Ma­jor ex­pan­sion for the Prom­e­nade

Richmond Hill Post - - News - Alan Shef­man Thorn­hill Ward 5 Coun­cil­lor

The new own­ers have made a ma­jor com­mit­ment to ... trans­form the prop­erty.”

When The Prom­e­nade was first built in the ’80s Thorn­hill was truly sub­ur­ban. The mall was lo­cated in an empty field with a scat­ter­ing of sin­gle-fam­ily homes in the vicin­ity. It was built with an enor­mous amount of park­ing, and the only way to get there was by car. It was also the only re­tail game in town.

Things have changed dra­mat­i­cally. The mall is now sur­rounded by con­do­minium tow­ers. There is a tran­sit ter­mi­nal on its edge, and rapid tran­sit is be­ing built on its north­ern bor­der. The de­part­ment stores that were there are gone, and the re­tail world has changed dra­mat­i­cally.

Through­out North Amer­ica, in­door shop­ping malls are shut­ting down and be­ing re­placed by fields of con­dos.

Even with all th­ese changes, the Prom­e­nade con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant fo­cal point for Thorn­hill.

The new own­ers have made a ma­jor com­mit­ment to not only keep the core re­tail func­tion but also to trans­form the prop­erty into more of a neigh­bour­hood.

Re­cently the own­ers have sub­mit­ted a plan to the City and have held sev­eral com­mu­nity meet­ings, in­clud­ing one of the largest ever held in Thorn­hill, at­tended by around 400 res­i­dents.

The peo­ple at­tend­ing the meet­ing were pre­sented with a plan de­vel­oped through a de­sign com­pe­ti­tion won by WZMH Ar­chi­tects.

The plan in­cludes two con­do­minium tow­ers of 35 and 30 storeys to be lo­cated at the old Sears lo­ca­tion as well as a 23storey ho­tel/of­fice tower, a pub­lic plaza with new re­tail and restau­rant build­ings on the east side of the cur­rent mall. There will also be sig­nif­i­cant in­te­rior ren­o­va­tions in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ing a much larger food hall across the width of the build­ing, and a glass dome and a “high” street start­ing at the south en­trance to the prop­erty and wind­ing along the face of the build­ing. It also in­cludes cre­at­ing safe, walk­a­ble ac­cess to the mall from the ad­ja­cent condo build­ings.

It is ex­pected that the for­mal sub­mis­sion to the City of Vaughan of the pro­posal will take place in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary of 2019.

Some­time later in the year a for­mal rec­om­men­da­tion will be pre­sented to city coun­cil by the Vaughan plan­ning staff.

At each of th­ese stages, the pub­lic will be in­vited to com­ment on what is be­ing pre­sented to city coun­cil.

Coun­cil­lor Alan Shef­man look­ing for­ward to new vi­sion for lo­cal mall

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