Metropolis at Metrotown mall now under new management

Sep 7 2021, 1:03 pm

British Columbia’s largest shopping mall is now under a new operator and management team, as part of a sweeping change in Ivanhoe Cambridge’s business strategy for its retail properties across Canada.

While Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge continues to own Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby and dozens of other mall properties, its operations have been handed over to the Canadian division of British commercial real estate company JLL.

Other major Ivanhoe Cambridge retail properties in BC include Tsawwassen Mills in Tsawwassen and Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, which are both part of the JLL Canada operations takeover.

“To focus on our core business as a seasoned, clear-sighted real estate investor and to align and standardise our business model globally, we wanted to find a partner with the scale, track record and expertise to continue the optimization of our assets’ performance and lead the industry in defining the future of the retail sector, thus creating long-term value for our depositors,” said Nathalie Palladitcheff, President and CEO, Ivanhoé Cambridge, in a statement.

“JLL’s global reputation and like-minded culture will continue to support us, while creating career opportunities for our retail teams joining the JLL family.”

Most of Ivanhoe Cambridge’s property team of retail employees will transition to JLL Canada, whose management team and key decision-making roles will be headquartered in Montreal.

“Retail has been going through a transition period over the last decade plus, where the focus has become on creating sustainable and dynamic experiential settings that engage and excite the communities it serves – and the pandemic has acted as a major accelerant on those trends,” said Greg Maloney, CEO of JLL Americas Retail.

“Retail is our division’s sole focus and we are thrilled to expand our expertise and footprint in Canada, and Quebec, establishing JLL as the largest third-party retail manager in Canada as well.”

Ivanhoe Cambridge was previously the longtime owner and operator of Oakridge Centre in Vancouver, and Mayfair Shopping Centre in Victoria. Oakridge Centre and its long contemplated redevelopment plans were sold to QuadReal Property Group in 2017, and Mayfair Shopping Centre was sold to Central Walk earlier in 2021.

Ivanhoe Cambridge is the real estate division of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the Quebec pension fund. Prior to the pandemic, it began exploring a long-term redevelopment of Metropolis at Metrotown mall into a new mixed-use core for Burnaby’s Downtown Metrotown area with 15,000 homes and new retail, restaurant, and office spaces.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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