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The Amazing Brentwood retail centre, just east of Vancouver, will see an overhaul that will reposition it as a premiere shopping centre with the help of a new, notable investor. Landlord SHAPE and co-owner Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan have partnered with the L Catterton group, which is a private equity firm linked with French luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and Groupe Arnault. The new $2 billion The Amazing Brentwood will become the focal point of a community that will include over a million square feet of retail space, considerable office space, as well as multiple residential towers for thousands of new residents. The first phase is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.
The Amazing Brentwood is L Catterton’s second North American development project, following its investment in Miami’s luxury retail complex, Miami Design District. L Catterton is also involved in a number of luxury projects in Asia, including the recent unveiling of the magnificent Ginza SIX luxury retail complex in central Tokyo. L Catterton is noted as being the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity fund, with more than US $14 billion in capital.
SHAPE has been working over the past several years on creating an innovative, upscale neighbourhood that would include substantial retail and residential components. L Catterton’s investment and direction will further assist in the goal of making The Amazing Brentwood live up to its name.
"L Catterton Real Estate’s partnership is a huge vote of confidence in the project and validation that The Amazing Brentwood will serve as a point of pride for Vancouver and a sought-after destination for visitors world-wide, said John Horton, President of SHAPE.
The Amazing Brentwood will court locals as well as market to visitors — tourists are spending a fortune at luxury retailers in downtown Vancouver, and The Amazing Brentwood stands to gain some of that with the addition of new luxury brands.
"This unique partnership encompasses the vision, passion, unparalleled knowledge and reach to create the next generation of retail experiences for our customers and retailers,” said Mathieu Le Bozec, Managing Partner of LCatterton Real Estate.
The Amazing Brentwood is one of the largest mixed-use projects currently underway in North America. The 28 acre site will include an overhauled shopping centre that will feature over 1.1 million square feet of retail space with over 250 stores, a ‘culinary collection’, offices and a one-acre plaza. As well, more than 6,000 homes in 11 high-rise towers will add more than 10,500 new residents in about 4.5 million square feet.
In the first phase of development, the new centre will feature the first two residential towers, fashion anchor stores, new upscale restaurants and entertainment options, all in an indoor-outdoor configuration.
According to SHAPE’s Executive Vice President, Development, Darren Kwiatkowski, The Amazing Brentwood will feature a considerable amount of space devoted to restaurants, addressing the trend of malls becoming social and entertainment destinations. As a result, The Amazing Brentwood will feature a variety of food options, ranging from chains to chef-driven concepts which will feature options from a variety of ethnicities.
The entertainment focus will also include the addition of Cineplex VIP Cinemas, as well as The Rec Room entertainment centre, which will no doubt draw from the region.
The Brentwood SkyTrain station will become an integral component of the centre, and Mr. Kwiatkowski explained that transit ridership is expected to grow substantially as the Lower Mainland continues to densify. The Amazing Brentwood is also easily accessible by car, located at the busy corner of Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue. Its catchment will include Burnaby as well as Vancouver, Coquitlam, New Westminster, and even North Vancouver via the Second Narrows Bridge.
The centre will incorporate both indoor retail space with outdoor retail offerings and according to Mr. Kwiatkowski, luxury brands are expected to be present in both. The centre will feature four distinct retail areas, including:
-Brentwood Interior: the centre's indoor component will feature over 100 retailers in over 500,000 square feet of space as well as more than 25 restaurants in 36,000 square feet of space. Between one and three anchor retailers are expected to be housed in this part of The Amazing Brentwood.
-Brentwood Boulevard: an outdoor retail street that will feature more than 20 retailers in 70,000 square feet of space, as well as restaurants with ample patio space. Its design is inspired by some of the world's most iconic high streets.
-West Mews and Grand Lobby: featuring retail and restaurant space, offering one-of-a-kind brands, designer stores, and unique restaurants, and
-The Plaza: a one-acre open-air social hub featuring fashion brands mixed with patios, pubs and casual dining.
Mr. Kwiatkowski explained that the project will be “world class”, with a number of LVMH and Catterton-funded brands included in the centre’s mix. “The best of the best” will be included, including local, national and international retail concepts and brands.
Tenants have yet to be announced for The Amazing Brentwood, and Mr. Kwiatkowski noted that tenants will range from the affordable to the luxurious. L Catterton's six other retail projects are decidedly luxury-heavy, with both the Miami Design District and Ginza SIX boasting a number of large flagship stores for some of the world's leading luxury brands.
A number of LVMH brands operate stores in downtown Vancouver, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora and Hublot. Brokers confirm that space is tight in downtown Vancouver, with some brands complaining that they are unable to find the 'right' real estate in the city's 'luxury zone' (centred around the 1000 Block of Alberni Street as well as adjacent Burrard and Thurlow Streets). LVMH has a number of important luxury brands under its corporate umbrella that currently do not have freestanding stores in Vancouver, including Bulgari, Céline, Fendi, Givenchy, Loro Piana, Marc Jacobs and several others. L Catterton has investment interests in a number of companies as well, including upscale brands such as Baccarat crystal and John Hardyjewellery, fitness brands such as Equinox and Pure Barre, as well as several restaurant concepts.
The Amazing Brentwood will compete with a number of important regional malls such as Park Royal in West Vancouver, Oakridge Centre on Vancouver's West Side, and Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. While Park Royal and Oakridge Centre house a number of premium retailers, neither of them offer the extensive variety of luxury brands found at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. It remains to be seen if The Amazing Brentwood could become the Lower Mainland's answer to Yorkdale, and it will be exciting to see how things progress between now and 2019.