Big changes coming to the Gateway Mall

Matt Gardner
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The Gateway Mall is getting a new tenant and moving around an existing one.

Come spring 2014, both tenants are expected to be occupying the vacant space on the west side of the mall that was previously the home of the P.A. Zellers.

“They’re subdividing the old Zellers space,” Gateway Mall manager Sharon Faul said.

“One of the stores will be a 25,000-square-foot Ardene store, which is an expansion of their current store that they’re in here, and it’s actually going to be the largest Ardene store in Canada.

“The other store that will be occupying the south half of the portion that they have leased is called Designer Depot, and it’s going to be designer fashions at outlet prices.”

The overall layout of the mall will not change, with the difference largely confined to building new divisions in the old Zellers location and providing access to the rest of the mall interior.

Construction is currently underway to extend the mall’s existing corridor into the new space.

“We have some demolition that needs to be done,” Faul said. “To make way for new stores there’s always electrical codes and things that have to be dealt with first.

“Then we provide the space that the tenant is requesting and they do their own setup of the store design and everything from there. So they’ll be doing their own construction once we have a bare space available for them.”

Clothing and accessories retailer Ardene is in the process of rapidly expanding across the country, as the size of the average store expands from 4,000 square feet to between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet.

Faul noted the significance of the company locating its largest outlet in Prince Albert.

They’re subdividing the old Zellers space. Sharon Faul

“They’ve determined that this market is very good for them,” she said.

Faul expects a fairly efficient transition, with Ardene set to remain in their current location until construction is complete.

It will then likely take at least two days for the store to complete the process of moving to its new location.

“Going into a store that big, I’m guessing they may take up to a week to move their current stock over and get all the new stuff assembled,” Faul said. “But that’ll totally be their timeline.”

The construction process should pass unnoticed by most shoppers, save for those in the parking lot who may notice disposal bins and vehicles moving back and forth.

For the moment, the most noticeable sight at the old Zellers remains the 24’ x 8’ northern-themed mural -- painted by the Smeaton-based Four Door Arts Forum -- that covers the store’s former entrance.

“It’s a very unique feature that we’ve partnered with them on here for Gateway Mall,” Faul said. “We did it in that fashion so that we’ll be able to keep re-using that mural.”

“We needed such a large one for that space because the opening was so wide,” she added. “But we’ll be able to use all of those parts as we undergo construction throughout the mall in different areas and either use most of them or a couple of them or even one, because (with) the pieces, the way they integrate can stand alone or all work together.”

Organizations: Zellers

Geographic location: Canada, Prince Albert

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