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               HERTIAGE MALL: EDMONTON, AB, CANADA

Marv Carlson's Commentary

Posted March 29, 2006 (user submitted)

One mall which should be added is the Heritage Mall located in the south end of Edmonton, Alberta at 111th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The Heritage Mall had a relatively short life. It opened in 1981 during the height of an oil and gas boom and closed in 2001.

The two level mall was large with four anchors - Eaton's, Safeway, Sears, and Woolco.

The mall did well and was fully occupied for approximately the first 15 years of its existence. It was busy - especially so on weekends. The only major change occurred around 1993-4 when Wal-Mart bought out Woolco and remodeled their store.

Shortly thereafter, things started taking a turn for the worse as many changes were occuring in the Canadian retail industry. Woodward's, a regional Canadian retailer, essentially went bankrupt. As a result, Eaton's decided to occupy their space in a nearby mall (Southgate) and exit Heritage Mall. Nobody was found to replace Eaton's. The vacancies started to rise (especially in the Eaton's wing of the mall).

Wal-Mart was not happy with their two-level mall location. A couple of years later they built a traditional stand-alone location about two miles away from the mall in South Edmonton Common. Nobody was available to replace them either. Once Wal-Mart left, vacancies mushroomed.

In addition, Safeway moved out. During this period they were closing down all of their mall stores in favour of free-standing locations.

This essentially left the mall with Sears and a few smaller stores located close to it. The rest of the mall was dark.

The final blow came in approximately 2000 when Sears left to replace the bankrupt Eaton's in Southgate Centre. The mall was closed in 2001.

Although I live in Calgary, I believe the mall has just recently been demolished. A few demolition photos are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/podbaydoor/sets/72057594073186795/.

A number of years of wrangling between the City of Edmonton, developers, and interest groups ensued until a new development was finally approved in early 2005.

The new development comprises approximately 3000 condos and apartment units with a very small adjoining retail component. The development is to take place over a period of approximately 10 years. It is to be called Century Park. They have a website at www.centurypark.ca.

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