Anthem builds two shopping centers in Calgary | RENX
Vancouver-based real estate company Anthem continues to be bullish on the Calgary market and needs-driven retail, launching two new shopping center projects in the area to serve growing residential communities.
The company also announced the acquisition of the 300,612 square foot Junction shopping center in Mission, British Columbia. The Level 1 property anchored in a grocery store was acquired in partnership with Crestpoint Real Estate Investments.
“Calgary is a key market for Anthem. It’s a big city, with great people. It is affordable, has a well-educated population and is a better deal for families, all residents, than Toronto or Vancouver, ”said Isaac Beall, senior director of development for Anthem, in an interview with RENX.
“It will grow and Anthem will continue to build homes, develop new communities, and lease commercial and industrial space to people who need it.”
Anthem’s D’Arcy Crossing and Highstreet in Cornerstone
The two new shopping centers – Arcy crossing and Great street in Cornerstone – are being developed by Anthem Properties for the communities of D’Arcy in Okotoks, just south of Calgary, and Cornerstone in northeast Calgary.
These residential areas are developed by Anthem United.
The D’Arcy Crossing shopping center, with Safeway as a primary tenant, will also include Shoppers Drug Mart, a liquor store, restaurants, cafes and other businesses to meet the daily needs of Okotoks and area residents. It will be the largest mall in North Okotoks at 151,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in spring 2023.
The mall will have more than 40 stores when completed.
Beall said the northern part of the city has more than 60% of the total population of Okotoks. D’Arcy is a 280 acre community launched in 2018 bordering the D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club.
When completed, it will have more than 2,200 housing units. Around 300 homes have already been built in the community with full construction planned by 2026.
Anthem is also in the process of building the neighboring community of Wedderburn in Okotoks, which will eventually include around 1,300 housing units, which is also expected by 2026. So far, 50 new houses have been built.
Cornerstone is a 1,100-acre community launched in 2015. It will have approximately 9,500 homes under full construction by 2030, of which 1,500 are already built.
The new 139,000 square foot shopping center will feature a new Chalo! FreshCo and a Shoppers Drug Mart. It is under construction on Country Hills Boulevard and 60th Street NE
Its opening is also scheduled for spring 2023.
Rapidly Growing Calgary Neighborhoods
The Cornerstone Mall will be a regional draw for other residential communities in the area, including Redstone, Cityscape and Skyview Ranch, newer neighborhoods built in the northeastern part of the city in recent years.
“Eight years ago there was nothing. Redstone had just started and there are now 35,000 people living there, ”said Beall. “It’s mind-boggling. There are so many houses up there that it’s absolutely shocking.
Calgary has been an integral part of Anthem’s activities in recent years. The company has developed or plans to develop 4,100 acres in Calgary, Chestermere and Okotoks.
It also has approximately 513,000 square feet of existing retail and commercial space.
North American presence of Anthem
Anthem, founded in 1991, has more than 270 residential, commercial and retail projects in western North America.
Its portfolio includes 15,000 completed homes, in design or construction, ranging from master plan, mixed-use and multi-residential, to townhouses and single-family communities.
It owns, co-owns, manages or has already owned more than eight million square feet of commercial, industrial, residential rental and office space.
The company is bullish on Calgary due to affordable real estate, lower taxes, excellent social and physical infrastructure, and people moving to the province.
It currently has eight active residential communities in the area, including Cornerstone, Glacier Ridge to the northwest, Belmont to the southwest, Pine Creek to the southwest, Sirocco to the southwest, Wedderburn to Okotoks, and Chelsea to Chestermere.
Some of Anthem’s other communities also have commercial components planned for future phases, but D’Arcy and Cornerstone will be the first to open. They are also the first shopping centers in its land developments to be developed and built by Anthem.
“The # 1 equipment for all of these residents is the grocery store,” Beall said, “and part of our business model going forward is to provide that equipment. “
The format of successful retail
Beall said a shopping mall anchored in a grocery store is the hub and heart of a community and increasingly during the current pandemic.
“We have great confidence in this type of retail format because our paradigm has always been food, alcohol and drugs when it comes to these centers. People need groceries. They need pharmacies to get their medicine and a liquor store, ”he said.
“It’s kind of the prototype of essential amenities that communities want, and around that, you provide this finer-grained service.
“You add doctors. You add fast food, hair salons and dentists. It’s kind of a proven recipe and we like to keep that within the community.
“Also from a sustainability point of view. We try to integrate them in a thoughtful way instead of dropping them in a field in the middle of nowhere so that people do not have to travel long distances to have these needs met.
Beall said caution should be exercised because not all communities can support a mall. Critical mass is needed, but wherever possible Anthem will pursue opportunities.
“At the end of the day, it’s always the grocery store that drives the bus. We are at the mercy of the tenants of the grocery store. Basically, their target shopping area that most grocers are looking for is a population in their catchment area of over 30,000 people, ”Beall said.
“It’s kind of the magic number where a store starts to make sense, where it can get enough customers.”
The acquisition of the Junction shopping center
The Junction Mall in Mission has approximately 40 tenants and is located at the intersection of the Lougheed Freeway and Abbotsford-Mission Freeway, approximately 70 kilometers east of Vancouver.
Anchored by Save-on-Foods and London Drugs, the regional mall has a diverse roster of ancillary tenants, including Winners, Cineplex, Goodlife and Starbucks.
The tenant mix is tailored to the local demographics, offering a mix of day-to-day retailing, which also includes alcohol, financial services, health and personal care, entertainment and discount retailers.
It is 98% leased.