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Cromwell is rejuvenating its Promenade 2-Montagnes mall

Create: 04/18/2016 - 20:36

Cromwell Management, which owns the City of Deux-Montagnes’ only major shopping centre, Promenade 2-Montagnes, says it has big plans for the enclosed portion of the mall located near the northern limits of the municipality.
Reviving the mall
“We have a very exciting project,” Carl Yacovelli, a property agent with the Montreal-based company owned by George Gantcheff and Stanley Zipkin, said in a phone interview with the North Shore News.
While an enclosed section of the property constructed around the 1970s is located in the City of Deux-Montagnes, a larger exterior area of the shopping centre with medium and big-box businesses and stores is located in the municipality of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.
Cromwell, according to Yacovelli, is doing “a total overhaul of the shopping centre. We really like that shopping centre and the area. We really think there’s lots of potential there. We’re really looking forward to making that shopping centre better to try to bring it into 2016.”
Challenge for inside malls
It’s no secret in the commercial real estate industry these days – while the mainstream retail sector is struggling against online competition as never before – that interior shopping centres, which were all the rage from the 1960s through the 1980s, have fallen on particularly difficult times.
The situation is such that an expression which has become current among commercial real estate professionals in the U.S. and in Canada when referring to an underperforming enclosed shopping centre is “dead mall.”
Although to some it might not seem all that long ago that teenagers spent their Friday nights and sometimes Saturdays as well hanging around the local interior mall, those days are long over. While the exterior “power center” at Promenades 2-Montagnes appears to be doing well, the occupancy rate in the enclosed portion of the property is currently not very high.
An upgrade in store
“Interior malls are not really the trend right now,” Yacovelli acknowledged. “So we want to move away from that. We want to make the mall look nicer. We also want to make it more inviting. By doing so we are hoping to have some bigger, nicer tenants that will be pleasing to the people to make their shopping experience better.”
Regarding the refurbishment of Promenades 2-Montagnes which is now underway, Yacovelli said, “So far it’s been going pretty well. We have some nice tenants coming. I’m not sure I can disclose because the leases are currently being looked over and signed so I can’t give names. But we do have big names coming in there. And it should look really nice in about I would say maybe a year which should be close to the end.”
Eye on redevelopment
In an interview last September, Deux-Montagnes mayor Denis Martin told the North Shore News that officials with the municipality were looking into the possibility of taking steps to see the enclosed portion of Promenades 2-Montagnes redeveloped and replaced with an office building as high as five storeys.
“We’d like to bring some people from Laval or Montreal to work here in offices available at a good price,” he had said at the time. According to the mayor, the city would like to see something on the site similar to the RBC bank tower on Arthur Sauvé Blvd. in Saint Eustache, although he admitted it amounted to no more than an ambitious dream for now. Yacovelli said he could not comment on the mayor’s remarks since it was the first time he’d become aware of them.

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Martin C. Barry