South Hill Mall “turning a corner”

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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With the addition of three new tenants, the South Hill Mall’s occupancy rate will jump by 20 per cent in the near future, up to 93 per cent occupancy. 

Tyler “Zammy” Worrell from Thorpe Brothers Ltd. is seen in the South Hill Mall’s upcoming Public Works Service Centre, a federal government initiative. 

With the addition of three new tenants, the South Hill Mall’s occupancy rate will jump by 20 per cent in the near future, up to 93 per cent occupancy.

This is a nice leap forward from the mall’s increasingly stagnant status, with 15 empty storefronts noted earlier this year.  

“There’s lots of engagement and motion going on at the South Hill Mall,” Smart Centres vice president of corporate affairs Sandra Kaiser said. “We’re really turning a corner.”

Smart Centres provide leasing service for the mall, which is owned by Retro Com Reit.

“It’s a combination of things — the experience of the leasing team, but also the health of the community.”

Within the next three to four months, a 24,000-sq.-ft. Good Life Fitness Centre will open up, adding an anchor to the mall that will eat up a handful of the mall’s west side business fronts.

A 6,000-sq.-ft. Public Works Service Centre — a federal government initiative — will open up next to Good Life Fitness.

An additional business about 6,000-sq.-ft. in size will also open in the next few months, though Kaiser said it’s too early to share what the business will be.

Contractors are currently on site readying the mall for the incoming businesses.

“Any time we see business growth in Prince Albert it’s positive,” Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Merle Lacert said. “We’ve seen lots of growth in the retail market in the last year.”

One area that is always of concern in the community is with larger businesses’ impact on smaller existing ones, such is the case with Good Life Fitness’s introduction.

There’s lots of engagement and motion going on at the South Hill Mall ... We’re really turning a corner. Smart Centres vice president of corporate affairs Sandra Kaiser

“I hope it makes all businesses look at the products (and services) they have and make them more competitive,” Lacert said.

The Good Life Fitness Centre is of particular interest to Lacert due to its proven community support and engagement in the communities where it is located.

“The South Hill Mall had a fair amount of space that needed to be filled, so compliments to them,” Mayor Jim Scarrow said, adding that the mall’s turnaround is no big surprise.

The City of Prince Albert has been proven to service an increasingly large population base, not just north but all around the city.

“We’re seeing it grow and there’s no stopping that,” Scarrow said, noting that by one estimate the city serves a population base of 180,000 people.

“People are finding what they need in this community.”

This has helped the city keep up with the growth of the rest of the province, he said, boding well for the community’s future.

Although the addition of more retail and service industry jobs is a good thing, Lacert said than an even better thing, which is being worked toward, is more manufacturing jobs.

Unlike most retail and service industry jobs, where “There’s not typically a lot of room for growth,” manufacturing jobs are more likely to offer growth.

But, he reiterated, “Any more business growth is always positive.”

 

 

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