By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The development of a new retail centre in the north end of Oshawa along Simcoe Street is facing delays as it awaits the completion of the Highway 407 extension.
The Windfields Farm retail centre, proposed by RioCan, is set to take up more than 150 acres of land and could accommodate up to 1.5 million square feet of development.
According to RioCan’s website, development was slated to begin on the project in 2014. However, the plot, which sits just south of Winchester Road and is bisected almost down the middle by Simcoe Street North, remains vacant.
According to Paul Ralph, commissioner of development services, the city meets regularly with RioCan and the Highway 407 completion has become a critical point for many interested commercial investors.
“Some of the issues that they’ve had is a number of commercial tenants that they were looking at, want to physically see the Highway 407 opened first,” Ralph says.
Repeated requests for comment from RioCan were not returned to The Express as of press deadline.
The 407 extension is slated to be completed by the end of this year.
“So hopefully something will materialize with commercial tenants once they see that becoming a reality,” Ralph says.
Oshawa is also taking the opportunity to work with RioCan and push for more residential development, along with commercial uses in the area.
“When they originally came to us, we wanted this to be more of a mixed area, with residential and commercial,” Ralph says.
The site is a central point in Oshawa’s official plan and Ralph says working with RioCan for more residential components is a positive development.