Massive $200-$220 million development to start soon at former GM Trim plant in Windsor

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Farhi Holdings will start working on one of the largest development projects in Windsor’s history. There will be 100 building lots for single family homes, seven condo/apartment buildings with a total of 442 units plus commercial buildings and possibly even a hotel.

Developers plan a total of 543 homes, with an overall value of $200 to $220 million, DataBid.com reports, citing The Windsor Star.  The new homes will be built on the site of the former GM Trim plant on Lauzon Road.

“This is a massive project and it will of course happen in phases because you can’t build all this stuff at one time,” an anonymous source familiar with the project told the Star. “But it’s starting this year and you’ll see huge activity happening in the spring of next year.”

Work will be starting this fall and Farhi plans to have the foundation work on the first of the seven condo buildings finished in November. The location of this project will be at the former GM Trim plant on Lauzon Road.

In detail, there are plans for 119 single family lots, four townhouse blocks with 48 units, five condo-type buildings with 230 units, 7.8 acres of commercial space and a seven-storey hotel.

The developer has started environmental studies, costly soil contamination remediation, and has also moved forward with applications for zoning and Official Plan changes for the land that has been vacant for 14 years.

City Council helped get this project moving by approving up to $10 million in incentives from the city’s Brownfield Development Community Improvement Plan. This plan rebates the tax increases that happen when someone turns an industrial wasteland into something more valuable.

Farhi has owned this land since 2005, when he bought about 100 acres and sold 40 acres to the city for construction of the WFCU Centre. Three years ago, the city needed more land for parking and possible future expansion of the WFCU Centre and agreed to purchase 14.5 acres from Farhi that was conditional on Farhi moving forward with developing the remaining 45 acres.

According to Windsorite.ca, a storm water retention pond is also being planned with four of the buildings developed around the pond along with 11 single family homes.

The project will see five new roads including the extension of Darfield Road into the site.

Construction of model homes for the single family lots are expected to start the summer of 2020 and residential builders anticipate all single family homes will be completed within three to four years.

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