Two projects to trans­form Lon­don’s down­town

Windsor Star - - CITY+REGION - HANK DANISZEWSKI hdaniszewski@postmedia.com twit­ter.com/HankatLFPress

LON­DON, ONT. Two ma­jor de­vel­op­ments — one an of­fice project, the other res­i­den­tial — are on track to trans­form down­town Lon­don’s York Street in the next year.

The city’s ur­ban de­sign re­view panel has re­viewed plans to build a new head­quar­ters for tele­com Start Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, at 639 York St., and a 24-storey Tricar res­i­den­tial tower at 40 York St. The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Start Com­mu­ni­ca­tions said he hopes con­struc­tion will be­gin by the end of the sum­mer if the com­pany gets all the needed ap­provals from city hall. The new, 7,500-sq.-m. build­ing will in­cor­po­rate three older in­dus­trial build­ings on the site that will be ex­panded to three storeys.

“We are re­pur­pos­ing the build­ings that are there and ty­ing the new build­ing into it to really re­vi­tal­ize that whole prop­erty,” said Peter Rocca,

Rocca said the com­pany has out­grown its 1,300-sq.-m head­quar­ters, at 148 York St., be­cause the staff is grow­ing rapidly and now num­bers about 150.

The com­pany will keep the 148 York St. build­ing even after the new head­quar­ters is com­pleted. Start Com­mu­ni­ca­tions will also tem­po­rar­ily use a va­cant commercial site at 700 York St. while con­struc­tion is un­der­way.

Start Com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­vides in­ter­net and tele­phone service to more than 50,000 cus­tomers from Ottawa to Wind­sor, tak­ing on gi­ants such as Rogers and Bell, and has also cre­ated a fi­bre-op­tic net­work in down­town Lon­don

The com­pany is also ex­pected to an­nounce plans later this years to ex­pand into ca­ble tele­vi­sion ser­vices.

Just down the street, near the in­ter­sec­tion of Thames Street, Tricar is get­ting ready to start a new res­i­den­tial tower just as the com­pany’s Azure con­do­minium tower on Tal­bot Street nears com­ple­tion.

The com­pany plans to build a 24-storey tower on York with 245 res­i­den­tial units and ground-floor of­fice-commercial space.

Tricar has sub­mit­ted two vari­a­tions of the plan, one that has some frontage on Thames Street and an­other that only oc­cu­pies York Street frontage.

The 0.5-hectare site, east of Ivey Park and the Peace Gar­dens, is oc­cu­pied by Pro­vin­cial Glass and Mir­ror and Es­cape Canada, an es­cape room busi­ness.

Brett Lucier, vice-pres­i­dent of Pro­vin­cial Glass and Mir­ror, said the com­pany has al­ready be­gun ren­o­va­tions to move to a new lo­ca­tion.

Lucier said Tricar wants to have the York prop­er­ties va­cated by Sept. 1.

The new store will be about 1,100 sq. m, about dou­ble the size of the York Street build­ing where the com­pany has been lo­cated since 1988. He said the com­pany is com­mit­ted to down­town Lon­don

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