Con­sor­tion to build cen­tral tran­sit hub

Lo­cal de­vel­oper Perime­ter joins El­lisDon, Kilmer Group to con­struct LRT cen­tre­piece at King and Vic­to­ria

Waterloo Region Record - - LOCAL - Terry Pen­der, Record staff

KITCH­ENER — Three com­pa­nies with a vast range of ex­pe­ri­ence will be­gin de­tailed ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Region of Water­loo to build the cen­tral tran­sit sta­tion at King and Vic­to­ria streets.

The con­sor­tium is called the King Vic­to­ria Tran­sit Hub Part­ners Inc., and in­cludes the Perime­ter De­vel­op­ment Corp., El­lisDon Cap­i­tal Inc. and the Kilmer Group.

“We are happy to kind of get to the next stage on this one,” said Craig Beattie, a co-owner of Perime­ter. “It is ob­vi­ously some­thing we have been keep­ing an eye for some time.”

For more than 17 years Beattie and his part­ner, David Gib­son, have been ac­tive in some of the most high pro­file de­vel­op­ments in Kitch­ener, Water­loo and Cam­bridge. They were be­hind the re­de­vel­op­ment of Up­town Water­loo in the early 2000s.

Perime­ter also re­stored sev­eral her­itage build­ings in the Galt sec­tion of Cam­bridge, the Walper Ho­tel in Kitch­ener, and 51 Bre­i­thaupt St. in Kitch­ener, which houses Google’s en­gi­neer­ing head­quar­ters. It also did 117 King St. West, 305 King St. West and most re­cently an­nounced it was pro­ceed­ing with a 120,000-square-foot of­fice build­ing at 345 King St. West.

“It is such an im­por­tant piece of city build­ing, it is some­thing we had to re­ally think se­ri­ously about and take a crack at it,” said Beattie of the cen­tral tran­sit sta­tion.

El­lisDon is one of Canada’s largest builders. The Lon­don­based com­pany con­structed the Roger’s Cen­tre back in the 1980s, and more re­cently the new cen­tral court­house in Kitch­ener.

The Kilmer Group is out of Toronto, and built the Pan Am Vil­lage on the Don River lands there.

The con­sor­tium formed by the three com­pa­nies will soon be­gin de­tailed ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Region of Water­loo about pur­chas­ing the site and plan­ning the mix of build­ings.

“We have long been of the view that King and Vic­to­ria is go­ing to be such a crit­i­cal in­ter­sec­tion for the region over­all,” said Beattie.

“To us, this needs to be done re­ally well. Ev­ery­one on the team is aligned that way. It is a re­ally im­por­tant piece, it is a re­ally im­por­tant cor­ner, it is im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture that is go­ing to con­verge there.”

The region’s plan­ning and works com­mit­tee will con­sider a re­port Tues­day that rec­om­mends pro­ceed­ing to the next stage of ne­go­ti­a­tions and plan­ning with the King Vic­to­ria Tran­sit Hub Part­ners.

The region likes the mix of big, na­tional-level builders with an ex­pe­ri­enced lo­cal de­vel­oper in the con­sor­tium.

“In par­tic­u­lar El­lisDon and the Kilmer Group demon­strated a num­ber of ex­am­ples of sim­i­lar projects where they have worked both to­gether and in­de­pen­dently to suc­cess­fully de­liver large, unique de­vel­op­ments with cre­ative so­lu­tions to sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges,” says the re­gional staff re­port.

“Perime­ter De­vel­op­ment brings the crit­i­cal lo­cal per­spec­tive and a sim­i­lar his­tory of suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­ments fo­cused on the Kitch­ener area,” says the re­port. “The over­all qual­ity of the sub­mis­sion demon­strated an un­der­stand­ing of the project chal­lenges and the abil­ity to bring to­gether the nec­es­sary re­sources to de­liver it suc­cess­fully.”

The cen­tral tran­sit hub will be built on a con­strained piece of land be­tween Vic­to­ria Street and the rail­way tracks. The site in­cludes a his­toric build­ing, the Rumpel Felt fac­tory.

The region wants a mix of com­mer­cial, res­i­den­tial, street-level re­tail and ser­vices.

Light rail trains, GO trains, VIA trains, Grand River Tran­sit buses and Grey­hound buses are all ex­pected to use the cen­tral sta­tion.

“It is a very mixed-use op­por­tu­nity, ev­ery­thing has to con­nect and work well to­gether,” said Beattie.

“There is a real el­e­ment of place-mak­ing to it, the space has to feel good,” said Beattie.

The cen­tral tran­sit hub will be the fi­nal piece in the re­de­vel­op­ment of a busy in­ter­sec­tion that has been trans­formed by re­de­vel­op­ment in the past 12 years.

An­drin Homes did the $200 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment of Kauf­man Lofts. Mo­men­tum De­vel­op­ments built a $65 mil­lion, 17floor condo at One Vic­to­ria. And the Univer­sity of Water­loo spent $56 mil­lion on the school of phar­macy there. Next to that is a med­i­cal school.

“All par­ties are aligned to come up with a great plan and go about ex­e­cut­ing it,” said Beattie.

To us, this needs to be done re­ally well.” CRAIG BEATTIE, co-owner Perime­ter De­vel­op­ment Group

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