With three new stores set to open in the next two weeks, Highstreet is quickly entering its next phase of completion.
Joining Walmart – which opened Jan. 25, 2013 – will be Marshalls (May 23), Bouclair Home (May 28) and London Drugs (May 31).
They are the first four of more than 90 stores expected to open once construction is complete at the end of September.
Highstreet is a 600,000-square-foot open-air shopping centre located by the Mt. Lehman Hwy. 1 interchange.
With an urban design, the three-level project will feature main-street-style shopping, situated above an abundance of covered parking.
Other confirmed stores include H&M, Old Navy and Cineplex VIP Cinema.
“It’s just the next phase of Highstreet and we will be continuing to have openings through the summer,” said Darren Kwiatkowski, executive vice-president of acquisitions and development for Shape Properties, the Vancouver-based company developing the shopping centre.
All of the opening stores are in the same area so customers will not be inconvenienced by the construction elsewhere on the site.
Kwiatkowski said space is 90 per cent sold on the retail side, but there are some second-floor office spaces that still need to be filled.
“The overall number is 85 per cent,” he said, adding active negotiations are underway with enough companies to more than fill the remaining spaces.
One of the more anticipated openings will be a new 11-theatre Cineplex VIP Cinema. It will contain eight regular screens and three VIP theatres, with upgraded seating, sound and other features. It will also be licensed to serve alcohol.
Kwiatkowski said it will be immediately noticeable when people come to Highstreet, with its iconic architecture including a large glass atrium and a sky lounge. He called it the signature feature of the development.
“You can experience dinner, movie, and a coffee afterwards, all in one location, which is one of the key design features of Highstreet.”
The area is created to give the impression of walking along a busy shopping street, like Robson in Vancouver, explained Kwiatkowski.
The storefront architecture varies and there are seating areas, planters, and music, with sidewalks that are 18 feet wide, rather than the usual six.
The design is intended to give consumers a “shopping experience.”