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How-To Manual


Eligibility Criteria


Open Air Retail

To be eligible for this module, 75% of the building’s use must meet the Open Air Retail Module definition listed below (25% can be dedicated to other usage).

This report refers to configurations where there is no indoor common space and stores may be unconnected or attached in a strip or row type of fashion. This type of property may also be called a Strip Mall.

Open Air Retail types include but are not limited to:

  • Community Center (a.k.a. Strip Center): These Centers are a cluster of attached retail units that can be open-air and/or enclosed with significant off-street paved parking surrounding the building that can be accessed in most cases from two or more sides. They could be outdoor developments with walkways or enclosed developments with connecting corridors.
  • Convenience Center: Usually between 10,000 and 29,999 square feet (Gross Leasable Area or GLA), where tenants provide a narrow mix of goods and personal services to a very limited trade area, including walk-in traffic. A typical anchor would be a convenience store, such as 7-Eleven, Mac’s Convenience, Couche-Tard or other mini-mart. Open canopies may connect the storefronts, but a convenience Center does not have enclosed walkways linking stores.
  • Neighborhood Center/Lifestyle Center: Usually between 30,000 and 124,999 square feet (GLA) and designed to provide convenience shopping for the daily needs of consumers in the immediate Neighborhood. It is typically anchored by a supermarket.
  • Power Center: Usually between 250,000 and 6,000,000 square feet (GLA) and often comprises three or more large-format retailers (“big boxes” or “category-dominant anchors”) that are mostly freestanding (unconnected) or part of a number of scattered multi-tenant one-level buildings on the same property to offer maximum visibility to most retail units. As with other open-air Centers, ample on-site paved parking is located in front of the stores and around the site at the ground level. The large land element provides for an interior road network that connects all the individual sites and allows the customers to drive from storefront to storefront.

Definitions sourced from CANADIAN RETAIL REAL ESTATE STANDARD: A Framework for Shopping Center and Other Retail Format Definitions.