The land has been barren for years, nothing but a stretch of yellowing grass and home to Canada geese, until a sign was propped up one day saying: “The ONE Centre, for sale, commercial condo opportunities.”
Today, the land is no longer vacant but occupied by a metal skeleton that begins to take form, snaking its way across the open air.
The Eglinton and Lebovic area is already a thriving commercial district, with a plethora of restaurants, clothing stores and even a movie theatre all within walking distance. Now, slated for early 2013, there is going to be even more commercial retail and densification.
ONE retail centre is not only going to be an outlet mall, but there is also to be office and condo space built as well.
The land was purchased over five years ago, but only within recent months has any action been seen. A retail representative from Remax’s Power of 7 Team said that “sales are going well and we are almost 80 per cent sold”, even though they have only been involved with the project for a few months.
Despite the impending competition for businesses, some are excited about the new addition.
Danielle Boucher has been a Cineplex Odeon employee at the Eglinton Town Centre branch for almost a decade. Having worked at the theatre for almost its entire lifespan, she has seen the surrounding area grow up.
“There was no Mr. Greek or Dollarama [when I started]; only the main ones were here. I think Canadian Tire, Old Navy and Tim Hortons was here, but a lot of the restaurants and smaller stores are fairly new,” Boucher said.
Although excited about the new development, she does believe that the office and condo space is unnecessary.
Despite being a heavily commercialized area, Eglinton and Warden has had a recent string of restaurants that pop up only to close a short while later. Within the past couple of months both Tucker’s Market Place and Ribs Bar and Grill were closed to be replaced with Smith Brothers Steakhouse Tavern and Tatami Sushi respectively.
But not everyone is happy about the new project. Blogger Toto on UrbanToronto.com called the development “an inefficient use of space.”
Occupancy is expected as early as March 2013, after that shoppers will see if ONE is here to stay.