Price Tags Vancouver has been reporting  on the ongoing saga of Tsawwassen Mills, a 1.2 million square foot retail mall with an ancillary “local serving” mall located north of Tsawwassen on former farm lands which were among the most fertile in Canada.  Even though this mall is part of the very well-known  Ivanhoe Cambridge retail stable, it has not enjoyed a smashing commercial success. Price Tags Vancouver has observed that its more remote location between the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Highway 99,  the lack of good public transit opportunities and an insufficient population density interested  in a mall experience could be part of the challenge. According to Ivanhoe Cambridge’s website, Tsawwassen Mills is making $343 per square foot in the retail units, almost one quarter of the per square foot sales of the more popular McArthurGlen Mall at Vancouver International airport.
Business in Vancouver’s Glen Korstrom interviewed retail analyst and Retail Insider Media owner Craig Patterson who looked at the “local serving”mall facility beside Tsawwassen Mills, and Craig minced no words, saying  “They took something that would have been regressive for Red Deer, Alberta, and plunked it down in the Lower Mainland, which has one of the worst housing crises anywhere…It turns my stomach to look at an aerial view and see how close the ocean is. Tsawwassen is beautiful, and they’ve paved it over with this parking lot. I find it infuriating as I would have designed this so much differently.” 
Calling the design “appalling” Craig Patterson noted that this local serving mall  depended on people driving vehicles to it, and parking, a very 20th century concept. There are 8,200 parking spaces around the two malls, an ocean of asphalt. Another retail analyst David Gray stated that the parking spaces are designed for peak use, which would occur “three days a year”. “It doesn’t cost them a lot to have the parking lots. From an ecological point of view it doesn’t look good, but there wouldn’t be an alternative use, other than farmland.” 
The land is leased for 99 years from the Tsawwassen First Nations (TFN) , which is partnering with  Executive Group Development, Aquilini Investment Group, Onni Group and Mosaic Homes to produce housing adjacent to the mall. While there are 275 single family homes recently constructed, there are plans for a twenty year build-out which will bring 2,800 residences in total with an additional 6,000 people on the lands.


    1. Indeed. It is the very result of (our often misguided and controversial) appeasement / settlement of indigenous demands.
      If a “nation” wants to pave its land over then let them. Or treat the land as Canadian with different expectations. It’s an example of our “nation within nation” concept.

    1. I read that commentary and I think I understand some people better now. Thanks.
      So, some people interpret the movement to have more transportation options and to not get killed when walking or cycling is all part of a grand conspiracy to take away freedom?
      Interesting theory. I don’t know if there’s anything behind it but knowing that some people hold this belief explains a lot of the opposition to anything new that’s suggested. It also explains some of the ideas Rob Ford had.

    2. When you read something as absurd as in this link, you have to look at the source.
      We’ve always had fake news and propaganda.
      What is the “atlas society”? Who pays these few people? Surely they’re not spouting off just from a sense of altruism; and they’re not getting rich selling coffee mugs and t-shirts. That little donate button is the truth of the matter.
      The Koch brothers have spent over 100 million funding groups, societies, organizations … – lap dogs that go by clever many obfuscatory names, just to deny climate change. The born rich Kochs make even more billions thanks to reduced environmental standards.
      The “atlas society” takes its name from Ayn Rand’s insane weltanshaung. Gore Vidal described her “philosophy” as evil, and perfect in its immorality. A lifelong smoker, she denied the link between smoking and cancer until she got the disease.
      Atlas Shrugged. The writer hacked and croaked.

      1. You are right, it is vital to have multiple “Weltanschauung” ie world views presented, both here in this blog as well as in our universities or schools !
        In addition to the eco fiction movie “An inconvenient truth” we ought to make Ayn Rand required reading in schools. The indoctrination of our school children with half-baked theories taught as fact is astounding.
        Foreign funded US environmental groups with a goal to landlock the evil “tarsands” are the main funder of many first nations and environmental protests here in BChttps://www.bnn.ca/video/u-s-charities-are-investing-millions-into-anti-pipeline-campaigns-in-canada-researcher~1367354
        The majority of BCers support the pipeline, sensible car use or free roads. Watch for the backlash and back-peddling when “congestion charges” ie yet another road tax will be introduced. People are overtaxed and say “enough is enough”. What works well downtown Vancouver (i.e. more bikes and pedestrian paths and less cars) does nto work so well in the Fraser Valley or MetroVan South. Meanwhile we choke on traffic on North Shore becuase the 2040 transportation plan “forgot” to add trains or subways to/on the north shore.
        This mall will do well as areas south of the Fraser continue to grow disproportionately due to lower land prices. The revenue per sq ft has to be seen in context to the (low) lease payments and (low) build costs !
        Many nice condos, townhouses, duplexes or SF homes in the FN owned land or across the road in Tsawwassen. Condo living is so overrated. Hence many opt for a yard, further out.

        1. “The majority of BCers support the pipeline”. References?
          “Watch for the backlash and back-peddling when “congestion charges” ie yet another road tax will be introduced”. What if this were set up in such a way that a majority of drivers are better off financially AND have less congestion? Why speak against this when you have not even seen a proposal?

        2. There is a world of difference between people having opinions and billionaires paying to deny climate science; to create fake news to make even more billions. The Koch brothers have annual revenues of 100 billion. If you quack the way they want you to quack, they’ll fund you, no matter what kind of a hypocrite you may be.

  1. I also hope that our discussion can remain mature and that we can discuss items in a civilized and well respected manner.
    deleted as per editorial policy

  2. Unfortunately for Tsawwassen, they’re too far away from the rest of the metro. The mall would’ve done okay somewhere closer, like Ladner or Richmond.

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