Tow­ers pro­posed for Prom­e­nade mall

Pro­posal in­cludes three new apart­ment tow­ers rang­ing from 28 to 35 storeys tall

Richmond Hill Post - - News - by Ge­orge Redak

Since the Prom­e­nade mall was pur­chased in May 2017 by the Ser­ruya fam­ily, the own­ers have kept mum about their plans for the Thorn­hill shop­ping cen­tre.

Fi­nally in Au­gust, in part­ner­ship with Lib­erty De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, which owns the sur­round­ing land, the Ser­ruya broth­ers have sub­mit­ted their plans to ex­pand the prop­erty to in­clude three new res­i­den­tial apart­ment tow­ers, with heights start­ing at 28 storeys and go­ing up to 35. There will also be a fourth tower, stand­ing at 28 storeys that will be used as of­fice space and ho­tel rooms.

“My ex­pe­ri­ence with the own­ers of the prop­erty is that they have taken a visionary ap­proach to the project,” said Ward 5 coun­cil­lor Alan Shef­man. “At a time when many mid-level malls are clos­ing, these peo­ple are tak­ing a huge chance and spend­ing a lot of money to turn the mall around by ap­ply­ing a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ap­proaches.” The pro­posed re­vi­tal­iza­tion would see a to­tal of 1,066 res­i­den­tial units of vary­ing size added.

Part of the pro­posal also in­cludes plans to make the prop­erty more pedes­tri­an­friendly. Schollen & Com­pany, a land­scape ar­chi­tect firm, de­signed a pedes­trian-friendly gate­way plaza as well as an out­door am­phithe­atre.

“In my dis­cus­sions with [the de­vel­op­ers], they are re­ally quite con­cerned and quite fo­cused on mak­ing their com­mer­cial fa­cil­ity more of a com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity,” said Shef­man. How­ever, traf­fic has be­come a con­cern within the com­mu­nity. “We all want to see the Prom­e­nade mall suc­ceed, and of course de­vel­op­ment will be re­quired, but it has to fit the com­mu­nity,” said Josh Mar­tow, pres­i­dent of the Bev­er­ley Glen Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. “Traf­fic has been a mess in Thorn­hill for a long time, and the con­struc­tion of the Viva Rapid­way has ex­ac­er­bated the is­sues sig­nif­i­cantly.”

Al­though Shef­man rec­og­nizes the strain on traf­fic, he be­lieves that the rapid­way, upon com­ple­tion in 2019, will take a lot of the pres­sure off the main ar­te­rial roads, in­clud­ing bor­der­ing Bathurst Street.

“The bus rapid tran­sit sys­tem, which will con­nect you to a sub­way in lit­er­ally 10 min­utes,” he said. “That is clearly go­ing to take some of the pres­sure off.”

Nei­ther the Ser­ruya fam­ily nor Lib­erty De­vel­op­ment re­sponded to mul­ti­ple re­quests for com­ment.

“At a time when many mid-level malls are clos­ing, these peo­ple are tak­ing a huge ” chance.

The planned de­vel­op­ment at Thorn­hill’s Prom­e­nade mall

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