As the quality of the experience becomes an increasing priority in retail, Highstreet Fraser Valley combines an outstanding environment with the latest technology to provide a destination with a fresh new approach. Located in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, Highstreet Fraser Valley is a 600,000 square foot open air shopping center. This three-level center features main street style shopping and dining with one and two-story buildings on the upper podium level, and a Walmart Supercenter with 1,400 covered parking stalls on the lower level. The development’s compact design delivers a higher order of density than traditional regional retail projects, and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified project, which makes it one of the first in Canada for large scale retail projects.
The Highstreet development is by Shape Properties Corporation, one of the most active fully integrated real estate companies in Canada. With its most recent acquisitions and vision, Shape is leading some of the largest projects currently underway in North America. Highstreet Fraser Valley is the proud recipient of the 2014 ICSC Maple Leaf Gold Award for Design & Development Excellence and the 2014 ICSC Maple Leaf Silver Award for Marketing Excellence Social Media.
Edmonton, AB based Genesis Integration Inc. was commissioned to provide audio for Highstreet. Designed by Ross Hazlehurst and Dan Moran of Genesis, the sound system’s primary purpose is music, but it also provides for announcements including emergency instruction.
Hazlehurst explained the loudspeaker choice, “The loudspeakers would be subjected directly to the elements, so we needed a design that could handle this and sound incredible. Our first choice was Community, using the quality and wide dispersion of W SERIES for areas adjacent to the buildings, and R SERIES where greater throw was required.”
Sixty Community W SERIES W2-2W8 surface mounted loudspeakers are distributed throughout the mall, as well as a set of R SERIES R.5-94’s that re-enforce sound across the single large parking area. The system is set up as a single source throughout, but due to the large area there are five satellite racks that feed off the main rack. These smaller racks house a local amplifier which feeds the zone in that proximity. All processing of the audio is via Biamp AudiaFLEX DSP.
Genesis installed a DJ input plate by the central escalator to allow for events and presentations, especially at Christmas. DJ’s can bring in their own rigs and patch into the sound system to provide audio throughout the mall.
“One challenge in such a large construction was creating a single zone from a central rack over such great distances”, Hazlehurst commented. “But we solved this with RDL audio transmitter receivers that daisy chained the audio from rack to rack.”
Hazlehurst concludes, “To my knowledge, this is the first outdoor mall of its kind in BC to have sound re-enforcement of this caliber. For me, this mall is reminiscent to the outdoor malls I have seen in California, such as Universal City. It lifts the perspective from just being a shopping center to more of an entertainment facility. The coverage and quality of sound is excellent and all the feedback we have received has been very positive.”