Posts tagged ‘Revitalization’

New Development in London’s Downtown

Before a shovel was even in the ground, London’s first downtown commercial development in more than 15 years has already leased much of its space.

City and business leaders Tuesday officially took the wraps off the $10 million, 30,000-square-foot commercial plaza which will go up in the parking lot at Richmond and Carling streets, next to Moxie’s, that will be home to an expanded Shoppers Drug Mart, and an insurance broker moving to the core.

Rocco Tullio, president of Rock Developments in Windsor, is building the new office building and also bought the former Canadian Tire store in Masonville, redeveloping 75,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, a $13 million investment.

The most important thing is the tenants want to be there. Shoppers was a driving force saying they want a new home downtown. The drug store will close its store on Dundas St., just west of Richmond.

“The downtown is the heart, soul and spirit of a city. Getting more residential and commercial development is crucial to the well being of the core,” said Mayor Joe Fontana.

Construction will begin in mid January and be completed by August, with tenants moving in in September.

Source: London Free Press


January 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

Decorative Crosswalks on King Street

The final push is on to get the revitalized King Street streetscape completed by the end of the construction season. But the $10.9-million project isn’t running out of time. Favorable weather and contractor efficiencies have meant the work west of Gaukel Street was completed faster this year than the first phase was last year.

Crews closed King Street west of Benton Street earlier this week to complete an entrance feature that was bumped last year by tight Oktoberfest timelines. The work will include a decorative paving-stone crosswalk and a concrete roadway similar to the one already in front of city hall.

Construction crews working on streetscape.

That section of King Street will be closed until Labour Day.

Meanwhile, work on the final block of streetscaping continues further down between Water and Francis streets. Crews have finished the sidewalks and trees have been planted. They’re working to install paving stones before the road work is wrapped up. There will be an entrance feature at that end of the street similar to the one going in at King and Benton. That should be finished by the end of September.

The city is considering adding the same decorative crosswalks throughout the redeveloped street, but hasn’t made a decision on that yet. Those can be installed after the final layer of asphalt is down. The plan was to finish the final layer in 2011, but the work has been accelerated. If nothing alters the pace, it could be finished this year.

The street reconstruction is part of a larger push by the city to bring more traffic and business to the core. The city’s façade improvement grant program in the core has already seen 13 storefronts upgraded, with another three underway and eight approved but not yet started. They’re in addition to a number of businesses — Coffee Culture, Laurier Optical, Crabby Joes and Shoppers Drug Mart — which completed similar improvements outside of the program. Other large downtown projects, including the University of Waterloo’s school of pharmacy, Wilfrid Laurier University’s graduate school of social work and a redevelopment of the former Lang Tannery, are also part of the city’s push to revitalize the core.


August 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

Galleria Redevelopment Well Underway

Taking the bus down Wellington last week i couldn’t help but stop at Galleria to check up on the construction that has been on going there for the past year.

While most of the chain stores have left over a decade ago, Galleria has seen a huge transformation. From an Urban Design point of view, I think having a retail mall in the downtown of a city the size of London is a bad idea, as it usually creates empty storefront and quiet streetscapes. However Galleria has transformed itself away from the traditional mall and become a true mixed use center with the new Library, Office spaces, Post Secondary satellite campuses- . Sure many improvements could still be made- such as making whats left of the perimeter of the building, more pedestrian friendly maybe by adding more windows and entrances to get rid of the solid brick walls- but I think they are on the right track.  The new atrium glass entrance is almost complete( they have now taken out concrete barriers placed on Wellington), all that is left is the installation of the architectural panels, new doors and the new sign “Citi Plaza”. Personally I am still on the fence on whether or not I like the design of the new entrance. It seems like it was a quick fix and not much thought was actually put into it. What I mean is that the section between the former Eatons store and King St has so much more potential and it is too bad that all they did was add a  3 storey glass structure and replaced the old glass with new glass adding a metallic gray stripping between them instead of the old green metal. None the less at least they are trying to renovate and create a new identity. The inside looks awesome; it boasts some interesting contemporary ceramic tile floor patterns,  a Stainless steel/ Dark Hardwood look through out the first level, colour changing L.E.D. lighting on the ceilings, new modern washrooms, and a great new foodcourt, which is now downstaires, with 5 food establishments – Arbys, Subway, Golden Wok, Taco Del Mar, Sushi (the name escapes me) and 1 more on the way- soon to open will be a Country Style Bistro Deli which will occupy the space between the Suzy Sheer and the food court.

Fox and Fiddle

Another welcoming addition to the Galleria that will hopefully bring some life to the patio scene on Wellington St. is Fox &  Fiddle which is a pub.  F&F will occupy the space of the former, very dated, Elephant Caslte- that space is also going through a total remodel to fit with the F&F franchise look.

Here are a few pictures of the new entrance to the soon to be CitiPlaza, more pictures will follow when it is complete.



March 27, 2009 at 11:42 am 2 comments

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