The sale of Thornhill’s Promenade Shopping Centre has been finalized according to a statement released by the development group that purchased the property.
A statement posted on the Promenade’s website Thursday said that the mall has now been sold to Promenade General Partner Inc., a business formed by the Serruya family and Liberty Development Corporation.
News first surfaced in May that the Serruyas, famous for starting the Yogen Fruz frozen yogurt chain at the Promenade, were interested in buying the mall.
In the statement Thursday, the brothers alluded to their long history with the mall and said they look forward to building upon it.
"Promenade is where my brothers and I started our business careers as teenagers with the original Yogen Früz concept over 30 years ago,” Michael Serruya said in the statement. “We are thrilled to now be in a position to invest in this property to ensure it reaches its full potential as a central hub for the Thornhill community. This is an important investment for us, but it also represents a deepening of our commitment to the community we call home.”
The statement did not provide details about any specific plans for the property, but the family said they are looking to working with retailers, patrons and the community “to enhance” the shopping and cultural experience at the site.
Liberty Development Corporation is responsible for a number of other high-profile developments in the area, including the massive “World on Yonge” project on Yonge Street, north of Stelees Avenue and Legacy Park development in Thornhill City Centre.
“"Thornhill is a vibrant, close-knit, community that we know well. Having built numerous successful communities in Vaughan and Thornhill over the last twenty years, we recognize the importance of Promenade Shopping Centre to the neighbourhood,” Liberty President Fred Darvish said in the statement. “We look forward to working with our partners to enhance the Promenade experience as the area's primary gathering place and shopping destination.”
The mall, which sits on a 50-acre site at Bathurst and Centre streets, was purchased from Cadillac-Fairview for an undisclosed amount.
The 31-year-old mall underwent a $45-million upgrade in 2009 that included a revamped food court.
The mall will now be operated by property management company, Centrecorp Management Services Limited.
Community concerned about development
News of the mall’s sale has triggered intense community speculation, with some expressing concern that new development could bring added traffic and congestion to the area.
In a newsletter last month, local councillor Alan Shefman said he is concerned about a number of other proposals coming forward to council, some of which seek “excessively high density.”
In particular he mentioned a proposal that has come forward for the Promenade Village Shoppes, adjacent to the Promenade site where a developer is looking to build seven 27-storey buildings, commercial space and more than 2,500 parking spaces.
That development proposal has triggered a number of meetings by ratepayers groups concerned with the added density in the area.
The Serruyas have not yet said what their specific plans are for the Promenade site.