Conestoga MallEdit profile
Conestoga Mall is a major shopping mall situated at 550 King Street North in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Located at King Street's interchange with Highway 85 (Conestoga Parkway), it is the largest shopping centre in Waterloo, and third-largest in Waterloo Region. The mall is owned and operated by the shopping centre development company Ivanhoe Cambridge, which is a principal real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Current anchor tenants include The Bay, Zellers, Zehrs, Galaxy Cinemas, Winners, SportChek, and Old Navy. The mall, built in 1978, was one of the only buildings on this section of King Street. Since it opened, the mall has expanded several times, and has contributed to the retail success of this area. Several big box retailers, including Future Shop, The Home Depot, a large LCBO, and a BMW dealership have opened on King Street North around the mall.
The mall is also one of Grand River Transit's main transportation terminals in Waterloo Region.Redevelopment
Conestoga Mall is currently undergoing a major $75 million redevelopment project. The project began in mid 2006, and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2010. Details of the project include a 130,000-square-foot (12,000 m2) expansion on the south end of the property (recently completed); a renovation and upgrade to the existing building (currently under construction); a new, large 700 seat food court with a new south end mall entrance (currently under construction); and a pedestrian friendly façade. Major components of the redevelopment that have been completed to date include a new free standing CIBC building (completed first), a new Old Navy store (completed second), and a rebuilt Bay store and expansion of the south parking lot (completed third).
When finally completed, the mall hopes to add 40 high quality, brand name retailers. Two high-end restaurants with patios will open by the main entrance when done. Overall, this much anticipated project will strengthen Conestoga Mall's appeal in the Waterloo Region market.
In addition to renovating and expanding the mall itself, the redevelopment will also include significant traffic improvements to the King Street entrance of the mall. The intersection of Conestogo Road and Kraus Drive has been replaced with a roundabout as per the City of Waterloo's request. There has also been the addition of a second entrance to King Street in the form of a right in-right out intersection. The traffic upgrades will be paid for by Ivanhoe Cambridge as a condition of the City of Waterloo issuing a building permit for the expansion of the shopping centre.The Bay
The Bay has moved slightly to the south and was completely rebuilt into a larger store. The new prototype Bay at Conestoga Mall is the first "green" store in the company's portfolio - complete with environmentally conscious measures such as solar panels, wind turbines, recycled carpet, and waterless urinals. The company has also introduced higher end products such as Chanel cosmetics to serve Waterloo's growing affluence. The space left vacated by the old Bay store is planned to be converted into new stores for the fall of 2009.City of Waterloo Museum
Conestoga Mall has donated 4,000 square feet (370 m2) in the new expansion to the City of Waterloo to establish a permanent museum for the City's heritage artifacts. Over 10,000 of the City's historical artifacts will be displayed in the City of Waterloo Museum. Waterloo's heritage collection has been mainly in storage over the past decade, with most of these artifacts coming from the closure of the Seagram Museum. The City of Waterloo Museum will be located between the new Bay store and food court entrance.Environmental Commitment
Conestoga Mall is recognized as one of the most environmentally conscious malls in Waterloo Region. Foremost, the mall supports green electricity, purchasing 30% of its common area electricity requirements from Bullfrog Power . Other environmental measures include using washable cloth towels in the mall washrooms, having many recycling facilities placed throughout the mall, and not using pesticides on the property grounds.Loblaw Superstore Controversy
Loblaw Companies, which operates the Zehrs chain of grocery stores, formerly owned a large parcel of land to the southwest of Conestoga Mall. Despite much controversy with local citizens and the City of Waterloo itself, Loblaw planned on closing the Conestoga Mall Zehrs and replacing it with a much larger 175,000± square foot Real Canadian Superstore. The decision was to have been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, as the City of Waterloo was reluctant to approve the application for various reasons, the main being the land having to be rezoned to major commercial from industrial.
In September 2008, Loblaw unexpectedly sold their land holding to Intelligent Mechatronics Systems, a high tech company for $14.5 million dollars. As of May 2009, this tech firm has completed renovations to the existing building on the site, and relocated their operations to this property. IMS plans to employ as many as 160 within the upcoming years. Meanwhile, the Conestoga Mall Zehrs remains open.Previous Anchors
When Conestoga Mall first opened in 1978, it housed just three anchors: a Robinsons to the south, a K-Mart to the north, and a small Dominion grocery store to the east. Robinsons went bankrupt in the early 1990s and The Bay has opened in its place. K-Mart discontinued its operations in Canada and has since been taken over by Zellers. The Dominion location was converted to a Zehrs in the 1980s, and Zehrs later relocated to a new and larger location in the mall. In the previous grocery store space, Winners, Sport Chek, and other retailers opened in 1999.Anchors
- The Bay (130,580 sq ft.)
- Zellers (95,084 sq ft.)
- Zehrs (75,000 sq ft.)
- Galaxy Cinemas (40,123 sq ft., satellite building)
- Winners (26,116 sq ft.)
- Sport Chek (20,911 sq ft.)
- Old Navy (19,011 sq ft.)
- H&M (15,252 sq ft.)
The terminal is located beside the King Street main mall entrance, by the Old Navy store. This facility operates as a major hub for Grand River Transit (GRT), with all of the routes that it serves terminating here.GRT bus service
- iXpress to Ainslie St. Transit Terminal
- Route 7C Downtown/Fairview Park Mall
- Route 9 Lakeshore
- Route 12 Fairview Mall
- Route 14 Bathurst (Waterloo industrial area)
- Route 21 Elmira, to the towns of St. Jacobs and Elmira
- Route 31 Lexington
- Route 32 Kumpf
- Route 35 Eastbridge