As an award winning Century 21 Fusion SASKATOON REAL Estate agent I know the city and surrounding area extremely well, and I take action to sell my client’s homes. I strive to find them the perfect new place to live while negotiating the best terms and price possible. I love what I do and I take great pride in providing excellence in customer service to all of my clients, I feel blessed to live in Saskatchewan and I am a TRUSTED SASKATOON REAL ESTATE Agent .
I am always on the look out for news and articles relating to real estate in Saskatoon. As a REALTOR® I believe it is vital to be the expert for my clients, when I find news story of interest i like to share them in my real estate blog! The latest article is about the proposed Dundurn Mega Mall. This is considered a ‘unicorn project’ by many in the real estate industry and business community in Saskatoon, so I was interested to read the latest update from Global, as they interviewed the CEO of the company behind the development!
Construction of a wholesale Dundurn Mega Mall will begin in late fall, and the mega-facility will be open for business 18 to 24 months later, according to the CEO of the company behind the project.
Many in the Saskatoon area have expressed skepticism that such an ambitious project – which would be among the largest malls in the world – could actually happen, but Brightenview Development CEO Joe Zhou says there is no reason to doubt his company.
“We are here for good,” Zhou added. “It’s based on a solid business plan.”
The company plans to start construction with the 300,000-sq.-ft. Dundurn International Exhibition Centre, which is expected to contain 350 shops, followed by another two buildings covering 300,000 and 400,000 sq.-ft.
The 350 showrooms will go up for sale “like condos,” Zhou said, to owners of small-to medium-sized factories in China and other Asian countries. Once they buy in, Brightenview will help them build their businesses with marketing, accounting, web and translation services, he said.
Brightenview also has plans for marketing its space to corporate buyers from across North America, Zhou said.
All shops in the first phase will sell products related to construction and home improvement, in part because so much construction is planned for the regional economy, he said, predicting local construction firms will flock to Dundurn for deals on bulk items like lighting and bathroom fixtures from Chinese factories.
“It will be the first direct-buy option,” Zhou said. “We will have all the up-to-date, trendy products.”
Zhou would not name the investors behind the project’s $130 million initial phase, but said they are all Canadian citizens, some of whom immigrated from China.
“Our owners are Canadians,” he said. “We’re not talking about foreign investors who said, ‘Go do this.’”
Zhou said at least two jobs for locals will be created for each of the 350 shops, in addition to the foreign entrepreneurs themselves, who will move to Canada to establish companies. Dundurn was selected because of its road and rail links, the province’s favourable tax regime, and the long-term economic prospects of the region, Zhou said.
Another major factor that pushed Brightenview to choose Dundurn is the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), which makes it relatively fast and easy for foreign entrepreneurs to immigrate to the province, he said.
To qualify, applicants must have a business plan, a net worth of at least $300,000, and a “good faith” deposit of $75,000.
Zhao said hundreds of Chinese and Asian business people and their families will move to the Dundurn area in the coming years. As a gesture to the citizens of Dundurn, he said Brightenview will help pay for the construction of a $7.5 million community centre in the town, including a new hockey rink, a library and other facilities.
Zhou said he understands why people may have trouble believing the Dundurn mega mall project will actually happen, given its ambition.