A builder from Guelph has bought a 2.4 acre block of downtown Kitchener – bordered by Madison, King, Cameron and Charles – for $3.6 million, or $1,500,000 per acre.
Fusion Homes bought the property and plans to put two highrise towers on site, plus townhouses and some retail.
From The Record:
“We are planning a substantial mixed-use development on the property,” Lee Piccoli, president of Fusion Homes, said.
At least two highrise buildings are to be constructed and very likely some townhouses as well. The company will look into the demand for office and retail space in that area, but that will not be a large part of the project.
Piccoli did not want to speculate on when construction will begin.
“I am very bullish on downtown Kitchener,” Piccoli said. “When the opportunity came up, we jumped at it.”
Surface-parking lots now dominate the block where a used-car lot and a car rental agency operate.
“I think as a developer you’re always trying to see something, not as it looks now, but as it looks three or five years from now. So that is something that we found really attractive about the property,” Piccoli said.
King Street East has seen slow, steady improvement since the City of Kitchener built the $22-million farmers’ market, which opened in 2005.
Since then, three bakeries, two restaurants and a small grocery store have opened on adjacent blocks. Abandoned homes on Madison, Eby, Cedar and Duke streets have been renovated and occupied.
Fusion Homes’ move follows, by six years, the creation of a special program — called the economic development investment fund — that pumped about $100 million into different downtown projects.
“The mayor and the council seem really committed to the redevelopment,” Piccoli said.
The past 10 years have seen a growing list of high-density development in the core and central neighbourhoods, including — the Sandhills development and Iron Horse Towers on Queen Street South, the Kaufman Lofts on King Street, Lofts on Mansion, Le Marche Residences behind Your Kitchener Market, The Regency at Queen and Weber streets and the Drewlo apartments on Victoria Street South adjacent to Victoria Park.
Over at WonderfulWaterloo.com, we’ve been talking about the need for a grocery store downtown. Looks like the City also sees the need. While looking over the zoning for the King Street East mixed0use corridor, I found this:
“Two submissions were received requesting that staff consider an increase to the amount of permitted retail floor space. One submission made this suggestion citing the example of a food store use that would require greater leasable floor area than the 1,000 square metre limit currently defined in the Official Plan and MU Zones. Staff agree that 1,000 square metre limit on retail floor area could preclude a larger format food store use. Staff are also of the opinion that a larger format food store use would be consistent with the Official Plan Policy intent to serve adjacent residential neighbourhoods, and further could be catalytic for future residential intensification within the corridor. Staff note that a large food store may not be appropriate in all areas of the Mixed Use Corridor, and therefore propose to focus the applicable Official Plan Policies and Zoning provision enabling such a use to a the portion of the King Street East Mixed Use Corridor located between King Street East, Charles Street East, Preston Avenue and Cedar Street South.
Official Plan Amendment OP09/04/COK/HH and a revision to the draft proposed zoning in the King Street East Mixed Use Corridor were drafted to implement this suggested revision. Staff recommend increasing the retail floor space limit from 1,000 square metres to up to 5,000 square metres on the ground floor for food store use provided that it be internal to a large mixed use development.”
Between this proposed development and the City Centre condos by Andrin, there are four new towers coming to a downtown King Street in the next few years, plus a lot of infrastructure development like the new Kitchener Transit Hub. Pretty cool!
What do you think?
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