Nothing's finalized yet, but reports indicate that a big, "high-end" shopping centre may be on the way.
The intersection of Front Street and Spadina Avenue may be home to a massive new shopping mall when developers are done with the site of the Globe and Mail‘s soon-to-be-former offices.
Business News Network, citing “a source familiar with the development” is reporting that Riocan and Allied Properties, two giant real-estate investment trusts, are in joint negotiations to buy the Globe‘s existing offices at 444 Front Street West and build in their place a “mini Eaton Centre,” with about 500,000 square feet of high-end retail space.
Assuming 500,000 is close to the real figure, “mini Eaton Centre” wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration. The centre has about 1.6 million square feet of retail space, but 816,000 of that is Sears.
Neither Riocan nor Allied Properties immediately returned phone messages, but the Globe itself has reported that the two companies have been trying, jointly, to buy the paper’s property ever since a deal with another developer, Mattamy Homes, fell through. The development would include office space. BNN reports that there is also talk of adding a boutique hotel.
The deal would be part of the Globe and Mail‘s ongoing effort to vacate its existing offices and move into a shiny, yet-to-be-built 18-storey building on an adjacent plot of land.
Even if the sale goes through, the developers would need to navigate a complex zoning and planning approvals process before putting shovels in the ground. Projects like this usually take years to realize, and sometimes they never get built at all.