Shopping mall sale causes condo concerns
Doug Stephens said shopping centre is an important part of the community
Since Bayview Village Shopping Centre’s record-setting sale last year, the rumour mill has been in constant motion about what’s next for the upscale mall. The 440,000-square-foot property was purchased for $500 million by British Columbia Investment Management Corp. last November, after a bidding war. The sale was the city’s biggest of 2013, and now many in the area are speculating about what will be done with the property. Some real estate websites have reported that the mall will be expanded and will possibly be home to new condo towers.
Doug Stephens, of the Bayview Village Association (BVA), said he expects there will be some major developments at Bayview Village. He hopes the BVA has a chance to talk to developers about what locals want from the shopping centre.
“The concern is what shape the development takes,” he said. “We want to have early communication, so we can make sure their goals are compatible with our values and we don’t have our discussions at the OMB.”
Stephens said one thing the residents’ association hopes is maintained at Bayview Village is space for services in the mall, including doctors, dentists and physiotherapists that residents in the area rely on. Although more condo towers may be inevitable, he said he worries that too many new residents would worsen traffic in the already congested area.
“Parking is a huge issue. Even now there is not enough parking at Bayview Village, so the parking flows into the streets, and that’s a concern for our residents.” Stephens said the BVA members want to be “up front” about their expectations before they go “into defensive mode.”
When reached for comment, British Columbia Investment Management Corp spokesperson Gwen-Ann Chittenden said that the company “does not comment on speculation [but will] continue to operate Bayview Village as one of Canada’s top shopping malls.”