Settler’s Ridge Centre in Smiths Falls celebrates grand opening
A special gathering yesterday at the Settler’s Ridge Centre in Smiths Falls marked the official opening of the revitalized mall, about two years after it was saved from the wrecking ball by the Saumure Group.
It was a healthy crowd of more than 200 people made up of town Councillors, former and current mall employees, and members of the general public who turned out to mark the occasion which also included the announcement that a Boston Pizza franchise was being added to the centre.
The Saumure Group’s, Chris Saumure, told Lake 88 interest in the mall has been steady since his group took over, and he is thanking one relatively new resident of the town. “All of sudden Smiths Falls is on the map because of Tweed, and they’re coming after us looking for space, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Saumure added that a well-know clothing retailer has been inquiring about space at the mall, but couldn’t divulge who it was.
Canopy Growth, Tweed’s parent company is a current tenant of the mall too. It has warehouse space in the old Zellers store. Saumure said he does hope to turn at least part of that space back into retail as demand grows.
Mayor Shawn Pankow was among those in attendance who thanked the Saumure group for putting local jobs first, in working to make sure the mall remains an important part of the town as it has since its opening in 1976.
He told Lake 88 he wasn’t surprised to see the quick success of the mall under the Saumure Group. “Just knowing their track record of taking underused buildings and breathing new life into them, and finding new opportunity where people would see no opportunity, I fully expected they would be working hard, finding solutions, and filling this space to create employment opportunities and choices for our residents and our visitors.”
In his address to the crowd, Saumure referenced the tireless work of the late Pat Wiseman, a well-known member of the community who worked tirelessly to get the mall back on track before his sudden death this past summer. A plaque will be installed at the mall memorializing Wiseman, “This is his mall,” said Saumure.
Below is a picture of many of the current tenants, and past and present employees of the mall who attended yesterday’s announcement.
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