Membership Spotlight December 2021

Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

Shanon Thornley | Senior Director, Retail Leasing at Park Royal Shopping Centre

Shanon Thornley Headshot

As Senior Director, Retail Leasing at Park Royal Shopping Centre/Larco, Shanon Thornley is responsible for leading the strategy, planning and execution of creating a curated tenant mix at Park Royal Shopping Centre, Arbutus Shopping Centre , Hotel Vancouver and other Larco assets. This includes managing new and prospective tenant relations and negotiating all agreements from start to finish. With over 20+ years of experience in Commercial and Retail Leasing, including regional shopping malls, street front, mixed-use, power centres, and open-air plaza, Shanon has helped shape and create retail landscapes we know and enjoy.

Shanon, thank you for being our Member Spotlight and welcome to CREW, what made you decide to join the CREW network and can you share a few things you have gained through the network?

I joined CREW in 2010 and then joined the Board of Directors for 2 years when Lenora Gates reached out to me. She was the president of CREW at the time, and if you know Lenora she is very persuasive! I have made some really great connections at CREW both from my time on the Board and from being a Mentor.  

You have had a very impressive career in commercial & retail leasing successfully leasing a wide range of challenging and unique spaces. What are the elements of your job that excite you the most? 

I must say that 25 years later I still really love Retail Leasing. 

I think what excites me the most is when you have a great idea of a vision for transforming an area and you share it with prospective retailers who want to work with you to bring that vision to life. A recent example of this would be the new ‘kids’ zone’ at Park Royal. We had a location that had been vacant for a number of years and had limited foot traffic. At the same time, I was having a very difficult time enrolling my daughter in swimming lessons and the idea was formed. I thought that adding more kid’s services to Park Royal would be great to attract families. I ended up putting together Pedalheads Swim, Steamoji (Maker Lab) and Scholars (tutoring) to fill the vacancy. The section has become a very vibrant area and is producing good income. 

Park Royal is a shopping centre we all know and love and have seen go through an impressive redevelopment. Throughout the renovations at Park Royal, what were some of the key goals/elements that drove the need for change and what changes did you see in the type of retailers leasing there?

I think the most challenging part of the redevelopment at Park Royal that happened from the start of my time there, was just the sheer volume of leasing that was required. Not only did we relocate a large number of tenants but we also focused our energies on filling the space with an exciting mix of tenants that would continue to showcase Park Royal as a premium shopping, dining and entertainment destination. We are very proud of our tenant mix and I’m grateful to have been and continue to be a part of it. 

If you were asked to give one (or two) pieces of advice for how to build a successful career or achieve a challenging professional work goal what would it be?

Creating a strong network of business colleagues that over the years will turn into trusted relationships and friends. You have to take the time to grow and nourish these connections in a meaningful way. As an example, some of my best friends today are people that I have met through the industry and we make sure to spend time together regularly.

Also, I believe in having a mentor and being a mentor. I have been fortunate enough to have some really strong mentors who I still call to this day. As a result, I always will make time to speak to a young person in the industry and would welcome any CREW members to contact me via LinkedIn. I would love to have a coffee with you!  

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/passions?

This job is 24/7 but I always make time for my two kids and husband. It’s important that we spend time as a family every week, be it dinner, shopping or seeing a movie. We love travelling together as well, especially to Club Med in Cancun!