Canada's Condominium Magazine
A new report identified four commercial growth areas for transportation infrastructure spending. Depending on where you place the “cut off”, Ontario plans to invest (or is in the progress of investing) $190 Billion in infrastructure over 13 years or $160 billion over 12 years.
Important for residents of Ontario, approximately 51 per cent of these funds will go toward improving roads and transit. Additional investments are being made in residential and commercial real estate in connection with the expansion of public infrastructure geared toward accommodating future population growth.
The Greater Toronto Area’s population is projected to increase by 42.3 per cent and reach 9.6 million by the year 2041, according to Avison Young’s Topical Report, Transit Nodes of Tomorrow: Development Opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area, which was released last week.
“Our topical report profiles four commercial growth areas that demonstrate the importance of transit connections to future development: East Harbour, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the Pearson Transit Centre, and the Hurontario Light-Rail Transit corridor,” said Avison Young’s Bill Argeropoulos.
Key commercial growth areas in the GTA will emerge at a number of transit-oriented development hubs where there is a confluence of residential and commercial demand, creating significant opportunities for development and investment,” the report states. “With so much planned development on the drawing board and funding in place, this is a time of opportunity for forward-looking stakeholders, including commercial property owners and occupiers.”
First Gulf’s proposal for the 60-acre East Harbour site promises to transform it into an alternative that offers the advantages of a downtown location without the congestion. Ten million square feet of space will be dedicated to office premises, while two million square feet will be dedicated to shops, restaurants, parks, and other public spaces. The proposal also includes a major new transit hub that connects commuter trains, subways, and streetcar lines.
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre
Approximately 400 acres of land have been set aside for the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, with 40 million square feet of mixed-use development. The VMC will also include 100 acres of “live-work-play” development, which includes a 365,000 square foot KPMG Tower, a 220,000 square foot mixed-use tower, a 100,000 square foot YMCA, and a 20,000 square foot City of Vaughan library and studio space. The Toronto Transit Commission is also developing a Toronto-York Spadina subway expansion, which is set to open next month.
Pearson Transit Centre
Infrastructure improvements also include the creation of the $500 million Pearson Transit Centre. The project, totalling $11.2 billion or more, will also include a large mixed-use public area with offices, retail spaces, and various other commercial spaces. The Pearson Transit Centre “will increase the airport area’s ability to attract and retain tenants and offer occupiers access to a larger labour pool,” the report claims. “Tenants will enjoy the benefits of urban-style transit infrastructure in the suburbs with the bonus of having a direct international airport connection.”
Hurontario Light-Rail Transit
The Hurontario corridor links several mobility hubs with high development potential. Transit in the corridor carried 11 million passengers per year in 2010 and 2011 and is expected to carry over 22 million by the year 2031. According to the report, “The proposed Hurontario light-rail transit (LRT) line will increase capacity and improve commute times along the Hurontario corridor as the populations of Mississauga and Brampton continue to grow.”