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Newly-opened 'ghost mall’ in Calgary soon to be multicultural retail hub

May 6, 2019

The 500-unit New Horizon Mall is only 15 percent occupied, but management says space is sold-out.

Just across from Calgary’s popular CrossIron Mills shopping centre sits a newly-opened $200 million shopping mall.

New Horizon Mall, which opened in May, 2018 is a 320,000 square foot international themed shopping centre consisting of more than 500 retail stores.  Additionally there is a 26-unit food court, ample underground parking, and a soon-to-be developed banquet hall.  

Walking in to the mall has been described as an eerie experience.  The words 'ghost mall' have been said of the centre.  Of the 517 units in the mall, there are only 76 occupied stores, with another 33 set to open next month.  

The atrium of New Horizon Mall
Credit: New Horizon Mall

But this isn’t like any other traditional mall.  In fact, retail space is sold out according the mall’s general manager, Scott Smith.  “This is a condo mall,.” says Smith. “All the units have all been purchased by unit owners or investors and they are in the process of finding store operators or becoming an operator themselves.”

The mall was developed by The Torgan Group, the same company that opened Pacific Mall in Markham, Ontario in 1997.  New Horizon Mall is modelled after its Markham counterpart, as an international themed shopping mall that sells retail spaces, rather than leasing them.  It took two years for Pacific Mall to get to full occupancy and Smith believes it will be the same for New Horizon Mall.

A new anchor store that is set to open late Spring 2019 is Best Shop.  The 15,000 square foot addition has been described as ‘the Chinese Wal-mart - without the groceries’ and will bring many new Asian products to market that have never before seen by most local shoppers.

The mall’s grand opening is planned to take place this year.