Corporate convention centre ‘ideal’ for Sears’ old spot in Surrey

Surrey Board of Trade says former location in Guildford is great spot for ‘first-class’ facility

SURREY — The Surrey Board of Trade would like to see a corporate convention centre replace the Sears department store that permanently closed for business at Guildford Town Centre on Monday.

Ivanhoe Cambridge owns the mall and at press time was silent on what the future will hold for the former Sears site.

But Anita Huberman, CEO of the board of trade, said the board would like to see something “very similar to the Vancouver Convention Centre” occupy that spot, at 10355 152nd St.

“Something that’s beautiful, that’s maybe even linked to an existing hotel chain where they can provide that first-class corporate style service,” Huberman said.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner maintains that “with the LRT (light rail transit) going through there any of those business opportunities represent a good location.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner

“I would not have any comment over that location over any others that may come to mind relative to a location,” Hepner told the Now-Leader. “I think certainly the time is right for the city to have some conference space and that’s as good as any given that the transportation option is there.”

Sears Canada’s final hour at Guildford Town Centre was 6 p.m., Jan. 8, according to the shopping mall’s website.

The department store chain, which had been in business since 1953, received the green light from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Oct. 13, 2017 to begin liquidating its inventory, furnitures, fixtures and equipment on Oct. 19. As a result of the closure of 74 stores across the country, including the one at the Guildford mall, some 12,000 employees have lost their jobs.

READ ALSO: Pain will be shared with Surrey Sears closure

Riordan McCarthy, retail leasing director for Guildford Town Centre, told the Now-Leader on Wednesday that he couldn’t say who the site’s next occupant will be.

“No further update at the moment. Nothing that I can report on officially, no,” McCarthy said.

“When we have secured a replacement we would have a more cohesive announcement. Very rarely will we announce independently to one party without sort of announcing to the world.”

Huberman said the board of trade has pitched the idea for a convention centre with the mall owner.

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade

“We met with Ivanhoe Cambridge early last year for the possibility of that site being used as a convention centre because we feel that there was going to be some type of redevelopment around the 104th area, there was an empty parking lot there, lots of land and we thought it would be an opportunity because we’re so starved for that convention centre that we so desperately need — a nice corporate convention centre — and so I know that with the light rail transit it would have been the ideal location around that corridor.

“I know that at that time they weren’t looking at that as a possibility,” Huberman said. “They had other plans in place from corporate. I think it really presents an opportunity, though, for Guildford Town Centre. The whole concept of brick and mortar retail is really changing, that whole paradigm of online shopping has really come to the fore and in fact continues to change and I think the whole reality of retail is in an ongoing transformation. I think for Guildford Town Centre, for Surrey in itself, I think that available space that is now presents an opportunity for Ivanhoe.”

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Surrey man wanted in ‘vicious’ attack on autistic man has criminal history

Ronjot Singh Dhami, 25, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for one count of aggravated assault

Tree-removal at site of future South Surrey park ‘necessary’

City says many of 26 trees cut last week for Sunnyside Saddle Club Park were unhealthy

Metro gas prices hit 155.7 cents a litre and higher

Lower Mainland could see 1.60 cents by April

Spraying planned in Surrey to eradicate ‘growing gypsy moth population’

Ground spray program meeting set for April 5 at Surrey school

Surrey Dodgeball League celebrates 10 seasons

The Surrey league has grown from ten to 64 teams in the past five years

Video: Diplomats clean South Surrey shoreline

Canadian, American government officials collect garbage near Peace Arch Park

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Vaping device overheats, burns down home on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue says units could cause fires in other homes and even aircraft

LinkedIn: Top 25 places to work in Canada

LinkedIn has compiled a list of the top companies to work for in 2018

Giants trio earn accolades

Vancouver’s Bowen Byram up for WHL rookie of the year, Ty Ronning and David Tendeck selected second team all-stars

Province warning rabbit owners after confirmed cases of deadly virus

Testing confirmed feral rabbits in Nanaimo and Delta had died from rabbit hemorrhagic disease

Second suspect wanted in attack on autistic man was alleged target in 2015 shooting

Parmvir Chahil lived next door in Abbotsford to victim Ping Shun Ao, killed by stray bullet

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

New lead in one of six B.C. searches that remain unresolved

New details in case of couple who’d been flying from Cranbook to Kamloops when plane disappeared

Most Read