A parcel of land bought in the 1960s by Ted Rogers in farm country at the western edge of what is now downtown Mississauga is to be transformed into a 10-tower condo development hailed as a fitting tribute to the telecom pioneer who passed away in 2008.
Rogers Real Estate Development Limited, a private holding company owned by the Rogers family, along with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie on Tuesday unveiled a $1.5-billion, 15-acre, 4.3-million-square-foot project at the southwest corner of Burnhamthorpe Rd. and Confederation Pkwy. that promises more than two acres of public parkland downtown.
“Rogers has an enduring history with the City of Mississauga,” Edward Rogers said, noting that his father originally planned a radio transmitter for the site he bought for just over $170,000 a generation ago.
“We believe in the city and in the vision that was set forward in Downtown21,” he said, citing Mississauga’s strategy embracing a more pedestrian-friendly core with community squares, outdoor markets and abundant green space.
Called M City, the Rogers project is on part of the tract that was coveted because it offered wide-ranging reception to transmit signals from broadcast stations being assembled by the progenitor of Rogers Communications Inc., including Toronto radio outlet CHFI, whose transmitter is now located atop the CN Tower.
In an interview Monday, Edward Rogers said much of the land had been sold off, but the family held a long-standing ambition to develop the remaining acreage. He called M City a first foray in real-estate development that could pave the way for further projects down the road.
The project will be anchored by an iconic design, will prioritize public spaces and parkland, and offer residents the best in wireless, high-speed Internet and cable-TV technology now and into the future, he said.
Plans call for 6,000 units to be available for rent or for sale at prices ranging from around $200,000 up to $750,000. Some 700 units are envisioned for the first phase, with construction to begin in late 2017 or early 2018 and to continue in stages as units are pre-sold or rented and as the Rogers family retains ownership of the land.
While his father did not live to see the development finally take shape, his son said “it feels as though he is a part of it.”
“It’s a wonderful project,” Edward Rogers said. “It will be built to specifications that would have made Ted proud.”
According to architectural renderings, M City features will include extending existing city streets on a unique, angular plane to create a fine-grained network of blocks, enabling a pedestrian-friendly environment. Typical residential blocks will provide two-way roads with on-street parking, generous sidewalks and residential frontages.
“Rogers has put forward a bold, exciting and forward-looking vision for Mississauga’s growing, thriving and promising downtown,” Crombie said in a statement.
“These new planned developments by Rogers are consistent with the City of Mississauga’s commitment to build a livable, walkable city, home to mixed-use residential and commercial developments that are connected to an extensive public transit network.”
New York-based urban design firm Cooper Robertson was brought on board to design the framework for M City while Cooper Robertson partner Donald Clinton was the lead designer on the project.
Architects delivered a winning design that will “redefine Mississauga’s skyline with a striking, undulating tower that rotates seven typical floor plates in repetition as it rises 51 storeys,” said a press release outlining the development.
“Rogers, because they’re not builders, they’re a renowned Canadian corporate entity that doesn’t have to squeeze every penny out of this, Rogers is creating a legacy here,” said the area’s councillor, Nando Iannicca.
Rogers will partner with a construction management company and a highrise builder on the project, which Iannicca said will be a defining feature of Canada’s sixth-largest city. The towers will house privately owned condos and rentals, with a wide variety of leased commercial properties on the lower floors.
The Toronto-based holding company’s plan describes a signature tower just west of city hall and right next to the downtown loop of a future $1.3-billion LRT to be fully funded by the province. The land has sat as a vacant field for decades, while vertical development has exploded around Mississauga’s city centre.
The project is being assembled by the Rogers family independent of Toronto-based Rogers Communications, the telecom and media giant founded by Ted Roger’s father, Edward S. Rogers.
Coutesy: Toronto Star Sep 2016