By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Oshawa’s north end is getting a bit of a face-lift as a major construction project has begun.
RioCan’s Windfields Farms retail development has been on the horizon for a number of years, and work has begun near the intersection of Winchester Road East and Simcoe Street North, just south of Highway 407.
According to RioCan’s website, the development will feature a total of 839,000 sq. ft. in retail space in addition to 868 residential units planned by Tribute Communities.
The retail development is expected to be completed by winter 2022.
Confirmed tenants include the LCBO, Starbucks, Booster Juice, a Petro Canada station, ScotiaBank, Bar Burrito, Symposium Cafe, and Pet Valu among others.
As previously reported by The Oshawa Express, the retail development’s site plan was originally approved by Oshawa city council in 2012.
Construction was set to begin in 2014, but was delayed in anticipation of the completion of the original extension of Highway 407 into Oshawa.
The final extension of the 407 to Highway 35/115 past Clarington opened late last year.
Ward 2 city and regional councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri said discussions on the development began back in the mid-2000s.
He’s happy and relieved to see the wheels finally set in motion.
“Now, it appears that it’s finally back in play, and as soon as the construction begins, it will mean that the excitement of this long anticipated project will finally be tangible to the many residents and students in the northwest quadrant of the city who have truly been without a commercial shopping centre for their [needs] so far back that I can remember,” Marimpietri told The Express.
He noted RioCan’s project will mean “millions” of dollars in economic spin-off through construction permits and local jobs.
Over the years, Marimpietri said he and council have been involved with a number of infrastructure improvements, with more on the horizon, which paved the way for the RioCan development to come to fruition.
“Ultimately, this commercial project is an exciting one, which will help to bring about a dynamic offering of retail tenants, and is one which I am ecstatic about to say the least when considering the amazing benefits that it will bring the community, especially residents of Ward 2,” Marimpietri adds.