London, Ont. approves first application for office-to-residential program

The City of London has approved its first successful application to the new office-to-residential community improvement program (CIP).

london, ont. approves first application for office-to-residential program

The former Rexall building at 166 Dundas St., at the corner of Dundas and Richmond streets, is being transformed into 15 residential units. Floors three through five will be primarily two-bedroom residential units, with one of these units being a one-bedroom. On the first and second floors, there will still be commercial space. At this time, it is still undetermined what store, or stores, will occupy the lower levels.

“This project is significant because it sees the achievement of multiple strategic initiatives all rolled into one: the creation of new housing, the repurposing of vacant commercial space, and our walk towards the revitalization of downtown,” Ward 13 Coun. David Ferreira says. “It highlights what our city is doing in a time of crisis and need, and it shows what happens when we come together with ideas.”

The real estate development firm MAAS Group recently purchased the building from Farhi Holdings and promptly decided to convert the unused office spaces into residential units.

The email you need for the day's top news stories from Canada and around the world.

“Construction is underway now, and those units will be ready for occupancy by this fall,” Mayor Josh Morgan says.

More on Canada

The project for this building received $414,947 of the available $10 million in funding from the city, but there is flexibility in the event it requires more, or if there are funds remaining post-construction that can be allocated to another project.

“When we see people investing money in this core of the city at this iconic corner of our city, we know things are changing and on the move,” Morgan says. “Downtown is getting better and things are improving. It’s unquestionable that we are moving in the right direction. Now that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton of work left to do, but we are undeniably better than we were 12 to 18 months ago.”

The program provides a grant that functions as a forgivable loan, up to $2 million per property. Across the city, there are 7,100 high-density residential units under construction.

“We look forward to more successful applicants for this program,” Morgan says. “Our community is desperate for more housing of all types, and the speed at which this proposal is moving reflects that it’s admirable and appreciated.”

The office-to-residential CIP allows for timely conversion projects that will increase the supply of residential units downtown, while also tackling the housing crisis. Though 166 Dundas St. will list units at market value, some of the units within the project will be geared-to-income and affordable housing units.

“I know the future residents of this building will enjoy the benefits of being able to easily walk, bike and take transit – all those mobility options are available in the downtown core,” says Scott Mathers, deputy city manager for planning and economic development. “They’re going to be able to experience all the wonderful events of Dundas Place.”

Morgan initially announced the details of how the office-to-residential program conversion would look in the city, which was later approved by council in February. The federal government announced the housing accelerator fund in January, and London was the first city to receive funding under that program.

“This office residential conversion program is one of the many ways we’re trying to improve the amount of housing, improve the speed and efficiency of providing housing in London,” Mathers says. “We’ve got more applications, we really want to have a lot more of this housing being provided in the core of the city.”

OTHER NEWS

16 minutes ago

UK inflation hits 2% goal for first time in almost three years

16 minutes ago

Luka Doncic Caught Cussing Out Celtics Fans In Leaked NBA Finals Audio Recording

16 minutes ago

US wants to avoid 'greater war' along tense Lebanon-Israel border, envoy says

16 minutes ago

Dodgers Complete Comeback With 7-Run 9th Inning Vs. Rockies

16 minutes ago

Ricky Gervais ‘savagely’ trolls Justin Timberlake over drink-driving arrest

16 minutes ago

Christina Applegate clarifies ‘I don’t enjoy living’ comment after MS diagnosis

16 minutes ago

UK inflation falls to Bank of England's 2% target rate for first time in nearly 3 years

18 minutes ago

Why is everyone talking about Musk's money?

18 minutes ago

What 'Inside Out 2' got right about anxiety, per a psychologist

18 minutes ago

The history of trans misogyny is the history of segregation

18 minutes ago

How is Israel Using Facial Recognition in Gaza?

18 minutes ago

Mel Gibson vows to finish long-awaited fifth and final Lethal Weapon movie

18 minutes ago

Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn pleads not guilty in fake elector case

18 minutes ago

Maryland governor pardons more than 175,000 marijuana convictions

19 minutes ago

Stephen Fry says humans will ensure AI products have empathy built in

19 minutes ago

Real Housewives of Dubai: Caroline Stanbury, 48, admits she needs to stop 'mothering' her husband Sergio Carrallo, 29, as she seeks help with marriage in hypnotherapy session

19 minutes ago

Revealed: Jet-set lifestyle of fat cat recruitment boss as his firm rakes in £4.5million a year cashing in on the UK's teacher shortage crisis - 'by filling classrooms with unqualified staff'

19 minutes ago

Cops discover dodgy detail on number plates after NSW driver is allegedly caught speeding

19 minutes ago

Video: Terrifying moment man is chased by a crocodile while swimming in a lagoon

21 minutes ago

Denzel Washington hints he'll step away from acting

21 minutes ago

Collingwood legend Dane Swan’s cheeky remark in Hall of Fame speech

22 minutes ago

The UAE is set to be the No. 1 ‘wealth magnet' in the world, new report shows

23 minutes ago

Met Office issues thunderstorm warning for much of north of England

24 minutes ago

Japan's 'beat poet' Kazuko Shiraishi, pioneer of modern performance poetry, dies at 93

24 minutes ago

Japan's 'beat poet' Kazuko Shiraishi dies at 93

24 minutes ago

General election latest: Rishi Sunak to face LBC phone-in as PM gets unexpected boost from inflation figures

24 minutes ago

Five things to watch ahead of rugby’s summer kick-off

24 minutes ago

India's Chopra eases fitness concerns with gold in Finland

24 minutes ago

All Blacks mourn death of 25-year-old Super Rugby and Māori ABs star

24 minutes ago

Islamabad needs more US military equipment to fight TTP, Pakistan's ambassador says

24 minutes ago

Tiger Woods gets lifetime exemption for special events on PGA tour

24 minutes ago

Russian court sentences U.S. soldier to nearly 4 years, state media reports

24 minutes ago

Netflix EMEA Boss Says California Mothership Is “Very Hands Off” On International Content Strategy

24 minutes ago

Starmer-backed group of Labour MPs proposed six tax rises worth £60bn

24 minutes ago

North Korean leader Kim welcomes Russia's Putin at official ceremony in Pyongyang

24 minutes ago

Bin strikes to hit east London in general election week

24 minutes ago

Sarah Ferguson sets record straight on remarrying Andrew as she admits 'we're very happy'

26 minutes ago

Rich ‘vote with their feet’ as millionaires flee Britain in record numbers

26 minutes ago

Croatia's Vlasic is out of Euro 2024 because of a muscle injury

26 minutes ago

Early blast of heat and humidity leaves millions sweltering across the US