Found a good article in which Colliers International addresses the retail facts, rumours and rumbles in the city.
I had previously seen the plans for the new retail at The Carlyle at Alberni and Thurlow, but at that point they were aiming for a high street brand such as H&M, which is presently missing from Robson Street and also Crate and Barrel hence why in the renderings, which I have given a link for below have been marketed more towards bigger format retailers. If the following (high end rumours) below are true then that would bode very well for Alberni as a high end street since I have lately been questioning this due to the opening of Dollar Tree and Michaels Crafts Store. I think Alberni is on the cusp of creating a critical mass of high retailers, but as it stands is just not quite their yet. Retailers that could be interested since they have been scouting the market for space are... Gucci, which might expand in their present location, but the issue is upstairs is their stock room so they would have to move their main stock room off site. (Gucci management had complained to CBRE about this and are currently negotiating some form of resolution, potential basement stock room.) They also have been looking to find a bigger location so the following space might be right for them. Prada, but they have been looking for space forever along with Miu Miu, which they own and have never nailed down a location. Also I would not hesitate to also list Pottery Barn and William & Sonoma who both are missing a presence in the downtown and were interested at one point in the Michaels space, but no deal was ever reached. Also Tiffany and Co has been wanting to expand their store for some time and have been actively looking around for space and last year had looked at the Fairmont Hotel Space, but hesitated on the lack of window presence of the St. John space. I wouldn't be surprised if they takeover the Betsey Johnson space as its about 1600 square feet, which would bring their store to a total of approx 7,000 sqft. Burberry has been interested in expanding their store as they are currently very limited on space and last summer they sent one of their operating management to look at potential locations (Oakridge Centre, Richmond Centre, Pacific Centre, Street Locations).
"7-11 and Toni & Guy will be vacating The Carlyle, Concord Pacific's air parcel at the corner of Thurlow and Alberni Street, Which is slated for a major renovation. Several deals are currently being negotiated with high end international retail brands."
The article has lots of other interesting facts and rumours in it. I just chose to focus on the Alberni information as I know a couple of leasing agents who have been working with retailers on this street.
Link Below is to the Colliers International Article:
Link to renders of redeveloped retail on Carlyle Block by Concord: Renders were produced sometime ago by LNG Studios: