Slate Asset Management has tendered applications for two mixed-use, transit-oriented developments at the southeastern and southwestern ends of Mississauga, begging the question: are there more to come?
One of the infill sites is on the northwest boundary of the Dixie Outlet Mall on South Service Road, located in a mostly single-family neighbourhood. The other comprises 2077, 2087, 2097 and 2105 Royal Windsor Dr., sitting at the foot of Clarkson GO Station.
“We identified these sites years ago as high-impact urban infill projects where we could apply our placemaking experience to bring to life more sustainable, people-centred developments," said Brandon Donnelly, managing director, development at Slate, in the announcement.
"Our objective is to unlock the inherent potential of these two sites in a way that will benefit the city and surrounding areas for years to come, adding much-needed homes, exciting retail and commercial uses, enhanced walkability and new amenities and green spaces throughout.
“There is an overwhelming need for a diversity of housing options to meet the ever-expanding housing demands that North American cities are facing.
"Our goal is to work collaboratively with the city and local stakeholders to bring a comprehensive vision to life that includes new mixed-income housing.”
The Dixie redevelopment
Slate declined to make any further comment for this article when contacted by RENX, but the two developments would result in over 2,400 new housing units if both are approved as proposed.
Planning for the projects goes back as far as 2016 and there have been numerous stakeholder meetings in the communities. Slate submitted development applications for both sites in December.
The Dixie site (as Slate refers to the South Service Road property) application is for three mixed-use buildings that would add over 1,200 residential units and seeks to rezone 7.1 acres of the 35.5-acre site to create “a 21st-century mixed-use urban garden community,” according to a news release.
It would also include retail and recreational components.
Not only is the site parallel to the Queen Elizabeth Expressway, there’s also a transit terminal nearby.
“The one on South Service Road is basically an old plaza that’s not at all busy,” said Isaac Quan, managing broker at Living Realty Downtown. “It’s ripe for redevelopment because right now it’s a waste of space. Dixie Outlet Mall is an under-utilized location."
The Clarkson property and Mississauga developments
According to its application for the Clarkson site, Slate would add more than 1,200 residential units, as well as grade-level retail and live-work opportunities, including patios and public spaces, creating an urban pedestrian community.
Although there have been some big development projects announced in Port Credit in recent years, the opposite is true for the rest of south Mississauga.
In fact, most new development occurs around Square One and the Highway 10 corridor – where the Hurontario LRT line is being constructed to link the Port Credit GO station in the south with Brampton to the north.
“Now, I think other developers will follow Slate because it’s gotten to the point where the City of Toronto is too expensive to develop,” Quan said. “Development charges have gone up 50 per cent this year and quite a few other things make it too expensive.
"The biggest factor is land costs are so high right now in Toronto that it doesn’t make sense for developers to build.
"They will look at outskirts like Peel, York and Durham Regions, and Mississauga is ripe for a lot more development because there’s more transportation right into Toronto, whether GO Trains and Buses or highways.”
Good development will attract more projects
Cynthia Del Peschio, manager of sales and marketing at Dunpar Homes, described to RENX a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. She said the Dixie and Clarkson neighbourhoods have been barren of new development because other developers haven’t yet built there.
Although she wouldn’t divulge plans, Del Peschio said Dunpar also has development plans in south Mississauga.
Citing two of Dunpar’s developments in Mississauga’s Streetsville neighbourhood, Heritage Gate and the sold-out Streetsville Centre, Del Peschio said other developers took notice and followed suit.
“If you’re a reputable developer, where you go people will follow,” she said. “That sense of leadership is important as a developer.”
Del Peschio anticipates continued growth in Port Credit, but nestled between there and Clarkson is Lorne Park, where she also predicts new construction will occur.
Citing the sizeable service and retail job sectors along Lakeshore Road, Del Peschio predicts a medley of housing for people in diverse life stages.
“You’ll have all kinds of housing, not just detached, townhouses, condos, semis, mid-rises, and high-rises,” she said.
“You’ll see a nice array of housing to support different kinds of families, whether they’re single or couples starting off, or empty-nesters. It will be great for every stage of life.”
People priced out of downtown Toronto won’t be far away, thanks to the GO Train line which runs two trains an hour, Del Peschio said.
“There are a lot of restaurants and retail shops going up and that will create more jobs, especially for students who go to University of Toronto, to stay within the vicinity and not have to pay those crazy downtown rents,” she said.