Massage therapy school MaKami College to set up in old Sears space in Bonnie Doon mall

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The former Sears space in Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre is currently under construction after being leased by MaKami College for its new campus.


Supplied / Edmonton

The former Sears store at Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre will be getting a makeover before the site is transformed as part of a 30-year redevelopment plan.

MaKami College announced Thursday morning that it has assumed a long-term lease for its new campus in the 10,219-square-metre former department store.

Renovations to the two-storey space started about a month ago, MaKami marketing director Vladimir Pavkovic said, and the college hopes to be fully running in their new home by October.

The private massage therapy college has been located in Capilano Mall for the past 16 years, Pavkovic said, but it had to start turning prospective students away due to lack of space in its previous 4,459-square-metre home.

“Now we can finally meet the numbers and demands that we have, but also expand into new programs,” he said noting the addition of a culinary aide program.

The former Sears corner lot that closed in January 2017 will now be home to the college’s 1,300 students with large classrooms on both floors as well as several new amenities including a public daycare, a fitness centre and pharmacy. The daycare will be open to more than 300 children with a two-storey play area, Pavkovic said.

These new additions will make it easier for mature students with children, Pavkovic said, and will allow them to overcome barriers they have to continue their studies.

“It’s deeply exciting. What makes us come to work is helping students,” he said. “There’s a place that all of a sudden has child services … has funding models in place.”

The college held a pancake breakfast, along with free massages, Thursday morning for area residents to kick off their launch in Bonnie Doon.

“It’s an absolute beautiful facility. It’s probably one of the best well-built buildings in Edmonton,” Pavkovic said of the 12-hectare mall.

He said it is also special to be joining the mall as they begin a major redevelopment project tied into the new LRT station on the Valley Line.


MaKami College marketing director Vladimir Pavkovic stands on the first floor of the college’s new 10,219-square-metre campus. The space in Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre was the home of a Sears that closed in January 2017. (Photo by Dustin Cook)

Dustin Cook

The shopping centre will be making its own announcement Friday morning, spokeswoman Lily Lien said, about the future of the redevelopment plan and to welcome the college to its new home. The new plan includes a mix of retail and 6,000 residential units as well as a series of gardens and parks providing easy access to the LRT.

As for the other three Sears locations in Edmonton that closed earlier this year, two are already home to new tenants. Southgate Mall has leased the space to furniture store Big Comfort which opened on a temporary basis earlier this month.

West Edmonton Mall’s location is occupied by two outlets, Stitches on the second level and West 49 on the main floor.

The open space at Kingsway Mall has not yet been filled and no announcement has been made on future tenants.

duscook@postmedia.com

twitter.com/dustin_cook3



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July 27, 2018 |

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