Two 22-storey towers, one 20-storey tower proposed for Masonville site

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Less than two years after a 22-storey tower was approved at one of London’s busiest intersections, the developer has unveiled plans to add two towers of 20 and 22 storeys

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Less than two years after London city councillors approved a 22-storey tower at one of the city’s busiest intersections, the developer has unveiled plans to add two towers of 20 and 22 storeys.

Plans for 1725-1737 Richmond St., at the northwest corner of Fanshawe Park Road and Richmond, now call for a total of three mixed-use towers with a total of 563 units, complete with below- and above-ground parking, and commercial and office space in what is now a shopping plaza.

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New to the proposal put forward by Richmond Hyland Centre Inc., a subsidiary of Westdell Development Corp., is a 22-storey tower with 159 units where a Beer Store is now, as well as a 20-storey mixed-use tower with 178 units connected to a previously approved 22-storey, 226-unit tower by a six-storey podium south of the Michaels store.

Westdell towers
A proposed 22-storey at the western portion of the Hyland Centre lot along Richmond Street would include ground floor commercial and office space and 159 residential units. (Rendering by Zelinka Priamo Ltd.)

“The proposed compact form of development will contribute a variety of commercial and residential units consistent with the planned character of the neighbourhood, while being sensitive to existing commercial and residential uses in the surrounding area,” says a planning and design report from Zelinka Priamo Ltd. “The proposed development will support active and public transportation use, and overall, will be a meaningfully positive addition to the Masonville area.”

Though exact parking space totals are not included in the report, the connected towers call for a shared courtyard on the fifth storey, and terraces on the seventh and 19th storeys. The lone tower also would have terraces at the fifth, 21st, and 22nd storeys.

The area near Masonville Place mall, including the Hyland Centre plaza, is zoned as a “transit village” under the London Plan, the city’s master planning document, allowing for greater height and density.

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The designation is a leftover from light rail and bus rapid transit planning that originally included a north leg extending from downtown to Masonville along Richmond Street, across to Western Road, and back to Richmond Street. The north leg of the BRT and the western leg to Oxford Street and Wonderland Road were scrapped by city council in 2019.

Westdell tower
A new 20-storey tower (right) would be connected by a commercial and office space podium with a previously approved 22-storey tower (left), totaling 404 units. (Rendering by Zelinka Priamo Ltd.)

“I would say this is a good place for high density,” said Coun. Corrine Rahman, who represents the northwest London ward in which the development would be located. “When I look at the access to transit, when I look at the fact that there is shopping and amenities nearby, this seems to make sense for where we have high density.”

She points to an existing transit station at Masonville Place as a way the north is better positioned to accommodate new homes compared to the west, but said investment should still be made in the north and west to prevent an imbalance.

A representative of Westdell could not be reached for comment Monday.

Westdell president Iyman Meddoui told The Free Press in April the corporation is targeting the city’s transit corridors and villages to build more housing near amenities and promote transit use.

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As for the development itself, Rahman said she is excited to see the complete plan after one tower, including seven affordable units, was approved by council in late 2022. She also was pleased by the consultation done with the neighbours ahead of the project’s discussion at an upcoming meeting of city council’s planning and environment committee.

“A lot of (the concerns have) to do with heights of the building, as well as the neighbourhood around; there’s some concerns about traffic impacts,” Rahman said, adding some residents who live near the site have concerns about shadows that would be cast by the tall buildings.

She said she would like to see more of the above-ground parking in the shared podium moved below ground to reduce the height.

A report on Richmond Hyland Centre’s proposal will be presented to the planning and environment committee on July 16.

jmoulton@postmedia.com
@jackmoulton65

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