For­mer coal plant to be­come $6-bil­lion oa­sis on shore of Lake On­tario

Calgary Herald - - FINANCIAL POST - NATALIE WONG

Move over Google. There’s a new ur­ban oa­sis com­ing to the shores of Lake On­tario.

A for­mer 177-acre coal power plant site will be trans­formed into a mixed-use com­mu­nity in Mis­sis­sauga, west of Toronto, that could be worth as much as $6 bil­lion once com­plete, ac­cord­ing to Fabio Maz­zocco, pres­i­dent of Lake­view Com­mu­nity Part­ners Ltd., a group of de­vel­op­ers.

“You have a power plant that’s gone,” Maz­zocco said in a phone in­ter­view be­fore un­veil­ing the project’s lat­est de­sign pro­posal on Wednes­day. “A beau­ti­ful green com­mu­nity comes and all that water­front land is now con­nected.”

The plan — which in­cludes one of the long­est piers on the lake — calls for the de­vel­op­ment of as many as 8,000 hous­ing units for about 17,000 res­i­dents, in­clud­ing town­houses, high­rise apart­ments and some af­ford­able hous­ing, Maz­zocco said. The Toronto re­gion has seen home prices and rents soar as a boom­ing econ­omy pulls in a wave of tech and fi­nan­cial-ser­vices work­ers.

In the city’s east end, Side­walk Labs, a unit of Google par­ent Al­pha­bet Inc. is aim­ing to de­velop a dig­i­tal city while other tech firms such as Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc., Mi­crosoft Corp. and Shopify Inc. are also fill­ing up of­fice space in the city.

Lake­view, a group of closely held com­pa­nies, pur­chased the site from On­tario Power Gen­er­a­tion Inc. in March for about $275 mil­lion. It was one of five coal power plants shut by the prov­ince to com­bat cli­mate change. Four of the sites have tran­si­tioned to new uses, in­clud­ing a so­lar farm.

Maz­zocco de­clined to pro­vide a cost es­ti­mate for the project at this stage. The com­pany hopes to start build­ing in­fra­struc­ture in 2020 with the en­tire con­struc­tion process ex­pected to ex­tend beyond a decade.

The site will in­clude up to 825,000 square feet for em­ploy­ment and 130,000 square feet for re­tail. A to­tal of 67 acres will be ded­i­cated back to the city of Mis­sis­sauga for open water­front space that in­cludes a cam­pus. A unique fea­ture will be its near one-kilo­me­tre pier, Maz­zocco said.

Con­crete from the foun­da­tion of the power plant will be bro­ken up and used to help fill a 64-acre con­ser­va­tion area nearby that’s be­ing built sep­a­rately by pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties, Maz­zocco said.

“What was once some­thing that was pol­lut­ing, brown and caused smog is now the foun­da­tion of some­thing that’s go­ing to be a con­ser­va­tion area,” Maz­zocco said.

Lake­view is a group of Toronto re­gion de­vel­op­ers that in­cludes Argo De­vel­op­ment Corp., TACC Con­struc­tion Ltd., Bran­thaven Homes, Green­park Group, and CCI De­vel­op­ment Group of Com­pa­nies.

LAKE­VIEW COM­MU­NITY PART­NERS LTD.

A ren­der­ing of the planned mixed-use site in Mis­sis­sauga.

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