Grocery store & pharmacy to be installed in Queen's Centre

The current empty spaces in the Queen's Centre will be transformed to a grocery store and a pharmacy. They are set to open by the spring of 2012.
The current empty spaces in the Queen's Centre will be transformed to a grocery store and a pharmacy. They are set to open by the spring of 2012.

A grocery store and a pharmacy will move into the Queen’s Centre in January, says AMS vice-president of operations Ashley Eagan.

The retailers will open by spring 2012.

“A hundred per cent those leases will be signed because those services will be moving in in January,” Eagan, BFA '11, said. “They’ll be opening at a good time for next term.”

Negotiations for the final lease between the University, AMS and the two tenants are still ongoing.

During last January’s election period, Eagan, together with AMS president Morgan Campbell and vice-president of university affairs Kieran Slobodin, campaigned to install a grocery store and pharmacy in the Queen’s Centre.

Eagan said separate offers were extended to the businesses in August. No offers were extended to other businesses.

“Once we realized that this really was what we wanted to be moving forward with that’s when it came down to putting together the offers to lease,” Eagan said.

In September, the AMS and the University began negotiating the offers. The process continued until the final leases were put forward and passed by the Board of Trustees in closed session on Dec. 2.

“Negotiations did take much longer than we anticipated,” Eagan said. “It was worth every extra day.”

Both services have five-year contracts with renewal clauses. Eagan said the length of the contracts are finalized. Negotiations for the final lease include insurance costs, build out costs, and how much the AMS, University, as well as the tenants plan on putting into the space.

The AMS has control over the Student Life Centre and will be managers of the spaces. Eagan said she couldn’t comment as to whether this means students will be employed to operate these services.

“The University are still the landlords of these services coming in, so they’re the ones who sign the leases, not the AMS,” Eagan said.

Ann Browne, associate vice-principal of facilities, said the vendors have signed offers but the University hasn’t yet.

“They are going through them with their legal counsel and then we’re waiting to hear comments back and it’s just a process we go through in the negotiations,” Browne said.

Browne said while it’s possible the retailers could back out, the University is moving forward “very aggressively.”

“They have signed offers, so there are real deals in place, but now we negotiate the lease terms.”

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