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Future of Westmount Shopping Centre unclear after tenants given 30 day notice

Several business owners at Edmonton’s Westmount Shopping Centre say they’ve been given only 30-days notice to find a new location.

Half a dozen shops at the mall are holding closing or moving sales.

“We have until June 6 at midnight, then we’re gone,” Jaroslav Bossak of Monarch Jewellers told CTV News Edmonton on Wednesday.

The business has called Westmount Shopping Centre home for more than three decades.

“We’ve been here for 35 years, and now we have to look for a new place.”

“Look for us in our new location someplace, we don’t know where. Hopefully in the west, hopefully sometime soon.”

Just as unclear is why the tenants are being forced to move.

Sam Awad thinks a leak in the ceiling above his store, Maximum 20 Clothing, is part of the reason.

“They have a problem with the section above,” he said.

“The landlord did take care of the roof two years ago, and they try their best to keep things going the way it’s supposed to be. And a month or so ago, we have a leak again.”

A leak in the ceiling over Sam Awad’s clothing store, Maximum 20 Clothing in Edmonton’s Westmount Shopping Centre on May 22, 2024. (David Ewasuk/CTV News Edmonton)

Awad said the most recent leak correlated with the 30-days notice.

He says a long-abandoned theatre complex in the mall is situated right above his shop.

“I guess for our safety, it looks like they have too many problems with the roof. The landlord said he has to fix it as soon as possible.”

Awad says he hasn’t been told what’s next for the mall.

“I’m sure they will rebuild,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be a mall or it’s going to be a plaza, like a strip mall coming from outside.”

Westmount Shopping Centre in Edmonton. (David Ewasuk/CTV News Edmonton)

CTV News Edmonton reached out to First Capital, the property management company for the mall, for comment but has yet to hear back.

Awad says the mall is a community hub and a piece of history.

“We have the bus stop right here,” he said. “A lot of people, they come in the bus and they go through the mall. We have lots of clinics and the food court.”

“This mall has been serving the communities in the city for a long, long time, and it’s sad to end that way, but I guess everything has an end.”

The Westmount Community League says the mall first opened in 1955 under the name Westmount Shopper’s Park as a new concept in retail.

The opening day of “Return of the Jedi” at Westmount Cinema in 1983. (Source: Westmount Community League)

Over the years, it was home to two movie theatres and a skating rink.

Its success spurred the development of six major malls in Edmonton in the 1980s, including West Edmonton Mall.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk

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