The Downtown Chatham Centre is changing ownership.
Touchstone Group Ltd. of Toronto has purchased the landmark King Street facility, home to more than 40 businesses, including Sears and GoodLife Fitness. Previously, the Warrener family had owned the mall
Purchase price was not disclosed.
Lynn O’Brien, DCC manager, said the mall would continue its longstanding tradition of being a part of the community as directed by Matthew Moyal of Touchstone.
“We are committed to our community, our customers and most importantly our downtown,” O’Brien said.
We will continue our longtime support of such events as the Santa Claus Parade, Firefest and Retrofest.”
In addition to the major events, the DCC will continue to support local not-for-profits and host mall events such as Concerts on the Commons.
“There are so many things the Warreners have allowed us to do and things we’ll continue with our new owners,” she said. “It wouldn’t be the same without the mall walkers who’ve been here more than 25 years. It’s the little things that make a difference.”
With private investment, which includes the expansion and renovation of Retro Suites; the final construction of the Boardwalk on the Thames condominium, and plans for a micro-brewery, O’Brien called downtown Chatham a “diamond in the rough that could become the envy of any small city in Ontario.”
“We are hopeful that this private investment will be followed with the announcement and commitment of the municipality to downtown Chatham’s revitalization. “It is exciting times in downtown Chatham and we’re proud to be a part of it.” O’Brien said.
BIA member Paul Shettel said the sale is good news for that organization.
“We love downtown investment and we’re waiting to welcome the new owners to our downtown.”
Mayor Randy Hope said he welcomed the news. “We love it when people invest in the community from both inside and outside the area. It’s our goal as a community to support those who want to be part of what we do. I’m looking forward to it.”
The DCC opened in Chatham in 1982 and for the past several years has been under the ownership of a Warrener family company.
O’Brien said the Warrener family will continue operating its other companies and holdings in Chatham from their new office.
“The Warreners have been strong supporters of downtown for several years,” she said. “Their commitment to downtown Chatham is evident. Many of the Warrener properties such as the Armoury, the former Cinema Six, the corner of King and Fifth, etc., are in the downtown core. “
The DCC was awarded the Waste Minimization Award, from the Recycling Council of Ontario in 2010 and also earned Communities in Bloom award that same year.
In May 2013, the DCC won a Guinness World Record for most e-waste collected in one day. As part of a fundraising project for Habitat for Humanities, more than 150 tons of e-waste was diverted from landfills.