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West-end GTA property offers industrial/comm. potential

Creekside Lands, a 22-acre infill development site in Mississauga, is being marketed for a variet...

IMAGE: The Creekside Lands is a 22-acre commercial/industrial property in Mississauga. (Courtesy TD Cornerstone Commercial Realty Inc.)

Creekside Lands is a 22-acre commercial/industrial property in Mississauga. (Courtesy TD Cornerstone Commercial Realty Inc.)

Creekside Lands, a 22-acre infill development site in Mississauga, is being marketed for a variety of uses by TD Cornerstone Commercial Realty Inc.

The site comprises three contiguous parcels, of which 19.4 acres are employment zone lands that support office, industrial warehouse and distribution facilities, science and technology facilities, medical product manufacturing facilities, and other commercial uses.

The balance of the property is a wood lot designated as a G2 Greenland Zone that’s excluded from the proposed developable area.

There’s a connection between the broker and the vendor, Truscan Property Corporation, TD Securities managing director of investment banking Ashley Martis told RENX.

“Truscan was the development arm of the bank way back 20-plus years ago and this whole parcel was acquired at the time to build corporate offices for the bank, which were built and sold on a sale-leaseback basis,” he said. “These are out-parcels that are there and needed some sort of monetization.”

Two buildings could be supported on-site

Hopewell Development was enlisted by the vendor to provide a due diligence and development feasibility investigation for the site.

It was concluded it could support approximately 277,000 square feet of gross floor area across two light industrial buildings that maximize coverage, while respecting the site’s configuration and required setbacks, assuming a conservative 16.4 acres of net developable land.

Creekside Lands is located along Tahoe Boulevard south of Eglinton Avenue in the southwest quadrant of Mississauga’s Airport Corporate Centre district. They’re also in the greater “Airport Mega Zone,” which forms the second-largest employment concentration in Canada after Toronto’s downtown core, with more than 300,000 workers.

Restaurants, hotel and conference facilities, and entertainment options are all within a short drive. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority estimates the area could ultimately provide 700,000 jobs and generate 8.5 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product.

The site offers easy access to: 400 series highways; Mississauga’s bus rapid transit service, which connects to Toronto Transit Commission, GO Transit and Union Pearson Express routes; two CN intermodal facilities; and Toronto Pearson Airport.

Life sciences complex opportunity

While most of Mississauga’s life sciences activity is concentrated in what’s called “Pill Hill” in the Meadowvale neighbourhood, Martis said Creekside Lands offers a prime location for companies in the field due to accessibility and because they’re already zoned for that usage.

The City of Mississauga‘s Economic Development Office developed a five-year life sciences cluster strategy focused on establishing a world-class hub in Mississauga in 2017. It’s the only Canadian municipality to have such a strategy.

Mississauga has become the second-largest life sciences destination in Canada, in part due to its dedicated business network, partnerships with educational institutions and access to funding.

Given the city’s established ecosystem and the site’s size and connectivity, Martis believes it presents a compelling opportunity to create a premier life sciences complex.

Need for more warehousing and distribution space

Not only has COVID-19 boosted interest in life sciences facilities, the pandemic’s accompanying stay-at-home measures also accelerated e-commerce sales and adoption in Canada and forced retailers and logistics companies to develop more complex distribution networks.

Online retail spending has risen significantly over the past two years and is expected to maintain that momentum, which is expected to push new warehouse requirements from e-commerce-related demand past 42 million square feet in Canada through 2025.

The industrial availability rate in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is just 0.7 per cent and developable industrial land is scarce, so anything that becomes available is highly sought-after.

Although the GTA accounts for nearly 50 per cent of Canada’s industrial inventory, opportunities exist for facilities to be upgraded or developed to meet requirements. With more than 50 per cent of industrial inventory being under 100,000 square feet and having clear heights under 24 feet, the in-place zoning at Creekside Lands could help ease those needs.

Industrial lease rates are hitting all-time highs in the GTA. They’re even higher in its western portion, where Creekside Lands is located, with average rates exceeding $14 per square foot and rising.

Heavy interest in site

While Truscan is seeking to maximize the sale price, it would like to complete the sale of the site expeditiously.

“It’s well-located, shovel-ready and bite-sized,” said Martis. “The other differentiator is that the bank is the vendor. We’re not out there testing the market. We’re willing to sell it at the market rate.”

QuadReal purchased 60 acres of industrial land at 1700 Derry Rd., just north of the airport, for $115 million in an off-market deal with a private family last November. About 35 acres of the site, which also fronts on Dixie Road, is considered developable.

Marketing for Creekside Lands began more than two weeks ago. While no bid date deadline has yet been set, Martis said it’s expected to be in late May or early June.

Most interest in Creekside Lands to this point has come from developers, but Martis said some end users have also inquired about the site.

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