The former art-house multiplex will become a retail outlet for the multinational coffee-equipment retailer, according to a real estate agent involved.
The Cumberland Four Cinemas, which closed permanently on Sunday after more than 30 years in Yorkville, will soon be replaced by a Nespresso boutique, according to a real estate agent who handled the changeover in tenants.
Jordan Karp, vice president of retail advisory services for Paracom Realty Corporation, said that his company helped the owner of the Cumberland Four’s building—someone Karp would identify only as “a private investor,” and whose name we haven’t yet been able to dig up—lease the property to Nespresso after months of searching for an ideal occupant.
“We were holding out for the perfect fit,” Karp said.
According to Pat Marshall, spokesperson for Cineplex, which owned the Cumberland, the art-house multiplex was operating on a month-to-month lease prior to its closure. “It was always with the knowledge that the landlord wanted to redevelop the property,” she said.
Switzerland-based Nespresso, part of the Nestlé group of companies, sells machines that brew coffee that comes packaged in capsules. Torontonians may be more familiar with some of Nespresso’s competitors, like Tassimo, Keurig, and Senseo.
Karp believes Nespresso will gut and remodel the interior of the Cumberland Four. “It will take a year to transform the property,” he said. His understanding is that the plan is for the store to be open in time for the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. “They will sell the coffee machines,” said Karp. “And there will be a cafe component.”
Nespresso’s North American office did not immediately return phone calls, but according to the company’s promotional materials, it already has retail shops in 168 cities, including one in Toronto: a small outlet inside The Bay at Queen and Yonge Streets.
Nespresso products have reportedly been selling increasingly well in recent years, even as the company copes with an ever-increasing number of knockoffs and rivals.
Evidently, the company is planning on getting comfortable on Cumberland Street. “The building has been leased long-term,” said Karp.
As to old rumours that the Cumberland Four’s property is on the cusp of being redeveloped into a condo high-rise, Karp said they’re “all bullshit.”
We’ll update as we find out more.
And below is a statement from Jacques Demont, Managing Director of Nespresso Canada, issued through a public-relations firm. Since it’s not a flat denial, we’re calling this confirmed until further notice.
We are eager to bring the Nespresso culture to Toronto and are looking at a number of locations for our boutique but have not confirmed a site as of yet. Nespresso entered the Canadian market six years ago with a Boutique in Corner in Toronto, then in 2007 it opened a Nespresso Boutique Bar in Montreal, and we look forward to sharing our unique coffee experience with Canadians across the country and in years to come.