Complexe Les Ailes
Complexe Les Ailes is a shopping centre located in downtown Montreal at 677 Sainte-Catherine Street West, at the corner of University Street. The 11 floors multipurpose property houses an office component of 550,000 square feet (51,000 m2) known under the name 1500 University on the upper floors, as well as a retail gallery of 225,000 square feet (20,900 m2) with more than 60 stores on its three first floors.
Complexe Les Ailes is visited by over 11 million shoppers every year. It has direct access to Montreal’s “underground city” and the McGill metro station. Along with Place Montreal Trust and the Montreal Eaton Centre, Complexe Les Ailes constitute Ivanhoe Cambridge's self-branded Sh3pping trio of shopping malls.
A bronze statue of hockey player Maurice Richard and a three floors high tableau made by fine arts enamel painter Bernard Séguin Poirier are at Complexe Les Ailes.
The mall owner, Ivanhoe Cambridge, announced in March 2014 that it will merge the Complexe Les Ailes with the neighbouring Montreal Eaton Centre mall, and the newly merged complex will be renamed. The two malls will be renovated so that they will have the same "look and feel" once merged.
The building was built in the early 1900s for the Goodwin's department store and originally only three stories tall. In 1925 it was sold to Eaton's, and the firm Ross and Macdonald was commissioned to build more floors. This property – known at the time as the Eaton's building – was home to Montreal’s largest department store for decades and was expanded three times during the years. First, in 1927 three floors were added, and then in 1930-1931 it was built up to nine stories. The top floor included Eaton's Ninth Floor Restaurant, an Art Deco design inspired by the dining room of the famous Île-de-France boat, was created following Jacques Carlu architect plans. Third, in 1958-1959, the building was expanded toward de Maisonneuve Boulevard. In 1967, a new development, in the form of an underground link to the city’s newly constructed subway line, via the McGill metro station, was introduced to the Eaton's building.
In 1999, Ivanhoe Cambridge acquired the property following the closure of the Eaton’s chain. After considerable redevelopment work between 2000 and 2002, including gutting and complete redesign of the interior, this flagship of the Montreal retail scene was transformed into the building now known as Complexe Les Ailes & 1500 University.
Les Ailes de la Mode store is the centre's main retailer which occupies one third of the total area. Boutiques such as Forever 21, SAQ Signature, Tommy Hilfiger, Orchestra, New Balance, m0851, Swarovski and located in three levels of shopping space.
In its opening, the shopping mall housed several retailers including Lacoste, Jacob, Guess, Costa Blanca, La Senza and Archambault. As Les Ailes de la Mode began shifting into a discount store, visits to the mall decreased which caused all of these stores to close or relocate. Other boutiques such as Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski, SAQ Sélection, Fruits & Passion, m0851 and Bedo have remained loyal to the mall since its inauguration. But its vacancy rate is relatively high, with more than half the retail spaces on the third floor being unused.
- "Sh3pping". Ivanhoe Cambridge. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Fournier, Marie-Eve (21 March 2014). "Les Ailes fermeront aussi à Brossard et à Sainte-Foy". La Presse. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
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