|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
Chinook Centre's logo
|Address||6455 Macleod Trail SW|
|Opening date||1960 (first phase)|
|No. of stores and services||250|
|No. of anchor tenants||3 open; 1 in process of redevelopment|
|Total retail floor area||125,884 m2 (1,355,000 sq ft)|
|No. of floors||2|
Chinook Centre is the largest enclosed shopping centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (1,355,000 square feet (125,900 m2)) containing over 250 stores, a professional building, and a major theatre complex. It is located near the geographic centre of the city on Macleod Trail, just north of Glenmore Trail about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of downtown, and three blocks west of the Chinook C-Train station.
The mall is owned and operated by Cadillac Fairview, one of Canada's largest real estate property managers and developers.
In 1960, with Calgary's population and city limits rapidly expanding, the original section of Chinook Centre was opened on the site of the Chinook Drive-In Theatre and the adjacent Skyline drive-in and driving range. Designed as an open-air complex, the mall was anchored by Woodward's, Holt Renfrew, a bowling alley, and a branch of the Calgary Public Library, in addition to a variety of other higher-end stores. The centre was enclosed a few years later, and quickly became a focal point of social life for affluent Calgarians.
In the mid-1960s, a separate mall, Southridge, was opened across the street from Chinook. Built to be a competing centre with Sears and approximately 30 other stores, Southridge operated separately until 1974, when the malls came under common ownership and an expansion was built to bridge the centres together. The new, much larger mall was renamed Chinook Ridge Shopping Centre, and included a major enclosed parking structure, an office tower, and a food court.
In the 1980s, a two-storey wing of specialty retailers was added leading to a new anchor store (fashion retailer Bretton's), a theatre complex and a food court. This expansion brought the mall's store count to approximately 300. The movie theatre closed in the early 1990s and was replaced by a large arcade (Easy Street) for a few years.
In the late 1990s, Chinook underwent a massive $300 million renovation, which corrected design flaws and unified the centre, which had become disjointed from numerous rounds of expansions. The complex was completely rebuilt in three phases, while remaining open for business during the three-year construction period. The move to larger format retailers reduced the number of stores to approximately 200, added brand new stores for Sears, the Bay and Zellers, and reinstated the mall's movie theatre, now a larger, Egyptian-themed structure anchoring the mall's south end, including an IMAX screen. The re-merchandising program was unkind to smaller, locally owned and operated retailers, who were squeezed out by soaring rents and the 'upscaling' of the property. An exception is the mall's bowling alley, which remains in its original basement location today. The longstanding Chinook public library branch closed; it had been located next to the bowling alley and the space is now used by the mall for employee training. Other downstairs office space is now vacant, leaving the bowling alley the only basement commercial tenant.
On September 29, 2010 a further expansion to the mall was opened, adding 180,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) of new retail space. The new two-level wing added approximately 60 new retailers to Chinook, many of which are new to the Calgary market or considered high-end luxury brand stores. New stores include Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie, Apple Store, Armani Exchange, BCBG Max Azria, Coach, Geox, Guess, Harry Rosen, Hollister Co., Kiehls, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Oakley, Skechers, True Religion and Urban Outfitters. A two-level underground parkade was also added as part of the expansion, augmenting the mall's existing above-ground and covered parking. Chinook Centre is now looking to expand another 2.3 Million which would make it roughly 3.65 Million Square making it the second biggest in North America.
A pedestrian walkway leading from the Chinook LRT station to the mall is being designed. It would allow direct access into the mall over Macleod Trail and help reduce traffic congestion problems at 61st Avenue.
Chinook Centre today
Chinook Centre is home to three major department stores (though as of May 2013 only two are in operation while the third is in the process of redevelopment), 250 stores, and several full service restaurants. It also has a bowling alley, professional tower, and the city's largest movie theatre complex, the Scotiabank Theatre Chinook (formerly the Paramount), with 16 screens, an IMAX Theatre and an UltraAVX theatre.
The focal point of the mall is a four-storey-high rotunda, with a fibre optic 'constellation' ceiling and a time capsule at the centre's axis, set to be opened in the year 2999. The floor tile in this court resembles a map of Calgary's rivers, the Bow and Elbow, with the time capsule placed where the mall would be located relative to the city.
Chinook Centre also hosts one of the world's largest free pancake breakfasts. This event is traditionally held on the first Saturday of the Calgary Stampede.
Chinook Centre has a vast food court roughly the size of a football field, containing seating for 900, and offering more than 20 food vendors. The food court contains a variety of artistic "flying machines" which circle above diners on a motorized track, a fairly large carousel and also overlooks 'Scraptor', a 20-foot (6.1 m) tall dinosaur fashioned out of old farming equipment parts. Tenants include A&W, Arby's, Bourbon Street Grill, Chachi's Sandwich Bar, Cultures, Dairy Queen, Edo Japan, KFC, Manchu Wok, New York Fries, Opa! Souvlaki, Petite Cuisine, Quiznos, Sushi-Q, Taco Time, Thaï Express and The Wicked Wedge.
2012 anchor closures
Two of Chinook Centre's longtime anchors, Sears Canada and Zellers, closed in the fall of 2012. The Zellers location was redeveloped as a Target store that opened on May 6, 2013, and in 2014 Nordstrom will move into the space that had been occupied by Sears.
Chinook LRT Station closure 2013
The nearby Calgary Transit Chinook LRT station was scheduled to close January 2013 for at least six months for a complete reconstruction. Trains will continue to pass through the station but will not stop. Concerns have been raised about the impact of the closure for both employees and shopping access during the closure. Calgary Transit has said shuttle buses will take commuters from the 39th Ave LRT station during the closure. The new LRT Station is scheduled to open September 2013.
Assault caught on video 2013
March 2013, Chinook Centre Security staff were caught on tape assaulting a man outside of the mall. The mall claimed they were conducting an arrest, but charges on the arrested were never laid. The video posted on YouTube has sparked an internal as well as a police investigation. One of the security guards was dismissed.
In April 2013, Chinook management announced that the new Nordstrom anchor store will only require 140,000 of the former Sears' 180,000 square feet. The remaining 40,000 square feet will be redeveloped to house four to six new "first to market" retailers.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
- Nordstrom (scheduled to open in 2014)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chinook Centre.|
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