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               SOBEY'S SQUARE / MOUNT PEARL SQUARE: MT. PEARL, NF, CANADA

Greg's Commentary

Posted September 3, 2006 (user submitted April 17, 2006)

Mount Pearl Square ( then Sobey's Square ) opened in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada in 1981. It was suppposed to be built in St. John's but St. John's city council denied the request. The mall first opened with Sobey's and Topsail Theatres and a few ancillary tenants and Zellers was added on in 1987. Many of the chain stores in Sobey's Square could be found in the Avalon and Village Malls, such as BiWay, Suzy Shier, Eclipse and A Buck or Two.

The mall was renovated during the 1990s, Sobey's supermarketwas enlarged to 66,000 sq. ft. and the cineplex was enlarged from 3 to 6 theatres. Unforuntely, the additions and renovations did not help the mall prosper. The construction of a 12 theatre cineplex at the Avalon Mall ( the oldest and largest mall in St. John's) in 1999 and the new big box power centre opened in Mt. Pearl in 2002. Wal-Mart moved from the former Woolco location in the Village Mall to the power centre in Mt. Pearl. These developments took away business from Sobey's Square. Ironically, Sobey's Square is owned by the same company that owns the Avalon Mall, Crombie Properties - a subsidiary of Sobey's. Many chain stores started closing up shop and the Sobey's supermarket was converted to its smaller discount division, Price Chopper. As a result, the mall had to change its name to Mt. Pearl Square since Sobey's no longer anchors the mall.

In 2005, the middle of the mall was being converted to a Teletech Canada call centre. Early in 2006 as the call centre is still under construction, Zellers announces it was closing its store in Mt. Pearl Square. Zellers acquired a KMart store down the road in St. John's. The remaining tenants, including the dollar store, discount grocery store and theatres are not attracting very many customers anymore. One of the youngest malls in Newfoundland could be one of the first to go out of business.

Other deadmalls canidates in St. John's include Atlantic Place and the Murray Premises in downtown St. John's and the Torbay Road Mall in the east end of St. John's. The Village Mall might be a potential deadmalls canidate since no tenant has moved into the former Woolco/Wal-Mart space.










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