A Brampton landmark could soon be a relic of the past.
A proposal to redevelop Shoppers World Brampton, including a master-plan of development, was submitted to the City of Brampton this past October by real estate investment trust, RioCan. That plan would mean the demolition of the shopping centre.
City planners have confirmed that the application was received and that they are in the process of reviewing it.
“There’s no surprise in the application, it’s very consistent to what the city put forward in regard to their 2040 plan,” said Andrew Duncan, senior vice-president of development at RioCan.
The city’s 2040 plan outlines goals and recommendations for future development projects, with a key-focus on integrated transit and living spaces.
The application explains what exactly RioCan, who took ownership of the property in 2000, plans to do with the 21-hectare site, the potential cost and timing.
The proposed plan would turn Shoppers World into a “sustainable and walkable transit-orientated community.”
City staff provided this statement on the proposal;
“According to the proposal, the development of the site would include the replacement of the mall. However, the proposal does not provided a timeline for when the existing mall would be demolished. The Master Plan states that full build-out of the site may occur over 20 or more years, with the first phase to begin in 2020.”
“We want to make sure the property is an amenity to the community,” said Duncan.
The application states that the site would be a mixed-use area of retail, housing and community spaces.
Plans include construction of four new streets, roughly 5,000 housing units of one, two- and three-bedroom options, public green spaces, an extension of Kaneff Park and roughly 1,400 meters of cycling paths, among others.
The plan anticipates that a “significant portion” of units will be rental housing.
Main features of the development include, a central square, “High Street,” (a curated and walking-friendly boulevard) a transit plaza and a 23-storey tall tower near the Main St. and Steeles Ave. intersection
The plan acknowledges that current businesses in Shoppers World have varying leases, making it tricky to nail down a potential construction date.
Developers sum up the plan with one statement; “transforming the existing shopping centre into a sustainable community and destination that is vibrant, mixed-use, connected and transit-orientated.”
Included in the master-plan is background research on the community.
Shoppers World is situated in Ward 3, with slightly more than half of the population renting homes.
Duncan cites this research as “critical” to developing the proposal.
“In any project like this you have to pay attention to the demographics around you, it’s a balanced approach,” he said.
Today, Shoppers World is home to over 140 stores, 3,000 parking spots and around 72,000 square feet of retail space.
Its legacy in Brampton has been a long one since opening in 1969 as the first enclosed mall in the city with stores including K-Mart, Safeway and Dominion.
It’s this legacy that Duncan said he hopes RioCan can deliver on for another 50 years.
After the city staff finishes reviewing the application, a third public community meeting will be scheduled, to which Duncan says any voices or concerns are always welcomed.
“The vision we have, it’s a huge opportunity,” he said.
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