of The Clarion
Changes are ongoing at the Kindersley Mall since coming under new ownership in 2017, and a special reopening celebration was held at the mall last week.
The mall’s reopening event was held on Dec. 6 and several people were on hand for the celebration. The mall has been a busy place since the new Buy-Low Foods grocery store opened its doors earlier in the week, but the addition of Peavey Mart was also a big deal.
Strathallan Capital Corp., a Toronto-based firm that manages and operates four private funds, acquired the mall from a subsidiary of the property’s previous owner, OneREIT, in October 2017. The Kindersley Mall acquisition was part of a transaction whereby Strathallan acquired a total of 44 properties.
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Mike Ellis, the firm’s property manager for the Kindersley Mall, said the mall is one of four properties he manages in Saskatchewan. The other properties are located in Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Swift Current.
Ellis addressed the crowd at the re-opening event. He welcomed people to the celebration and he said the entire Strathallan team has worked hard to breathe new life into the mall. The speaker told the crowd that the firm has a history of revitalizing shopping centres.
“Strathallan’s specialty is purchasing malls similar to Kindersley Mall across the country,” Ellis said. “We roll up our sleeves, and we bring them back to life and create a place for the community to gather, shop and receive services.”
The property manager said first and foremost he would like to thank the mall’s existing tenants for being patient with Strathallan as the firm works on a process to backfill the large vacancies at either end of the mall. He noted that it is a lengthy and difficult process, but also a noisy and dusty process.
Ellis said he also wanted to thank Buy-Low Foods, Peavey Mart and the province’s ministry of central services for “believing in our vision and helping to bring Kindersley Mall back to life.” A group of about 40 people on hand applauded the new tenants.
He took time to read a letter from Kindersley MLA Ken Francis. The MLA congratulated the mall on its grand re-opening, and gave his best wishes to the mall’s existing tenants. Francis added in his letter that the government is excited to see a revitalized facility and hopeful for its future.
Mayor Rod Perkins also addressed the crowd. He said he appreciated the opportunity to be able to speak at the re-opening, but he really appreciated an opportunity to thank Strathallan for having the faith in the community to carry forward and revitalize the mall.
He noted that the town’s current council discussed several items it wanted to see done after being elected in 2016. One of the focuses was to revitalize the downtown core and a second focus was to reignite interest in the mall.
Perkins said since the election in 2016, several businesses closed down, so council’s hope for mall revitalization was not going too well. Strathallan assured town officials they were working to improve the situation over a couple of conference calls, he said.
The mayor said he attended a grand opening of the Saskatchewan Agriculture and Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation office in October, a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Peavey Mart about three weeks ago and the town’s deputy mayor attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony a day earlier at Buy-Low Foods.
“It is so important to have these malls open, running and occupied,” Perkins said, recognizing that a vibrant shopping scene helps to keep people in town and bring people to town. “All in all, this is just a great step forward for us and I thank you very much.”
Ellis returned and he made an announcement about a future tenant. He said he is pleased to announce there is new 11,000 square-foot Dollarama store joining the mall. The store will be located at the east end of the mall.
Nancy Ternes, the administrator for the mall, addressed the crowd and she said Strathallan likes to give back to its communities. She announced a large donation of $8,000 to the local Christmas Hamper program. Three representatives of the program accepted the donation.
Misty Leismeister of the West Central Crisis and Family Support Centre, a spokesperson for the hamper program, said the program’s co-ordinators are thrilled by the show of generosity. She noted that the donation will help to ensure the program is able to meet the needs of as many people as possible.