Work to transform the long-vacant Zellers building at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre is expected to wrap up next fall.
Shopping centre spokesperson Jeri Cox shared the timeline last week, confirming that work got underway last month, and that new stores are to open for business in November 2019.
Plans for the site were shared with Peace Arch News in July. At that time, First Capital Realty senior vice-president of development Jodi Shpigel told PAN there would be no “demolishing or rebuilding.”
“We’re going to work with the existing building that is there and repurpose the space for multiple tenants,” Shpigel said.
He described the tenants as “a type of retailers that people would be very happy to see.”
Construction fencing erected around the site features advertising for tenants including Winners and Crunch. The latter is a gym where “we’ve fused fitness and entertainment so that we can make serious exercise fun,” according to information on the company’s website.
In 2012, the Semiahmoo Zellers was one of the shopping centre’s anchor stores, and one of just 64 Zellers, out of 253 nation-wide, not sold to U.S.-based retailer Target. At that time, parent-company HBC told PAN that the location would either shut down or be rebranded under a different name.
Then, after announcing in early 2013 that Semiahmoo Zellers would close that March, HBC reversed course and announced the store would remain open as a liquidator for Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters. However,the store was closed in March after a mattress display caught on fire in an incident Surrey Fire Services first deemed suspicious, but later said was “not deliberate.”
It reopened in June of that year, as one of only three stores to bear the Zellers logo, but closed the following year and has been vacant ever since.