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Markham King Square mall, development land in receivership, for sale

EY oversees process for 5.9 acres of land, over 150 strata retail units in Asian-style shopping centre

The King Square shopping centre in Markham, and the adjacent 5.9-acre parcel of development land. (Courtesy Ernst & Young)
The King Square shopping centre in Markham, and the adjacent 5.9-acre parcel of development land. (Courtesy Ernst & Young)

One of the country’s largest Asian-style shopping centres, the 340,000-square-foot King Square in the Toronto suburb of Markham, along with adjacent development land, are being administered by Ernst and Young under a court-ordered receivership process.

The shopping centre bills itself as “the largest Asian mall in the East Coast of North America.”

EY has been engaged to sell both the development land and the remaining 150-or-so retail condo units in King Square. It’s part of the court-ordered liquidation of the assets of their former owners, King Square Ltd., and Markland Residential Corp. 

King Square is listed in court documents as the owner of the shopping centre, while Markland is listed as the owner of the adjacent development land, where there were plans to construct 299 housing units in a series of townhome blocks and a mixed-use, 25-storey tower.

The property is located at 9390 Woodbine Ave., at the intersection of Markland Road in the town in the northern portion of the Greater Toronto Area.

King Square opened in 2019

The shopping centre, which was completed in 2019 but has never been able to achieve full occupancy, comprises about 340,000 square feet of space and includes two levels of underground parking with capacity for 897 vehicles, office space, food and beverage offerings, a gymnasium and other amenities.

The three-level enclosed mall offers a total of 560 units for retail and other commercial services.

The adjacent property, which is currently used for parking, covers 5.9 acres of land.

A 1.1-acre block is set aside for the mixed-use tower, which was originally proposed to contain 205 housing units plus a hotel. The plan envisions a tower with about 280,000 square feet of gross floor area, according to an EY brochure. 

That property is currently zoned commercial, but official plan and zoning bylaw amendments have been filed.

A collection of 14 townhome buildings on the remaining 4.8 acres would include 94 rear-lane homes. There was also public space set aside between the tower and the townhomes.

That area has approval pending for residential designations under both the official plan and zoning bylaws.

The plans call for 212 ground-level parking spots for the townhomes and 344 parking spots, mainly underground, for the tower.

A spokesman for EY said the firm is not able to comment on the proceedings. 

Application to sever development blocks

While there is no timeline for sales of the properties, bids are being accepted for the strata units as well as the development blocks.

Currently, the two development blocks are considered one property, but EY has moved forward with a previous plan to sever the two blocks, adding flexibility to the liquidation process. The previous plan involved the potential sale of the high-rise block to Stateview Homes (which has also fallen into insolvency proceedings). That deal was contingent on severing the two properties, which did not happen.

The King Square and Markdale properties were placed into receivership on Dec. 13 after an application from lender MarshallZehr Group, which was owed $52 million in principal, interests and charges, according to court documents. It had provided funding for the project along with Firm Capital, which as the primary lender has recovered its $50-million investment through the sale of strata units under a power of sale arrangement, the court documents state.

MarshallZehr has not been paid back, and several other unpaid lenders are also listed in the court documents for both the mall and development properties.

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