At long last London has a buyer for the former McCormick factory on Dundas Street East.
Ward 4 Councillor Stephen Orser, who represents the area, announced at Tuesday’s (June 24) council meeting the city had taken control of the property and entered into a sale agreement with “highly regarded” Woodstock developer Sierra Construction.
According to the company’s website it was established in 1994 and has grown steadily from $1.5 million in revenue that year to $35 million in 2008. Sierra president Cliff Zaluski said Tuesday night the company has a lot of fun with brownfield redevelopments, "sometimes more than the greenfield ones."
He pointed out they recently redeveloped a historical dining hall built in 1906 into a modern recreation centre and a four-storey expansion of the Oxford Gardens Retirement Village, both in Woodstock. They're currently converting the former Harvey Woods textile factory, opened in 1920 in and vacant since 1990, to a 50-unit affordable housing project.
Orser said the plan was to build a significant residential complex in the former factory including office space on the lower levels of the building, while retaining the front façade.
“It’s going to change the face of east London,” Orser said, adding the investment, job creation and new assessment would be “outstanding. It’s only the beginning of what I’ve got planned for Ward 4 and Old East Village. I’m already on Kellogg’s (and) I’m going to slowly move west in the east. We’ve got a winner.”
On his last day as acting Mayor, Ward 3 Councillor Joe Swan said Orser is to be commended for working “tirelessly” on the file.
“That’s real news,” he said with a laugh after the meeting. “When you put all of the components of the ReThink London plan, infill development, restoring abandoned buildings, creating jobs and new opportunities for affordable housing and new developments … and you look at the McCormick property, you get it all in one.”