North American Development Group (NADG) has revealed initial plans for the redevelopment of the Agincourt Mall in Scarborough. The Toronto and Palm Beach-based developer purchased the Agincourt Mall in 2014 for a reported $97 million according to a 2015 report by Avison Young.
Located on the northwest corner of Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue, the Agincourt Mall has become a landmark in the primarily residential Scarborough community since opening in 1966. But like many smaller community malls in Toronto, Agincourt is in need of a major update and has suffered from changing demographics and the trend towards online shopping.
While still in the early stages, NADG’s plans call for a 26-acre mixed-use community with 250,000 square feet of retail space, a new public park and a mix of townhomes, mid-rise and high-rise residential units. The developer has previously been involved in the development, acquisition and management of over 200 shopping centres since its establishment in 1977 and owns over 23 million square feet of gross leasable retail and mixed use space in the US and Canada. Its current portfolio is valued at over $4 billion and includes approximately 1,600 acres of land across North America that has been acquired for future retail development.
Key partners in the Agincourt redevelopment include architects Giannone Petricone Associates, landscape architecture and urban design firm Janet Rosenberg & Studio and transportation, planning and engineering firm BA Group.
“The essence of neighbourhood shopping centres is evolving,” says Steven K. Bishop, Vice President of Development Services at NADG. “Much like the Shops at Don Mills, a fading indoor mall will be transformed into a new mixed use environment where retail will connect with the public realm.”
The developer says it hopes to keep the majority of the benefits that have made the mall an important part of the area but to update and modernize the concept to meet today’s needs. Current anchor tenants Wal-Mart and No Frills are expected to remain, while new street-facing storefronts, cafes and restaurants will be introduced.
“We were keen to keep the function of the existing shopping centre, so we’ve been successful in having very positive feedback from a number of the tenants including No Frills and Wal-Mart,” says Bishop. “We’re going to keep the essence of what Agincourt Mall currently delivers but will enhance it by creating some interesting streets and public spaces which we think will be a lot more attractive to retailers and area residents.”
Parking will be moved underground creating what the developer calls ‘complete streets’ consisting of cycling infrastructure, landscaped walkways, and a Las Ramblas-inspired pedestrian walkway and public square. The new street pattern will include natural links to the surrounding community as well as connections to the future Sheppard LRT. Several new private roads, including a ring road around the proposed public park, will also be added aimed at easing traffic flow.
NADG hopes to submit its official plan application to the City of Toronto by the end of June followed by a public consultation meeting in the fall.