Aaron Hinks photo                                 A development permit is out to turn the former Zellers location, at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, into five or six retail shops.

Aaron Hinks photo A development permit is out to turn the former Zellers location, at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, into five or six retail shops.

Semiahmoo Shopping Centre to expand

Plan in the works to repurpose former Zellers building

There’s a plan in the works to repurpose the former Zellers building at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre into a multi-tenant shopping outlet.

The building, which has been vacant since 2014, has space for up to six retailers or service providers, First Capital Realty senior vice-president of development Jodi Shpigel told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

“We’re not demolishing or rebuilding,” Shpigel said. “We’re going to work with the existing building that is there and repurpose the space for multiple tenants.”

Shpigel said First Capital Realty is already in negotiations with potential tenants.

“I can tell you it’s a type of retailers that people would be very happy to see. Consistent with what you would see at a First Capital shopping centre that we have across the country. It will be retail, some service, perhaps fitness,” she said.

First Capital has made an application with the City of Surrey for a development permit, and said it’s possible construction could start “in the next year or so.”

In 2012, the Semiahmoo Zellers was one of the shopping centre’s anchor stores, and one of just 64 Zellers, out of 253 nation-wide, not sold to U.S.-based retailer Target. At that time, parent-company HBC told PAN that the location would either shut down or be rebranded under a different name.

(Target Canada ultimately filed for bankruptcy in January 2015.)

Then, after announcing in early 2013 that Semiahmoo Zellers would close that March, HBC reversed course and announced the store would remain open as a liquidator for Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters. However,the store was closed in March after a mattress display caught on fire in an incident Surrey Fire Services first deemed suspicious, but later said was “not deliberate.”

It reopened in June of that year, as one of only three stores to bear the Zellers logo, but closed the following year.

– files from Nick Greenizan