Construction has begun on two new mega malls on Tsawwassen First Nation land.
Tsawwassen Mills and Tsawwassen Commons will house major retailers including Walmart, Rona and Bass Pro Shops and are scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.
Tsawwassen Mills will have 1.2 million square feet of indoor retail space and include premium fashion brands, factory outlets, restaurants and a 1,100 seat food court. To compare, Oakridge Centre Mall in Vancouver is about half that size at 575,000 square feet.
Daniel Fournier, CEO of Ivanhoe Cambridge the developer of Tsawwassen Mills said the mall will be a unique combination of retail shopping and entertainment, with 16 anchor tenants.
One of those tenants will be Bass Pro Shops, which specializes in hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor gear. The massive store will have an indoor water feature Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl XLIX Jersey with large fish where professional anglers will demonstrate how bait works by catching the fish.
"It's not traditional retail," Fournier said. "It's a real mix of things that makes it a social experience. In an era when Internet shopping is becoming a serious factor, people want to socialize, people want it to be fun, people want it to be interesting."
Fournier said the other major tenants will be named once they're confirmed.
The mall will be modelled after CrossIron Mills in Greater Calgary and Vaughan Mills in Greater Toronto. In Vaughan Mills, for example, entertainment related tenants include a bowling alley, laser tag, a NASCAR Speedpark, and a family amusement park. Some restaurants are also open late on weekends.
Ivanhoe Cambridge a major international real estate company has assets valued at more than $35 billion in 22 countries. An estimated 300 million people go through its shopping centres a year including Oakridge, Guildford and Metropolis in Metro Vancouver. It is owned by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, which manages public pension funds in Quebec.
"As the years go by, we're focusing more and more on the social experience the restaurants, cinema, everything that makes it a great experience for families," Fournier said.
"It was a pleasure," he said about working Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl 49 Jersey with the Tsawwassen First Nation. "Projects like this are very complex. It always takes time and this falls into negotiations that we're used to all around the world. It was a very fulfilling project."
Walmart and Rona are confirmed tenants at Tsawwassen Commons, the adjacent outdoor shopping mall by Property Development Group.
"This development partnership is a major step toward achieving our community's vision under our treaty," Tsawwassen First Nations Chief Bryce Williams said in a news release.
"Combined with our complementary agricultural, residential and industrial activities, this development is a significant Clay Matthews Super Bowl 49 Jersey move forward in creating a truly sustainable community for our members."