Hillcrest shopping centre undergoes renovations in Richmond Hill; realty to benefit

Real estate micro-markets in and around the Hillcrest shopping centre are poised to benefit according to industry experts. The shopping centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario, is currently undergoing renovations and new retailers are being added consistently under this $90 million revamp exercise which has commenced from the year 2015 onwards. The mall was developed in the year 1974 by Cadillac Fairview and Oxford Properties Group and Montez Holdings Inc. purchased this jointly back in the year 2011. In 2015, the two Hudson’s Bay stores were consolidated into a single store for freeing up more space.

Thereafter, in the year 2016, a portion of the south wing of the mall was renovated and this has been concluded with the recently launched West Coast Kids store along with H&M, Sporting Life, Starbucks and Pandora. The Hillcrest shopping centre is located across 46 acres at 9350 Yonge Street, Carrville Road. Both Swarovski and Honey are expected to come to the mall soon as well.

The north wing is being readied for an opening in the fall and leading stores like Old Navy, Indigo and Marshalls/HomeSense are set to open here as part of the renovation of the 133, 000 sq. ft. ex-Target store which shut down in April 2015. This wing will have an entrance similar to the current south wing when it opens this fall. The total leasable area at the mall is 503, 587 sq. ft. and there is the anchor Hudson’s Bay store spanning 136, 915 sq. ft. There are more than 110 stores and services here along with 2, 631 parking stalls.

Hillcrest Mall Management Inc. operates and manages operations at the mall. With renovations gearing up in the final phase, washrooms have been improved to a large extent while there is new LED lighting and flooring along with ceiling treatments, brand new exterior and interior signage, a redesigned ring road and upgraded food court. More than 20 new and additional retailers have been brought in over the last 3 years including Sunglass Hut, Sleep Country and Aritzia. As per reports, 47% of household incomes in the primary trade zone of the mall exceed $100, 000 annually with the median age being 39.8 for residents of Richmond Hill, 97, 000 people visit the mall on a weekly basis as per reports and the population is growing steadily as well.

The real estate market has also benefited from the renovation exercise. According to reports, there are more than 6, 500 condominiums and townhomes that will come up over the next few years within a 3-4 kilometre radius from the shopping mall as a result of renewed demand. Sales have already increased by 8% for the mall on a 12-month rolling basis. They now stand at $565 per square foot as per reports with occupancy rates slowly going towards 90%. This was Canada’s first ever shopping centre to accommodate beehives on the roof in partnership with Alveole for pollination of local vegetable gardens and flowers. The bee population should increase to 70, 000 by summer end.

There are several green measures taken including the cistern for harvesting rain with a bid to water planting beds, four electric car charging stations, retrofitted air condition systems for energy savings, 86% waste diversion figure and bicycle racks placed all around the shopping centre. A farmer’s market takes place every Wednesday in the southwest parking lot and also on Sundays from early May-late October each year. Blood donor clinics also take place here. Community program partners include 360Kids, Sandgate Women’s Shelter and the Mackenzie Health Foundation. Some of the top real estate projects nearby include Grand Palace Condos, ERA at Yonge Condos and Elgin East among others.