Colliers International is hoping to breathe some new life into the former Zellers department store in the city’s west end.
The real estate company is working with Winnipeg-based Landstar Development, the new owners of the vacant retail space at the corner of Victoria Avenue and 34th Street.
John Prall, vice-president of Colliers International, said the goal is to subdivide the former Zellers space into three or four separate units.
In addition, they would like to see another three or four free-standing buildings in what is currently a vacant parking lot.
A bank, credit union, restaurant or fast-food chain are the kind of tenants they are targeting, Prall said.
“We’re officially starting our marketing process of the property now, seeking interest from any businesses for the free stand and we’re already quite far along in working on some options for the subdivision of the Zellers space,” Prall said.
Aside from the Sobeys grocery store, the 12-acre retail property hasn’t been occupied by any other businesses since discount store Field’s closed its doors in 2010.
“I think it’s very exciting to get somebody working on it,” Prall said. “There will be a lot of capital required to convert and substantially upgrade …putting on new storefronts and new facades to make it attractive for the style of new retail that we’re seeing elsewhere.”
Prall said the location of the property would attract the trade area from the west.
As for a timeline, Prall said tenants could be accommodated in the existing building as early as this fall, or early spring 2015.
“The timeline there is much quicker (than the South Brandon Village) because the building is already there, the structure is in very good condition,” he said.
“So it’s just a matter of subdividing it and doing all the upgrades to bring it to current standards, and the pads would occur as demand arises.”
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