Dorval Gardens shopping centre sold to North American Development Group
Some major changes could be in the works for the Dorval Gardens.
North American Development Group, an asset management company that specializes in shopping malls, recently bought Dorval’s iconic shopping centre.
While details of the new owner’s intentions haven’t been made public, Global News has learned that a mixed commercial-residential project could be in the offering.
Plans for a hotel and office space could also be in the works.
“I believe they have plans to redevelop the whole of the space,” Béatrice Cuzzi, director general of Commerce Dorval, told Global News.
Cuzzi says the area on Dorval Avenue has a commercial vacancy rate of 35 per cent — a number considered far too high.
Vacant lots also line part of the mall. Some existing merchants say this hurts their bottom line.
“The clientele has gone down because there is a lack of shopping stores,” said Manoj Sakhrani, owner of Élégance Renu.
Sakhrani has a lot of confidence in the new owners and welcomes what he says is a much-needed change.
The land on which the mall and its parking lot sit is zoned for commercial and residential use and has a municipal valuation of more than $47 million, according to Montreal’s valuation roll.
The purchase price, however, has not been disclosed.
The mall originally opened in April 1954 and was considered the first of its kind in Canada. Some of the original merchants included Steinberg’s, Reitmans and Morgan’s.
“This was a great shopping centre in the ’50s. But it sort of stayed stuck in that time, we feel,” Cuzzi said.
Today, Walmart, Maxi and The Bay are Dorval Gardens’ main anchor stores.
Some shoppers say a mixed-use lot could be a good thing.
“I think that would be better than strictly residential,” Patrick Harrison, a shopper, told Global News.
“I think a lot of local seniors depend on the mall.”
Dorval city officials plan to meet with the new owners in the coming weeks.
“I understand people, when it’s a new buyer, you’re scared. You don’t know what they’re going to do with it,” said Sébastien Gauthier, a spokesperson for the City of Dorval.
Many just hope the owner’s new plans will turn one of Canada’s oldest suburban malls into a state-of-the art destination that will benefit the community.
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