The Jim Pattison Group wants to put a Meinhardt Fine Foods grocery store in the one-million-square-foot Burrard Gateway project that it is developing in partnership with Reliance Properties in the southern half of the block bounded by Burrard, Drake, Hornby and Davie streets.
“Meinhardt’s has an offer to lease with the partner developers of One Burrard Place,” Buy-Low Foods LLP president Dan Bregg confirmed to Business in Vancouver October 16.
The 4,300-square-foot Meinhardt store would go in the 500,000-square-foot, 444-unit One Burrard Place residential tower for which a presentation centre opened earlier this month. The tower is slated to start construction in January.
Buy-Low Foods is the division of the Jim Pattison Group (JPG), which includes grocery store banners such as its namesake chain, Nesters Market, Van-Whole Produce and Associated Grocers.
It differs from Pattison’s Overwaitea division of grocery stores by tending to have non-union workers and smaller stores.
The developers are marketing the One Burrard Place tower, which will be at the northwestcorner of Hornby and Drake streets, as having 60 floors. The structure will only have 53, however, because it will not have a 13th floor or any floors that end in a four, Reliance Properties president Jon Stovell told BIV October 16.
Other buildings that are part of the project include a 135,000-square-foot office building at the corner of Burrard and Drake streets and what the developers now call Tower C, which is mid-block on Hornby Street.
The 13-storey office tower is expected to start construction in late 2016 so both it and One Burrard Place can be complete by spring 2019, Stovell said. The 35-storey Tower C will likely start construction in 2017 and is expected to have a full-sized grocery store.
“That area is underserved by grocery stores,” said retail analyst and Retail Insider Media owner Craig Patterson. “The project should have at least one 10,000 to 20,000 square foot store because of the density of the area. It makes sense to have a grocery store within a five-minute walk of each residential building in a high-density area.”
The three closest grocery stores to the site are all about equidistant – the Independent Grocer west of Bute Street on Davie Street, the IGA Marketplace at the corner of Burrard and Smithe streets and the Choices Market at the corner of Davie and Richards streets.
Patterson said that Meinhardt’s offer to lease space will almost certainly be accepted by the developers because the grocer’s owner is one of the developers.
Linda Meinhardt opened the first Meinhardt Fine Foods on South Granville in 1997 and then, in 2008, opened a second location at Arbutus Street and West 16th Avenue, next to the former Ridge Theatre.
That store closed several years ago, around the time that the block was demolished, and the Meinhardt family sold their single-store business to the JPG a couple years ago. JPG then opened a second Meinhardt store earlier this year at the base of the Canaccord Tower at the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir streets, replacing what used to be the International Culinary School.
Meinhardt differs from many grocery stores because it has a large take-out and grab-and-go component.