Repositioning and Resurrecting A Chronically Vacant Retail Centre

Barrhaven Crossing

Opportunity

In 2008, Investors Group retained Colonnade BridgePort to reposition and “resurrect” a 60,566 sq. ft. retail centre that was experiencing chronic vacancy in Barrhaven, a suburb of Ottawa. When Colonnade BridgePort assumed management, the centre had a 66% vacancy rate due to many large, national tenants not renewing their leases; nationals such as Loeb (now Metro), Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Hardware and the Bank of Montreal.

Previously managed by a large Toronto-based national company, the owners recognized the need for a property management company with strong local market knowledge to create a vibrant new tenant mix that would restore this diminishing shopping centre.

Key Challenges

The centre was falling into disrepair and its relevancy had diminished due to changes in the marketplace and shopping patterns of residents.

The exterior was tired and needed an immediate clean-up including paving, landscaping,
building exterior upgrades, and sprucing up vacant premises.

The large (empty) anchor spaces were not conducive to creating the type of shopping centre that would best serve the community. The spaces were demised to make room for more smaller tenants and help reposition the centre as a neighborhood hub.

Results

With the large spaces demised, a new mix of “neighbourhood” tenants was brought together; tenants such as a medical centre, pharmacy, Beer Store, Montessori School and various restaurants. These small format retail spaces have maintained rents at or above market and the centre has remained fully leased.

Barrhaven Crossing is representative of how having a local management company adds value by fully understanding the needs and demands of the market and being able to create the most impactful tenant mix – to ensure maximum return on the real estate investment.

With an initial acquisition of $12.4M, the owners sold Barrhaven Crossing in April 2020 at $18.4M.