Historic Loblaw Groceterias building to be cornerstone of new and vibrant community
TORONTO, Aug. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust ("Choice Properties") (TSX: CHP.UN), in a joint venture partnership with Wittington Properties Limited, today unveiled its plans to revitalize and restore the original Loblaw Groceterias building to create West Block, an urban community that combines retail shops anchored by a Loblaws Great food store, with office space and two residential towers.
The property is comprised of approximately 3.5 acres of land located on the northeast corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bathurst Street in Toronto, Ontario. The historical building was established in 1928 and served as the Loblaw head office and warehouse until the company relocated in the 1970s. The exterior façade of this heritage building will be dismantled brick by brick, stone by stone, cleaned and preserved, then put back together again to restore the building to its original glory.
"In preserving the original façade of the building, we are honouring the proud heritage of this important piece of Toronto real estate," said John Morrison, President and CEO of Choice Properties. "We're very excited to share our modern vision for the future West Block using the building blocks of the past."
The West Block redevelopment makes use of a building that has been out of service since the Daily Bread Food Bank relocated operations in 2000. This historic building will be rejuvenated to offer seven storeys totalling approximately 245,000 square feet of gross leasable area for retail and office space, including a 50,000 square foot Loblaws Great food store. Integrating with the social fabric of its local environment, West Block will provide connectivity through common spaces that will showcase the culture and vibrancy of Toronto. With places to live, shop, work and play, the West Block redevelopment will bring Lake Shore and Bathurst back to prominence as one of Toronto's most vibrant intersections for people, community and commerce.
Developer Concord Adex has entered into an agreement to acquire the air rights and will be constructing the residential component of the project, which includes two residential condominium towers of 37 and 41 storeys that will contain a total of 876 dwelling units with a residential gross floor area of approximately 575,000 square feet.
"We're delighted to partner with Concord Adex on the historic West Block redevelopment," said Tony Grossi, President, Wittington Properties Limited. "West Block marks Concord Adex's third project on Wittington lands, our partnership will bring greater value to this iconic site by combining a long history with a shared vision for the future."
"As community builders, we are proud to join with Choice Properties and Wittington Properties to transform West Block into a place where Toronto's history becomes its future," said Terry Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Concord Pacific Group of Companies, the parent company of Concord Adex. "I am confident the renewal of this landmark site will establish West Block as a destination of choice for Torontonians and will be embraced by the neighbouring Concord Cityplace community."
West Block Quick Facts:
- Property spans an entire city block, consisting of approximately 3.5 acres of land;
- The seven storey commercial building will be approximately 245,000 square feet of gross leasable area, fronting onto Lake Shore Boulevard West;
- The commercial building will include a 50,000 square foot Loblaws Great food store, complementary retail and office space;
- Concord Adex, which has entered into an agreement to acquire the air rights to the property, will be constructing two residential towers which will be 37 and 41 storeys in height, containing 876 dwelling units in total with a residential gross floor area of approximately 575,000 square feet;
- Under the Gardiner Expressway, a common space will showcase the culture and vibrancy of Toronto through a display of public art;
- Three levels of underground parking is proposed with a total of approximately 600 parking spaces;
- West Block is projected to open by Spring 2019;
- Website: www.WestBlock.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which reflects Choice Properties' current expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Choice Properties' control that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed under the "Risk Factors" sections in Choice Properties' 2014 Annual Report and current Annual Information Form. Choice Properties does not undertake any obligation to update such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and are qualified by these cautionary statements.
About Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust is an owner, manager and developer of well-located retail and commercial real estate across Canada. Choice Properties' portfolio spans approximately 41.3 million square feet of gross leasable area and consists of 513 properties primarily focused on supermarket-anchored shopping centres and stand-alone supermarkets. Choice Properties' strategy is to create value by enhancing and optimizing its portfolio through development, accretive acquisitions and active property management. Choice Properties' principal tenant and largest Unitholder is Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's largest retailer. Choice Properties' strong alliance with Loblaw positions it well for future growth. For more information, visit Choice Properties' website at www.choicereit.ca and Choice Properties' issuer profile at www.sedar.com.
About Wittington Properties Limited
Wittington Properties Limited is the Canadian Real Estate division of Wittington Investments, Limited. Wittington Investments, Limited is a major shareholder of George Weston Limited, one of North America's largest food processing and distribution groups which operates under the Weston Foods and Loblaw banners. Wittington also controls Selfridges Group Limited, which operates luxury fashion retail stores (Holt Renfrew in Canada, Selfridges in the United Kingdom, Brown Thomas in Ireland and DeBijenkorf in The Netherlands).
About Concord Adex
Concord Adex is the largest residential developer in Canada specializing in urban communities. Over the past two decades, Concord Adex and its parent company Concord Pacific have built (and continue to build) the 200-acre Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver, the 47-acre Concord CityPlace in downtown Toronto, the 45-acre Concord Park Place in North York, as well as projects in the United Kingdom. Over the past 25 years, the Concord Group of Companies has grown into other industry sectors including software and information technology, telecommunications, as well as green energy projects in solar, wind and hydroelectric power generation.
SOURCE Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
Image with caption: "West Block Development Launch and First Brick Preservation Event. From right to left: Tony Grossi, President, Wittington Properties Limited; Joe Cressy, Ward 20 City Councillor; His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto; Galen G. Weston, President and Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited; W. Galen Weston, Executive Chairman, George Weston Limited; Terry Hui, CEO, Concord Pacific Group of Companies; John Morrison, President and CEO, Choice Properties REIT (CNW Group/Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150805_C7224_PHOTO_EN_472535.jpg