Dreams can be built at under-construction retail plaza, says developer

The medical retail plaza being built at 1145 Morningside Avenue has an innovative selling point for prospective business owners – rather than just leasing, they can buy their units outright.

“We give the opportunity for the business owners to become landlords themselves,” said Hannif Highclass.

Highclass is one of the group of developers behind the construction of Chand Morningside Plaza. He said that using this business model gives hope to those people who have either lost their jobs or fear for their job security.

Site superintendent Rick Sheppard can relate to these situations. He hasn’t always worked in construction.

“My full-time job was in the manufacturing sector of the automotive market,” Sheppard said. “The money was good, the benefits were good.”

But when the factory closed, he decided to follow his true love, construction.

“In the economic times we’re in now, people that have lost their jobs are forced to find other ways to make an income, and if you can invest into something it’s going to always be yours.”

The plaza is also a good business investment, Highclass and Sheppard said, because of several medical-related businesses planned. In addition to a pizza place, restaurants, and salons, the plaza will include pharmacies, dentists and other businesses not found in the surrounding area.

The multiculturalism of the area will also be represented in the businesses set to occupy the plaza. It is expected to be completed by August, after which tenants can be granted occupancy.

photo gallery
Developer Hannif Highclass and site superintendent Rick Sheppard stand in front of a crane at the site of Chand Morningside Plaza. The retail plaza is to be completed by August. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer)
Developer Hannif Highclass and site superintendent Rick Sheppard stand in front of a crane at the site of Chand Morningside Plaza. The retail plaza is to be completed by August. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer) (medical_plaza1_090409)
Construction worker Sam Yakub stands beside an artist's rendition of the finished plaza. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer)
Construction worker Sam Yakub stands beside an artist's rendition of the finished plaza. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer) (medical_plaza2_090409)
Site supervisor Rick Sheppard takes a break inside the office at the construction site of the plaza. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer)
Site supervisor Rick Sheppard takes a break inside the office at the construction site of the plaza. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer) (medical_plaza3_0904091)
Hannif Highclass looks at the motivational plaque he gave to the business owners that will be moving into the plaza when it is completed. The text at the bottom says in part that hard work and belief in yourself leads to success. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer)
Hannif Highclass looks at the motivational plaque he gave to the business owners that will be moving into the plaza when it is completed. The text at the bottom says in part that hard work and belief in yourself leads to success. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer) (medical_plaza4_090409)
Site superintendent Rick Sheppard looks over the construction site at 1145 Mornigside Avenue, where Chand Morningside Plaza is slated for completion by August 2009. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer)
Site superintendent Rick Sheppard looks over the construction site at 1145 Mornigside Avenue, where Chand Morningside Plaza is slated for completion by August 2009. (Gesilayefa Azorbo/Toronto Observer) (medical_plaza5_090409)