What future for the Châteauguay Regional Centre?
Shoppers at the Châteauguay Regional Centre may have recently noticed that more than half of the space is now vacant. The company that owns the mall says it is making the necessary efforts to attract new retailers, but the current economic situation is complicating matters.
Translation Amanda Bennett
On the February 2023 list of available from Brasswater, the new name for the mall’s owner, there are 30 spaces for lease, representing more than 50,000 square feet of space. It [the Regional Centre] has definitely suffered a lot since the pandemic,” said Michael Bonetto, Brasswater’s Vice-President of Corporate Operations. “There are significantly fewer players in the market right now who are looking for rental space. Everyone is a little bit skittish. They’re not in a hurry to invest money until they’re sure of the economy.”
He also points out that several retailers that were tenants in the Chateauguay shopping centre have gone bankrupt in recent years, including Bentley, Bizou, Payless, Clair de Lune and Le Château. This explains why several premises are vacant.
No demolition project
Rumours are circulating that the owner of the shopping centre would eventually like to let the centre empty out and have it demolished. Mr. Bonetto did not want to comment directly on that rumour, but he assured us that his team and that of Groupe Mach, also a partner in the site, are in discussions to convince retailers. “We are working together to meet with national and international chains to attract them. There is no lack of effort. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to,” he says, pointing out that discussions are underway with big players, some of whom have been in the business for several years. “They haven’t said no, but they haven’t made a decision yet,” he added.
As for the fact that the Buzzfit gym has been closed for more than two months, the owner assured us that it is not his intention to keep the place closed. “There was a broken pipe in the unit. They are in the process of doing some work. That’s why it’s closed. It’s not as rumours have it that we want to close it down,” said Mr. Bonetto.