Nordstrom to Open Store in Downtown Vancouver

Photo credit: Uncle Buddha | Flickr

Goodbye Sears.  Hello Nordstrom.

The rumors circulating about major changes in Vancouver’s retail landscape are true, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  High-end department store Nordstrom will be opening a three-storey, 230,000-square-foot store in downtown Vancouver in what is currently the Sears building.

Before you get out your credit cards and race down to Granville and Robson, there’s one detail you should know:  The new Nordstrom store isn’t slated to open until spring 2015.

When it does, it will move into one of the least loved buildings in Vancouver.  With a white, tiled exterior and virtually no windows, the structure has been variously compared to a giant dirty marshmallow and an enormous urinal wall. It was opened in 1973 and Eaton’s was its first tenant.  When the company when out of business in 1999, Sears moved in.

There’s lots of speculation that the existing building will be completely overhauled before Nordstrom moves in.  The Vancity Buzz blog even obtained an “official rendering” of what the new building may look like (below).  I don’t think any of this has been confirmed, but it’s certainly unlikely that Nordstrom would set up shop in the grimy, off-white tissue box that currently stands.

As for current tenant Sears, it’s days are numbered.  The department store is planning to close its downtown branch at the end of October.  When Nordstrom finally does open in 2015, it will be the largest of four new Canadian stores for the high-end retailer, to be launched in Calgary (2014), Ottawa (2015) and Toronto (2016), as well as Vancouver.

The opening will be timed to correspond with a major renovation of Pacific Centre, the larger, multi-block shopping complex on the same site.  Plans are for 48,000 square feet of new retail shops, as well 280,000 square feet of new office space.

Any Nordstrom fans out there?  Anyone else happy to see the Sears building go?  Let us know below. 

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond?  Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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