Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Globizen plans 3-tower development in Ontario's famed wine region

Company teams up with local firm Court Holdings, plans 3 towers in Niagara district town of Vineland

Rendering of the three-tower project proposed by Globizen and Court Holdings in the community of Vineland, in Ontario's wine region. (Courtesy Globizen)
Rendering of the three-tower project proposed by Globizen and Court Holdings in the community of Vineland, in Ontario's wine region. (Courtesy Globizen)

Brandon Donnelly founded Globizen in 2015 but also held development executive roles with Slate Asset Management until transitioning to focus exclusively on his own development and real estate endeavours this year. 

The two companies partnered on Globizen’s first three major projects, but Globizen has found a new partner for a major new development it proposes in Vineland Station, Ont., that has the working name Project Bench.

Court Holdings Real Estate Group Limited, a local third-generation family business, was the owner of a nearly five-acre plot of waterfront land at 4933 Victoria Ave. N. in The Bench wine region, which ranges approximately from east of Stoney Creek to St. Catharines.

Globizen became involved with the site on a 50-50 basis for undisclosed terms last fall. 

“It’s very much a partnership where we're working very closely together, but we're leading the development management of the project,” Donnelly said.

An industrial building on the site was demolished last year, so the land is now available for development to proceed.

Plans for Project Bench

Toronto-based Globizen and Court Holdings filed a rezoning application in March to the Town of Lincoln to build a 15-storey, 120-room hotel and two condominiums of 14 and 15 storeys. The two condo towers will offer 375 one- to three-bedroom units.

The plan is to construct the three buildings across two phases, with the first taking place on the north side closer to Lake Ontario. This would include the hotel and one of the condos.

Donnelly said there’s a chance the second condo on the south side of the site could also be built at the same time if market conditions improve and sales are strong.

Preliminary plans also call for a public plaza, a lakefront walking trail, a lakefront restaurant and ground-floor retail. While design details are still being finalized, Donnelly said other amenities will include a swimming pool and a gym. 

Toronto-based architecture and urban design firm gh3* and Hamilton-based urban planning, design and project management firm Landwise are also part of the project team.

Globizen reduced the height of the proposed tallest building from 17 to 15 storeys following a pre-application public meeting last November. Another public consultation is expected to take place in July.

Depending on approvals and market conditions, Donnelly is hopeful condo sales can launch in the summer of 2025. He would like to see the first phase completed by 2028 or 2029.

Hotel will boost the local economy

Donnelly said The Bench is Canada’s largest wine-producing region but it doesn’t have a lot of accommodations, which has been holding it back from tourism and economic development standpoints.

He thinks the hotel component of his project will offer a major boost to the local economy.

“One of the things that you're probably going to start to see before we launch condo sales is some campaigns around the region,” Donnelly said.

“We want to celebrate what's going on in The Bench, and that includes profiling winemakers, local entrepreneurs, business owners, artists and interesting things that are happening in that area, because there's a lot that's happening that's not being communicated broadly.

"We've been working very closely with the local tourism agency.”

A hotel operating partner hasn’t yet been secured, but discussions have taken place with several firms.

Globizen’s developments with Slate

Globizen’s original development focus was on urban infill multiresidential condo or purpose-built rental projects in the Greater Toronto Area.

Globizen partnered with Toronto-based Slate on Junction House, a nine-storey, 144-unit condo at 2720 Dundas St. W. in Toronto that was completed last summer.

Globizen and Slate also partnered on One Delisle in midtown Toronto and Corktown in downtown Hamilton.

Sales began for One Delisle — a 47-storey, 371-unit condo located a block north of the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue — in 2021.

Four levels of underground parking have been completed and the building is starting to come out of the ground now. An early 2027 completion is being targeted.

Corktown is a two-phased, mixed-use condo project with 27- and 14-storey buildings. It will offer more than 700 units and will occupy a full city block on the site of a former retail strip plaza at 221 John St. S. Sales for the tower launched a year ago and are continuing. 

“It's more of a slow and steady approach right now versus a couple of years ago when things were pretty frenetic,” Donnelly said. “It's a really interesting project and Hamilton is a market we're really excited about.”

Construction at Corktown, which will also have retail space at grade, has begun and is slated for completion in 2027.

Globizen’s future prospects

Donnelly believes Globizen and Slate will continue to partner on developments even though he no longer works for the larger company. 

“The intent is to maintain our relationship and continue to look at opportunities, and I'm sure there will be other opportunities in the future,” he said.

Globizen is an abbreviated form of Global Citizen, which Donnelly said is very applicable to the company’s philosophy and development approach.

“We want to think globally in terms of the work that we do. We want to be committed to quality design, architecture, city-building, place-making and culture.

“These are the types of things that we want to infuse in our projects. And at the end of the day, we're trying to have a positive impact on the places where we build.” 

Globizen raises capital for each individual project from a mix of high-net-worth and institutional investors. Donnelly said the company is actively but selectively looking for new projects in which to become involved.

“It’s a very tough market right now,” Donnelly observed. “But we love Toronto, we love the Golden Horseshoe and we still believe long-term in this region.”

Industry Events