On it’s website, the people say that it’s a “architectural wonder”, and has a ” magnificent cultural design” ! The website also makes it look like 90% of the units are leased out, and there is 2 hour free parking! But is International Village mall actually so magnificent?
To find the truth, we will actually have to take a look at the mall itself, which is what I did today. Im sorry I didn’t take any photos, but I can use common sense and knowledge to prove that Tinseltown Mall does not work.
The first hint comes from the reviews, where not a single person says that the mall works, and is full of people.
The second hint comes from the fact that the center lacks any reason to go to, other than the movie theater. With no anchor stores, and all the major chain stores on the outside of the building, it’s no wonder why some parts of the inside of the mall can be compared to a suburban Los Angeles sidewalk.
The third clue comes from its floor plan:
This floor plan almost looks like an utopia: perfect semi circles (divided by the red line I have drawn) add to the beautiful contrast of yellow and blue. But take a closer look, and maybe all isn’t that beautiful after all. The problem is that, all the stores on the left hand side semi circle, have no reason to go to. All the stairs, Escalators, the food court and Movie theater are on the right side of the semi circle. The left side of the circle only has stores, but people have no reason to go to them.
Earlier today during my visit, I saw only 4 stores on the left hand side open for business. Every single one of the other 35 of the stores on the left hand side were dark and for lease (contrary to what the website says).
Now, how to fix the problem? You need to force people to go through that left hand side of the semi-circle. To force people to go there, construct 4 walls (where my green lines are), which obstruct the direct path between the stairs & escalators, and the Movie theater & Food Court. So, to get to the Movie theater of food court, everyone is forced to go around the left side of the semi circle, thus making the stores on the left side have more customers.
But, like all planning plans, there will be huge public outcry, and opposition from everyone that doesn’t like walking that extra 50 meters to get to their meal in the food court. Like all plans in the world, the walls would be likely rebutted by the people at the mall, and the mall would stay just like when it was 13 years ago.
Tinseltown is the perfect example of how not to plan a mall. It is the only mall in metro vancouver that has more than 50% of its units unoccupied. Simply, International Village mall is not wonderful, and not one bit magnificent.