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Hillside Centre on track to open new stores by summer

Nov 27 2012

Construction to renew and expand the Hillside Shopping Centre inside and out is at least halfway complete as workers fashion a new look for the mall.

Framing is in place for a larger food court facing Hillside Avenue and for an 80,000-square-foot addition on the Shelbourne Street side of the property.

"We expect the interior areas to be complete after Christmas," Kerry Shular, Hillside Centre manger, said Monday.

New floors will be installed in January in a project that will take take six to eight weeks, she said.

An expanded food court with five new quick-service outlets is scheduled to be complete for the end of April. The existing food court tenants are remaining and others, including Subway and Edo Japan, are moving in. Once finished, there will be seating for 625, up from the 250 available now during the construction period.

Other new stores include the U.S.-based family fashions retailer Marshalls. Reitman's Concept stores will deliver Reitman's, Smart Set, and Addition Elle (already in the centre but it will move to a new location), Shular said. Sport Chek and Shoppers Drug Mart open in the new addition next year.

The former Zellers store has been gutted, allowing passersby to peer into a dark cavern. That space will see a two-storey Target store open in 2014. Asbestos abatement will likely be wrapped up this week, Shular said. The one-storey building will be taken down after a municipal demolition permit is approved. Plans call for 144,390 square feet.

Overall construction costs, including Target, are close to $70 million, Shular said. About 150 workers are on the site daily.

More new retailers will be open in the summer after the construction is completed, Shular said. Shoppers will see a "brighter, cleaner, better Hillside with retailers that they are used to and additional retailers that add to that mix," she said.

Later holiday shopping hours started Monday.

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