SmartCentres receives MZO for 11 million sq. ft. mixed-use development in Cambridge

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust says that it has received a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) for 22 Pinebush Rd in Cambridge.

The 73-acre property was originally zoned only for retail. With the MZO, the company will be able to permit various forms of residential, retail, office, institutional and commercial land uses to be able to create a complete vibrant urban community.

Street Insider reports that construction on this large urban redevelopment, next to Highway 401, will start right away with an anticipated build-out over the next 10 to 20 years.

When it is finished, the community created by this MZO will include 10,000 new residential units including rentals apartments, condominiums, townhouses and seniors’ housing.

SmartCentres will start transitioning the 22-year-old shopping centre on the site into an 11-million sq. ft. mixed-use development.

“We are very pleased that, with the support of the City of Cambridge elected officials and senior staff, Minister Steve Clark has agreed to issuing the MZO,” SmartCentres executive chairman Mitchell Goldhar said in a statement. “Both the Minister and Mayor Kathryn McGarry recognize the significant economic benefits of accelerating our redevelopment plans including the tens of thousands of jobs that will be created and sustained over the 20 year period. We believe this significant new community will help address demand for housing located strategically around the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area. Working with staff, our goal is to begin Phase 1 in 2021.”

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry said this 73 acre property will be transformed into a large vibrant mixed-use community hub and will certainly help in terms of economic recovery post-pandemic.

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is one of Canada’s largest fully integrated REITs, with a best-in-class portfolio that features 166 strategically located properties in communities across the country. SmartCentres has $10.4 billion in assets and owns over 34.2 million square feet of income producing value-oriented retail space with occupancy exceeding 97%, on 3,500 acres of owned land across Canada.

SmartCentres’ intensification program includes the trust’s share of SmartVMC, which, when completed, is expected to include about 11 million sq. ft. of mixed use space in Vaughan, DataBid.com reported.

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