Elgin Mall the place to go again?


A small real estate investment company in Brampton is determined Elgin Mall will again be a happening place.
Operating under the name Elgin Mall Inc., the family owned firm last month completed the purchase of the 263,000-square-foot property from OneREIT.
Elgin Mall was the only similar-sized property listed in OneREIT’s holdings and with just over 50% occupancy, the mall was the least-tenanted of the real estate investment trust’s many properties.

Speaking to the Times-Journal on Thursday, brothers Jay and Mory Burstein stressed their plan is not to level the enclosed mall — acquired late last month — that dates back to 1975.
“Our goal is to try and lease the vacant space as quickly as possible and try to make this mall the vibrant place it once was . . . a shopping centre St. Thomas and Elgin county residents can be proud of, call their own and be able to shop in their own city and support the community,” said Jay.

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Jay and Mory Burstein, whole small real estate investment company in Brampton has purchased Elgin Mall.
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The firm currently has retail properties in Oshawa, Brampton and Guelph.

“Last year we sold a property we owned in Toronto that we had operated for approximately 40 years,” Jay noted. “That property is an enclosed mall similar in size to Elgin Mall. Also, like Elgin Mall, it had a vacant former Zellers space that Target did not select.”
Leasing that large retail space at the west end of the mall is a priority.
“We recognize the fact the former Zellers space is something we really have to look at. If we could find one tenant for that space, that would be awesome. But we also recognize we likely will have to demise it to hopefully not more than two or three units.”
With the preponderance of big box stores, Jay feels strongly there is still a place for smaller, enclosed malls.
“There still is a need for a mall like this. And there are other types of stores that aren’t in here that we would like to get here.”
He suggested a sports store, dollar stores, and even the return of a bank or credit union.
TD Canada Trust vacated earlier this year in a consolidation of the bank’s two St, Thomas branches, leaving no bank at the shopping centre. CIBC closed its branch there a number of years ago.
Included in the deal is the former Kelsey’s restaurant at the southwest corner of the property. Food giant CARA, which owns the chain, pulled out in 2008.
“There’s good synergies between a restaurant and the movie theatre,” Jay pointed out. “People like to go out to a movie, have something to eat first or go there afterward.”
Jay added he is pleased with the overall condition of Elgin Mall.
“We’ve seen malls in similar-sized cities that are run down and out of date, but we were pleasantly surprised to see how attractive Elgin Mall is.”
The existing mall administrative staff will continue with their duties, indicated Jay.
For leasing inquiries, contact the firm through their website at elginmall.com.With files from Eric Bunnell, St. Thomas Times-Journal

Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Elgin Mall opened in 1978.

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