It is no secret that improvements, renovations and additions can improve commercial real estate “CRE” assets; however, the key is planning where to focus efforts. 



The point of improving assets is to make them more attractive. A retail CRE owner who decides to renovate does so to attract more retailers to take up occupancy or to attract more customers to drive up sales. The same goes for adding additional space to your overall footprint. The goal is generally to increase revenue per square foot and improve the ROI.


So what makes one shopping center more attractive than the other? The answer is rather simple. Constant renovations and investments into a well-positioned asset makes it attractive to both foreign and domestic retailers and customers alike.


New Investors and Boosted Sales

Investing in commercial real estate is a good idea and can be very rewarding. New technologies, additions, and perks make properties more enticing to investors and retailers. The venues become more interesting for customers as well, who come in greater numbers to shop throughout the year.


Take for example Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Center. Renovations have put Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the spotlight in 2019. The National Building Owners and Managers Association awards one building each year with The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award. This year’s TOBY award was awarded to the Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s as they have been able to attract a great number of new retailers and improve sales through improving their building standards. 


Sustainable and Environmental Initiatives to Attract Investors

Minimizing the carbon footprint is becoming increasingly important. Yorkdale Shopping Centre is focused on sustainable and environmental initiatives, and that's exactly what invited new retailers and investors to join the Yorkdale family. 


“Our team operates with a ton of heart and soul when it comes to our sustainable initiatives, our programs, and our processes”, said Yorkdale vice-president and general manager, Claire Santamaria. “Awards like the TOBY are a recognition of what our team has done, and certainly puts us on a good path and allows us to propel forward and continue that momentum.”



A Thorough Approach to Making Improvements


Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s impressive results this year are not just the consequence of improvements and additions projects that targeted only the shopping center. Installing water, cisterns, and site irrigation systems, alongside solar panels and green roof areas, proved as valuable as indoor improvements in terms of attracting new retailers. 


From April 2019 to September of 2019, Fendi, Gucci, Escada Sport, Innisfree, UNTUCKlt, and Mujosh have all decided to open shop in Yorkdale.


In the following months, Yorkdale will be welcoming Dior, Furla, Kit Kat, Hublot, Balenciaga, and many other brands, all of which are going to open their doors during autumn and winter. This places Yorkdale’s occupancy rate at 90% with a whopping sales of more than $1,900 per square foot. 




Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre renovations and additions have helped it to win the TOBY Award for having an outstanding retail building. Its improvements has also helped to improve their ROI and sales per square foot. With similar retail real estate success stories across Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta provinces it’s easy to see why more and more investors are deciding to invest in Canadian retail. 

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