After two and a half years of construction, Tsawwassen Mills has opened its doors to the public.In the excitement to be one of the first people to experience the shopping centre, which at 1.2 million square feet is sure to provide a shopping experience unlike any other in the greater Vancouver area, patrons lined up as early as 1:30 in the morning. Roughly 1,000 people were waiting to get in when the doors opened.
In addition to excited shoppers, Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Bryce Williams attended, as did the British Columbia Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the Honourable John Rustad, and executives from Ivanhoé Cambridge, the commercial developer behind the project.
Shoppers spent the day exploring the five unique shopping districts within Tsawwassen Mills, which include Nature, City, Coast Salish, Fashion, and Outdoor Life. Each shopping neighbourhood was custom designed with artwork reflective of the theme. About 180 stores opened, including 16 anchor stores. Although the mall will eventually be home to around 200 stores in total. Stores expected to be big draws for customers include Michael Kors, DSW, Saks OFF 5ht, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Lululemon Athletica Outlet, Forever 21, Canucks Team Store, The Children's Place Outlet, Levi's, and the Gap.
The newly completed enclosed shopping centre also includes a food hall that can seat up to 1,000 people, a handful of sit-down restaurants, a sports dome, a children's play area, six unique entrances, 6,000 parking spaces, and a few stores with special features, like the bowling alley found in Bass Pro shops or the skate park at West 49. There are additional plans to add a secondary mall, housing, and an additional treatment plant sometimes in the near future.
Tsawwassen Mills is also located within an easy distance of the Tsawwassen Mills: ferry landing, making it easily accessible for shoppers from Vancouver Island, the Metro Vancouver area, as well as from the United States.
Fast Facts About Tsawwassen Mills:
- 20 percent of construction materials came from recycled sources
- An estimated 3,500 jobs were created including both part-time and full-time
- The property is home to more than 2,000 trees
- There are 14 charging stations for electric vehicles
As one of the first major commercial developments on Tsawwassen First Nation Lands, Tsawwassen Mills is a major milestone towards becoming self-governing that will help shape the community for years to come.