Ottawa's retail choices are set to improve, but there are concerns the local economy may not be able to support them.

West Ottawa's Bayshore Shopping Centre is adding 160,000 square feet of retail space by 2015, a $200 million dollar project that saw its groundbreaking Friday.

"We won't be the largest (mall), but hopefully we'll be one of the best," said mall manager Denis Pelletier.

The revamp of the mall will mean a bigger food court on the second floor, 56 new stores including a Target location, and 400 new permanent jobs.

It's the last item that has Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson hopeful, in the face of federal public service layoffs and other uncertain economic factors.

"There are going to be people laid off in the federal public service," he said. "We can't really control that, but what we can try to do is expand the private sector."

"I was quite surprised that they were doing it because of people trying to cut back on credit," said shopper Gary Maheux.

Building the mall and its space for new stores will also create 1,000 short-term construction jobs.

Shoppers said the mall is due for an upgrade.

"I'd like easier access to different levels. I think the elevators and the escalators don't work very well," said one shopper.

"I think this mall really sucks for nursing rooms," said Margaret Heng.

Along with the refurbishing comes a hope for some big names in shopping.

"I want to see Coach," said a shopper. "I love Coach, Forever 21, an H & M, a lot of the stores from the States."

"Apple is in the news talking about a second (Ottawa) location. We would love to be that second location," Pelletier said.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes