Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE:LTD) has signed a lease for 35,000 square feet at the corner of Robson and Burrard streets and plans to put the second largest Victoria's Secret store in North America in the marquee location that formerly housed HMV.
Business in Vancouver broke the story in April that Limited Brands was negotiating this deal.
"Victoria's Secret will take possession next month and should open in May 2013," said Bob Nicholson, who is the retail asset manager at Morguard Investments Ltd., which manages the site on behalf of owner HOOPP.
Limited Brands will start paying rent on the space once their store opens.
"You won't recognize the site when it's done," Nicholson said.
He then explained that, although the exterior of the building will stay largely as-is, the inside will change dramatically. Gone will be the mezzanine level to be replaced with higher ceilings. Another change will relate to the part of the building where CTV and the Globe and Mail lease space.
The entryway lobby to the CTV offices will become part of the 15,000-square-foot main level for Victoria's Secret. Victoria's Secret will take the entire 20,000-square-foot lower level that was formerly part of the HMV store.
The high ceilings in the lobby entryway to CTV will also be reduced as the third and fourth floors get extended. CTV will consolidate on the fourth and fifth floors while the Globe and Mail will take half of the third floor, Nicholson said.
"I would guess that next to the rumoured future Nordstrom announcement at the Sears space, this is the most significant store to come to Vancouver in a long time," Nicholson said.
Limited Brands opened its first four Canadian Victoria's Secret stores in 2009. It added four more in 2010 and another eight in 2011, including the first Metro Vancouver location at the Vancouver International Airport in November.