

A $41.3-million renovation of the City Centre mall will pay dividends for Edmonton’s downtown revitalization plans, according to a retail expert.

$41.3 million in upgrades will be completed over the next two years

Renderings for the pending renovation of City Centre mall. The food court will be expanded and moved from the basement to the third floor of the east wing.

A $41.3-million renovation of the City Centre mall will pay dividends for Edmonton's downtown revitalization plans, according to a retail expert.

"They're just getting poised to be competitive with everything else that's happening downtown,"  said Paul McElhone, dean of Concordia University's Mihalcheon School of Management, who believes the facelift will draw more people to the centre of the city.

"We need to create this density downtown, and create a downtown that's vibrant. If you're going to have this arena downtown, and you're going to invest all of those dollars, you need to have the people."

The upgrade will see the mall consolidated from four levels to three, as the entire basement level will be gutted and replaced with 300 parking stalls; and the top floor of the east side will become a 500-seat food court with space for 11 vendors.

About half a dozen businesses on the top level will be relocated. The elevators and escalators will be upgraded, and a central staircase added to improve access.

Olympia Trencevski, with Oxford Properties Group, said their revitalization will serve the changing needs of people in the city's downtown.

"Over 23,000 new residents are expected to be living downtown by 2019, and thousands of new office workers will occupy the new commercial office buildings currently under construction," Trencevski said.

"With so much development happening all around us, we are getting ready to serve this significant new population of retail shoppers with the retail experiences that they want and expect."

Construction is set to begin this month. The food court is expected to open in November 2016. The remainder of the project is set to open in the winter of 2017.

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