Tsawwassen First Nation Retail Development Under Way

Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre | BCBusiness
(Above) An aerial rendering of the retail development under construction on Tsawwassen First Nation Land; a rendering of the entrance to the Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre.

Two massive retail projects break ground on Tsawwassen First Nation land

Last Friday, January 24, marked the first day of construction for two massive projects on Tsawwassen First Nation Land that have been in development for the past two years: Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre and Property Development Group’s Tsawwassen Commons outdoor retail centre.

In May 2013, then-newly elected Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Bryce Williams spoke with BCBusiness about his new role and taking over the development deals that were already in place. Regarding the existing plans for the commercial development of the TFN’s land, Chief Williams said, “It’s going to be crucial to the sustainability and growth of our community to have those in place.”

The Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre will occupy 1.2 million square feet, featuring 16 anchor stores, plus a mix of fashion brands, factory outlets and restaurants, and a 1,100-seat food court. The Commons will be 550,000 square feet of outdoor retail space with national, regional and independent retailers, restaurants and financial services.

Outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops will anchor the Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre with a 145,000-square-foot store, and the Commons will feature retail giant Wal-Mart, with a 108,000-square-foot store, and Rona, with a 44,000-square-foot store.

“This development partnership is a major step towards achieving our community’s vision under our Treaty,” said Chief Williams in a release. “We are delighted to partner with world-class developers to realize the commercial/retail element of our land-use plan. Combined with our complementary agricultural, residential and industrial activities, this development is a significant move forward in creating a truly sustainable community for our members.”

Ivanhoé Cambridge says the construction of the Tsawwassen Mills centre will provide approximately 1,600 jobs, and that number will rise to 4,500 at the project’s peak period. Following the opening of the centre, the Mills will provide up to 3,000 full-time and part-time jobs in retail, hospitality and support services.