By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
With the first phase of the Highway 407 expansion set to open in the coming months, interest is blooming in a massive development project set for north Oshawa.
The Windfield Farm retail centre is set to take up more than 150 acres of space in the city’s north end, including a combination of retail and residential space.
While construction was originally slated to start in 2014, RioCan, the project’s developer, chose to hold off as many interested investors didn’t want to put any money down until the Highway 407 expansion was completed.
And now, with the first phase set to open this spring, interest is reaching peak levels, at least according to Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services, who was recently in contact with RioCan.
“He advises that there’s a lot more interest in the property than there ever has been now that the 407 looks like it’s a reality and opening this year,” he says.
The interest is also seen in a recent announcement from RioCan, stating Tribute Communities has joined the project as a joint-venture and will be handling the 30-acre portion of residential development. Tribute secured a 50-per-cent interest in the land at a cost of $3.1 million. According to the news release, Tribute is expected to get home presales started this summer.
However, the release provides no further details on timelines or specifics as to what kind of shops Oshawa citizens can expect in the massive retail space.
“RioCan continues to explore various retail and mixed-use development options,” the release reads.
Requests for further information from RioCan were not returned as the The Oshawa Express’ press deadline.
Despite the slim details, Ralph says that based on his talks with the company, he is confident the project will be making big moves in 2016.
“By the end of this year, we should see a site plan application for a commercial development on part of it,” he says.