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DEVELOPMENT ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil leaving downtown St. John’s for Hebron Way

When Fog City moves out of its home of the second floor of the Avalon Mall later this year, neighbouring clothing retailer Pseudio are set to move into the vacant space. Meanwhile, the mall says Samuel & Co. is moving into the empty space next to Aldo Shoes on the first floor and Claire’s will be temporarily located between The Source and Charm Diamond Centres for the next year.
When Fog City moves out of its home of the second floor of the Avalon Mall later this year, neighbouring clothing retailer Pseudio are set to move into the vacant space. Meanwhile, the mall says Samuel & Co. is moving into the empty space next to Aldo Shoes on the first floor and Claire’s will be temporarily located between The Source and Charm Diamond Centres for the next year. - Kenn Oliver

Needs on Merrymeeting to close; more Shoppes at Galway retailers announced; multiple stores moving at Avalon Mall

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Add ExxonMobil Canada to the list of major employers moving out of downtown St. John’s.

Last month, the company announced it would buy the new office building under construction on Hebron Way between the Canadian Tire and the Verafin building.

The company expects to move out of its Cabot Place home on New Gower Street and into its new home at some point next year.

Last year, Suncor moved out of the Scotia Centre on Water Street to become the major tenant at new commercial office buildings on Kelsey Drive. In 2016, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District abandoned its Atlantic Place home, dispersing over 100 employees to other offices.

In a press release announcing the move, ExxonMobll Canada president Carman Mullins says the company is a long-term investor in the province and purchasing the building supports its future activities here.

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Fog City’s days in the Avalon Mall are numbered. As first reported by The Telegram, the popular St. John’s-themed restaurant is leaving the confines of the mall for a new standalone location on the mall parking lot adjacent to the recently realigned Kenmount Road-Polina Road intersection.

“The mall has had some major pluses over the years, the cinemas and the peak periods during Christmas and that with the mall traffic, but as far as a destination restaurant on its own, it’s kind of hidden in the mall. It’s not an easy drive-by and walk-in,” Harbour Walk Hospitality Group president Robert Moore told The Telegram in 2017.

“We think we can still cater to that movie-going and mall-going traffic and pick up on the busy Kenmount artery there.”

When Fog City leaves, Pseudio — the restaurant’s across-the-hall neighbour — is reportedly relocating into the vacated space, albeit after some serious renovations to convert it from restaurant and bar to a clothing retailer.

Meanwhile, the mall says Samuel & Co. is moving into the space currently occupied by Eclipse Basic, which is set to close its doors next week. There’s no word on whether the company — which also owns and operates Rio and Eclipse in the mall — has secured a new home for its Basic brand in the mall.

In other mall news, Claire’s has moved to a temporary location between The Source and Charm Diamond Centres for the next year and the mall is also set to welcome the first Lush Cosmetic store to Newfoundland and Labrador this spring. The retailer offers a selection of vegetarian skin, hair and body care products.

The store, located in a combined space of what used to be Aldo Accessories and Claire’s, is expected to open this summer.

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The Needs convenience store on Merrymeeting Road in St. John’s will soon be no more.

Needs on Merrymeeting Road will switch from being convenience store to a laundromat in the months ahead now that the City of St. John’s has approved a change of occupancy.
Needs on Merrymeeting Road will switch from being convenience store to a laundromat in the months ahead now that the City of St. John’s has approved a change of occupancy.

The city approved an application from owner Laundry Services NL to change the occupancy to allow for a laundromat at the site.

Hours of operation for the laundromat, which will employ eight to 10 employees, are listed as 8 a.m to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

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St. John’s is now home to a new escape room franchise.

Trapped Canada, a national franchise, has set up shop in a third-floor space above Jack Axes at 152 Water Street. It’s the chain’s eighth location across the country.

If you’re not familiar with the escape room concept, it’s a game concept where players are tasked with using clues, hints and strategy to solve a puzzle. Games are often set in fictional prisons, dungeons, abandoned hospitals, and the like.

Trapped calls itself one of the biggest real-life room escape games in North America, with all their themes crafted by an interior designer from Osaka, Japan to create an immersive 5D experience.

Other escape room operations in the metro region include Breakout NL and Escape-Quest.

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A picture of some of the retailers set to take up residence in the Shoppes at Galway is coming into focus.

Last week, Galway Living officially announced HomeSense, PetSmart and Marshalls as three of the brands setting up shop in the Shoppes.

Unofficially, Olympic Construction Ltd. has issued tenders for the construction of buildings to house a First Choice Haircutters, a Dollarama, a Michaels and a new franchise location for Gander-based Urban Shoe Company

Twitter: @kennoliver79

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