The Rogers family is more known for putting up cell phone towers than condominiums, but the name behind the Canadian telecom behemoth is vying to make its mark on the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market.
Rogers Real Estate Development Limited,
the publicly traded company’s real estate arm a private holding company the Rogers family owns, is planning to build a 10-tower residential community in Mississauga — and it recently took another step towards this goal, BuzzBuzzNews has learned.
On August 9th, the City approved Rogers Real Estate’s site-plan application to build a temporary sales centre on a
16-acre 15-acre parcel of downtown Mississauga greenfield, the planner overseeing the file tells BuzzBuzzNews.
Jonathan Famme, a City of Mississauga planner, says the approval process was “expedited” — Rogers only filed the document in June — because the structure is proposed for the short-term. “It’s only going to be there for a few years,” he explains.
“We don’t have a site plan proper yet submitted,” Famme states in a followup email. But he notes the City already “approved in principle” a master concept plan for the site in April 2015. Rogers Real Estate had submitted it three years prior.
The early site map Rogers Real Estate provided to the City outlines plans for what it called GardenCity Mississauga, a 10-tower development on a downtown Mississauga site bounded by Burnhamthorpe Road to the north, Confederation Parkway to the east, Webb Drive to the south, and Pinnacle International’s Grand Park development on the west.
The site in Mississauga, a large suburban city just west of Toronto, is the last remaining parcel of undeveloped land of its size in the area.
Proposed towers range in height from 21 to 30 storeys up to 51 to 60 storeys. Podiums would be three to six storeys high. “The broad range of tower heights at GardenCity will contribute to the visually distinctive and rapidly evolving Mississauga skyline,” text accompanying the map reads. “Towers should be oriented to take advantage of views of City Centre, Lake Ontario, and major open spaces.”
Famme expects the multi-block development’s first phase to be a 51-to-60-storey tower on the southwest corner of Burnhamthorpe Road West and Confederation Parkway.
Rogers approached Toronto developer Urban Capital in 2011 to help with the development process, according to an article in the December 2012 issue of Urban Capital’s company magazine.
The parcel of land on which Rogers has plans to build a 10-tower condo community. Photo: Google
The article, titled “Birth of a (Garden) City,” says the project “is slated to become a 4,500-unit multi-block, mixed-use development.” Some 12,000 people could end up calling the future community home, Urban Capital projected at the time.
Urban design firm Cooper Robertson and architect Rudy Wallman, principal of Wallman Architects, acted as consultants.
“We wanted to create one or two very important signature towers on Burnhamthorpe,” Donald Clinton, partner at Cooper Robertson, is quoted as saying in the article.
“If you are downtown and you look west and east, we’d like Garden City’s towers to be as important on the skyline in the west as the Absolute World towers are in the east,” he added, referring to the iconic towers by Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group sometimes called the Marilyn Monroe towers.
BuzzBuzzNews contacted Rogers and Urban Capital for comment, but did not hear back as of publication.
Rogers Real Estate filed a trademark application for “M City,” tech blog MobileSyrup reported in July, a month after the sales centre application was handed in. The trademark filing included a logo and is related to real estate services, according to MobileSyrup.
Currently, Rogers Real Estate is having preliminary meetings with City staff, but details from these discussions are confidential, Famme says.
Rogers Real Estate will have to submit a site plan application to the City, as well as an application to remove the “H” holding symbol on the land — a type of rezoning application — to proceed with the project and apply for building permits.
“The lands are already zoned to permit the type of urban mixed-use development that is proposed,” says Famme, the planner, in another email. But the holding symbol doesn’t allow development, and it can only be lifted once an agreement is reached with the City to work out servicing requirements, such as sewage and road infrastructure.
The City’s review process for a site plan approval “generally” takes a year, says Famme, so it will be some time before shovels can break ground.