The Asian-themed New Horizon Mall just north of Calgary, which has struggled to find vendors, has landed a second anchor tenant.
Prairie Horizon Fresh Market will be a 23,000-square-foot retailer, employing more than 150 people. It is to open this summer at the troubled mall, located in Balzac just south of CrossIron Mills Shopping Centre.
Ken and Tracy Aylesworth will be running Prairie Horizon, through their company, Shindigz Ventures. The couple has more than 15 years of farmers’ market experience, including managing the Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market and owning the Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market. Ken was previously the general manager of the Calgary Farmers Market and oversaw its relocation to its current home on Blackfoot Trail.
“Prairie Horizon Fresh Market will focus on various farmers market style vendors. Vendors will range from fresh locally sourced vegetables and fruits; to ethnic specialties such as perogies, Mexican, Asian and Indian cuisine; bakeries, sweets, fresh proteins, coffee, sweet and savoury pies, ramen noodles and so much more,” said Ken Aylesworth.
As of February, about 65 of the 517 retail spaces have opened for business. Mall investors hope this anchor tenant will mark a turn in fortunes.
“Coming hot on the heels of the announcement two weeks ago of Best Shop as a major anchor tenant at New Horizon Mall, the Prairie Horizon Fresh Market is another huge milestone for the mall,” said Ross Cannata, chief investment officer, The Torgan Group, co-developer of New Horizon Mall with its partner, MPI Property Group, said in a statement. “(It) fills the void in the market for a unique source where food-curious Calgarians can discover a different kind of grocery shopping experience.”
The New Horizon Mall is modelled on The Torgan Group’s Pacific Mall in the Toronto area that opened about 20 years ago.
Unlike most shopping centres in Canada, about 70 per cent of New Horizon Mall’s retail space has been sold to individual investors who have the option of leasing to others or operating the space themselves.
The $200-million development broke ground in June 2016.
– Mario Toneguzzi
John Stewart contributed to this story