Wasim Elafech is with Century 21 Bravo and was in charge of selling units in the New Horizon Mall. He spoke with Calgary’s Business about the unique shopping centre, which is scheduled to open its doors to customers this summer.
Calgary’s Business: What was your role in this project?
Elafech: I helped with the sale in the entire mall. I helped in the sale in all 500 units. We were the listing brokerage with this project. Now we’re starting our leasing program where we’re going to be leasing the units for the unit holders that need our services.
CB: How many were sold?
Elafech: Pretty much all of them are sold – 500 units. There’s a mix. So some of them are just straight investors and they want us to help them lease their units to potential tenants. There’s also some owner-users who are going to open their own stores and some people can lease it on their own. They have the option but we’re here and we’ve opened a leasing office so we can help them out.
CB: Were you surprised at the level of interest in this mall?
Elafech: When we first started this seven years ago and then we launched it to the public we sold a little over $100 million in a weekend to the people, so we knew there was a huge interest in the project, and now we’ve come to the point where everyone is closing their units. We have about roughly 40 closings per day throughout the month of May. Whenever somebody closes they come in, we give them a key and they can start the process of building out their unit and opening their store.
CB: What were the main reasons why these people bought units?
Elafech: In a traditional mall you usually need to be a part of a big franchise or company where they’ll let you come into a mall with a larger leasing people. Here a ma and pa can come up with their shop with limited restrictions compared to the larger malls and where somebody can get into a 5,000-square-foot space in a mall they can’t afford, over here they can come in either open their dream store that they’ve always wanted to do but could never afford it or an investor who can buy commercial space inside of a mall and start with that.
CB: What kind of businesses will we see?
Elafech: A few people who I have spoken with, what they want to do for example there’s a guy who wants to open a perfume boutique. He used to work at a perfume place and his dream was to have his own. I talked to another guy who wants to open up a juice bar. Another guy wants to open Jamaican food. We’ve got some donair and shawarma people interested in the food court. Another guy wants to open cellphone accessories. We’ve got a guy who wants to import some clothing from Italy. We have everything that’s going to be in this mall. It’s going to be really, really diverse.
– Mario Toneguzzi
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