Carlingwood Shopping Centre to demolish former Sears space

Carlingwood Sears
Carlingwood Sears

One of Ottawa’s largest – and oldest – shopping centres is preparing to get slightly smaller.

Carlingwood Shopping Centre is planning to demolish a large portion of the enclosed mall formerly occupied by Sears, according to Bay Ward Coun. Mark Taylor, who represents the area:

City officials were quoted as confirming a demolition application had been initiated for the property, which is located at Carling and Woodroffe avenues.

While the closure of the last Sears stores in early 2018 affected many shopping centres, analysts have noted the department store’s departure hit Carlingwood particularly hard.

Sears previously leased some 179,300 square feet at Carlingwood, or more than a third of its total leasable space. Following the departure of Sears, Carlingwood’s only anchor retail tenant is a 36,451-square-foot Loblaw grocery store. The mall is also home to a 23,560-square-foot YMCA.

Carlingwood is far from the only shopping centre that’s looking to redevelop its property amid changing consumer habits and the decline of large-format department stores.

Place d’Orléans demolished some of its space left vacant by the 2015 departure of discount retailer Target. Elsewhere, RioCan is planning to redevelop the Westgate Shopping Centre to include several mixed-use high-rises.

Carlingwood – which is owned by the Ontario Pension Board and managed by Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services – is currently the fifth-largest mall in Ottawa, with a gross leasable area of approximately 521,200 square feet.

Carlingwood opened in 1956 and is predated locally only by Billings Bridge and Westgate, according to OBJ research files.

The area is already poised for some new development. Across the street from the shopping centre, Colonnade Bridgeport is proposing two buildings of six and 12 storeys that would contain approximately 230 residential units in addition to 10,000 square feet of retail space.

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