Nearly 62 years ago, Plaza Pointe-Claire was getting ready to open its doors for the very first time.
Known then as the Pointe-Claire shopping centre, it was an outdoor mall, full of mom-and-pop shops.
Today, the centre is still a haven for local stores, loved and visited by many — which is why news that the plaza is up for sale is upsetting for longtime clients.
“Oh God, no, let’s not do this,” said Michelin Beluse. “We’ve been through enough, this is 2020 — we don’t need this little place to shut down. It has everything we need here.”
The mall has quietly been on the market for about a week. Management officially informed merchants on Wednesday morning.
“The management and the owners of the shopping centre are aging,” said Dan Scheunert, one of the owners’ sons. “My dad is 92 and has been personally running the shopping centre for over 40 years … He’s still working seven days a week to keep the place going, but he realizes that he can’t keep this up forever.”
For shops like Vacupro, which has been inside the mall for 31 years, the news is sad, but not surprising.
“We are basically a large centre of primarily mom-and-pop shops, which you don’t see anywhere anymore,” said Vacupro owner Mike Smith, the president of the plaza’s merchants. “So there is a large amount of history here, which we hope will be respected and protected.”
In a statement to Global News, the city says the building and its land are zoned for a shopping centre and facilities intended for that purpose.
But that doesn’t mean it will remain a mall.
The future owner of this property could potentially seek a zoning change from the city.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to create some apartments, maybe some condos — the formal term that we’ve heard is mixed use, and it will absolutely include a commercial component,” said Scheunert.
But that won’t happen until after a sale is final. Scheunert said the plaza isn’t going anywhere in the short term — so he encourages shoppers to keep visiting stores.
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