Just in time for holiday shopping, one of the largest shopping malls in the Maritimes is being sold.
Published reports (https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/primaris-reit-buying-halifax-shopping-complex-for-370-million-1.2001080) say the Halifax Shopping Centre (https://halifaxshoppingcentre.com/) is being sold to Primaris REIT for a reported $370 million – perhaps a bit surprising in our age of growing online shopping.
“There are certain types of shopping malls right now that are struggling,” business professor Ed McHugh told CTV News Monday.
“Some are doing okay. Malls like the Halifax Shopping Centre, Mic Mac Mall, etc., they’re doing okay. They’re almost like destinations – people drive to them, they make a day of it. Those types of malls are in pretty good shape, but there are some types of malls across this country that currently are struggling and are currently not a good buy.”
The mall directory (https://halifaxshoppingcentre.com/stores) list 168 stores and services, and the property includes the annex across Mumford Road, which is also includes other big names, including Wal-Mart, Sobeys, and Winners.
“I thought the price would be higher,” said McHugh. “It’s still a lot of money, obviously. To an individual, it’s a lot of money. But I thought that property would actually be valued more because of the growth potential for that area.”
Primaris (https://www.primarisreit.com/) owns and manages 36 retail properties, including 23 enclosed shopping centres, making it one of the largest such operators in Canada (https://www.primarisreit.com/portfolio).
Properties includes the Regent Mall (https://www.regentmall.ca/) in Fredericton, and McAllister Place (https://www.mcallisterplace.ca/) in Saint John.
The website says they’ve become a preferred landlord-partner to scores of retailers.
Halifax shoppers have mixed feelings about potential changes at the mall.
Despite the changing economy, McHugh doesn’t expect the company will implement many changes in the foreseeable future.
“My suspicion is you won’t see a lot of change because this mall has a high occupancy rate right now, and it’s attractive,” he said.
CTV News reached out to several Primaris REIT executives through the website for comment, but got no response by news deadline.
The deal is expected to close Nov. 30.