Before the big red and white bullseye gets installed at Tillicum Centre, Saanich council had a chance last week to approve or refuse a few changes to the mall’s Zellers store, as it transitions into a Target.
Council got its first look at what the future retailer will look like, complete with a brand new facade with a “blade wall with multi-coloured signage,” said Elisa Brandts, president of PBK Architects.
Coun. Judy Brownoff stressed to Brandts and landscape architect Damon Oriente that their planned removal of the invasive ivy from the outside walls of Zellers wouldn’t sit well with her.
“If you’re not enamoured with ivy, you might want to look at a green wall or something to showcase the community that you recognize (that vegetation provides an opportunity for cleaning air),” Brownoff said. “(The ivy has) a softening effect to the whole facade. I would really encourage you to look at how to retain some softening with the (non-invasive) Boston ivy.”
“I think there’s always room at the corporate level to adapt to the community and still maintain your corporate image,” added Coun. Vicki Sanders.
Council unanimously supported the development permit, pointing to the aging Zellers as sore point in the community.
“I’m pleased the firm has chosen to make an investment here, because the alternative (of Zellers sticking around) might not be very attractive,” said Mayor Frank Leonard.
Coun. Paul Gerrard made it known that he hopes the revitalization of the Zellers space will encourage mall owner RioCan to get started on the residential developments approved by council a few years ago.
Two conjoined condo towers, reaching heights of nine and 13 storeys with 296 apartments and 2,600 square metres of ground-floor retail space inside, were approved in May 2009.
“Maybe (RioCan’s) excitement of having Target here will be the kick to start the residential,” Gerrard said.
Coun. Vic Derman attempted to get some of Target’s corporate sustainability commitments tied down, rather than simply being “targets – no pun intended,” he said, but was unsuccessful.
“To try and hold this one up because they have a good corporate policy and we want to get (their commitments) in legalese, I think that’s actually punishing them,” Leonard said.
Zellers is expected to close by the end of summer, and the store space will undergo six to nine months of renovations at a cost of $10 to $11 million. Target is set to open at Tillicum by April 2013.
In January 2011, a $1.8 billion deal was announced by the Hudson’s Bay Company to sell Zellers to the American retailer. By the end of 2013, 105 Zellers locations across Canada will have made the switch to become Target stores.