A new chapter in the transformation of Downtown Ajax begins with Grand Harwood Place unveiling

Posted on Friday July 05, 2013
Today, Ajax Council and Windcorp Grand Harwood Place Ltd. unveiled a new $118.7 million urban inspired development, called Grand Harwood Place.
 
Along with Medallion’s Vision at Pat Bayly Square, this transformative development is another important step in achieving the Town’s vision of creating a thriving, prosperous and livable downtown core.
 
The new development will introduce a distinct urban presence along Harwood Avenue at the Ajax Plaza. The proposed development will feature a mix of uses, including high quality residential, office, retail, and public transit, cycling and pedestrian amenities.
 
In addition to meeting the vision for the new Downtown, the development will bring significant financial benefits and spin-offs to the Town during and after construction.
 
The agreement is subject to conditions that will need to be met, including site plan approval and residential sales. As the proposed development advances, Ajax Council is committed to an open and transparent process, timely communication of development phases and ongoing public consultation.
 
The Town and Windcorp are committed to working with customers and businesses of the Ajax Plaza to ensure a seamless transition and minimize impacts as the development advances.
 
QUOTES
“The revitalization of the Ajax Plaza has long been a priority of numerous Ajax Councils. The plaza was once the commercial heart of Ajax and was a symbol of prosperity when the Town was founded. Grand Harwood Place will act as a catalyst for change, restoring economic growth and establishing a welcoming and vibrant environment once again in the centre of Downtown Ajax. We look forward to working with the community and our partners to make this development a reality.”
- Mayor Steve Parish
 
“I’ve been captivated by this site for nearly a decade. The dynamic and  mixed-use development of Grand Harwood Place with its residential, retail and office components, including the first new-build condominiums here in two decades, is exactly the right fit for this neighbourhood and will be appreciated by all residents of Ajax. Its strategic position at the heart of the Ajax Community Improvement Program lends our development task special significance and we look forward to exceeding expectations. Landmark architecture, superior quality and our devotion to helping make the new Downtown Ajax an aspirational standard for every other community in the GTA will be the Windcorp legacy.”
-  Laura Starr, Windcorp Developments Limited
 
“As one of the first businesses established at the Ajax Plaza in the early 50’s, we are committed to Downtown Ajax. This proposed development is an essential project in revitalizing the commercial and retail sector in the downtown core. Redevelopment of the area is crucial for local businesses to remain competitive and meet the diverse needs of Ajax’s growing population.” 
- Jeffrey Wilson, Owner, Reed’s Florists
 
QUICK FACTS
- The proposed development will feature two, 10 storey building comprising 8 storeys of condominium apartment buildings with 268 units, 30,000 square feet of ground level retail space, a minimum 25,000 square feet of office space, private underground and decked parking and a number of sustainable building elements.
- The development will create over 200 jobs and population is expected to be 800 persons.
- Total construction costs for the project are estimated at $118.7 million, generating approximately $60.7 million in labour income and 1,100 person years of employment.
- Once complete, the Town is expected to net approximately $1.7 million in property tax revenue in the first 10 years. After this period, Ajax is expected to net $660,000 per year.
- In total, the Region, Town and school boards could expect to collect $35 million in property tax revenue from the development in the first 20 years. In comparison the revenue over this same period without the proposed development would only be $4.5 million.
- If all conditions are met, construction could commence in a 1-2 year timeframe.
- The Ajax Plaza was originally built to serve a community of up to 25,000 people.  However, with increasing competition from other retail centres, the closure of the Harwood/401 interchange, and a growing population of 110,000, the plaza no longer functions as the Town’s primary commercial focus. As a result, the condition of the site has deteriorated considerably and redevelopment is necessary.
 
LEARN MORE 
- Residents and businesses can log onto www.thenewdowntownajax.com to learn more about the Downtown Ajax vision and projects, review business support tools and economic benefits, and subscribe to the mailing list for the latest news and updates.
- For project timelines, renderings and building details, condo sales information and commercial/office space leasing, visit www.GrandHarwoodPlace.com
 
-30-
 
Media Contact:
Rachael Wraith
Senior Communications Officer 
905-619-2529, ext. 3325
rachael.wraith@ajax.ca