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In Conversation With Brian Sutherland, Director of Development, Argo Development Corp.

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In Conversation With Brian Sutherland, Director of Development, Argo Development Corp.

There’s something big happening in Mississauga, specifically in the Lakeview area of Port Credit.

Perhaps you’re familiar with Lakeview, the former location of the Lakeview Generation Station, demolished in 2007. Or maybe you’ve been following the development plans for this prized, expansive lakefront location.

More likely, if you’ve driven by the area recently, is that you’ve noticed some new activity on the site – notably a striking, 1,600-ft. hoarding featuring the works of local artists. It’s an immediately noticeable sign that things are on the move for this development, and that soon, Lakeview Village, eventually comprising 8,000 new homes and 20,000 residents, will come to life.

Brian Sutherland, director of development for Argo Development Corp., the lead developer for Lakeview Village, discusses the plans for the transformation of Mississauga’s waterfront into Canada’s most innovative and sustainable mixed-use community.

And we have to say, impressive doesn’t do it justice.

The recent unveiling of the art installation is a significant step for Lakeview Village – a symbol of what’s to come and a signal to area residents that things are on the move. Why was it so important to make such a noticeable statement, and involving local artists?

Creating a hub for arts and culture is deeply embedded in the vision of Lakeview Village. Through this artist collaboration, we created in partnership with Artscape Atelier, and launched a platform for artists during the construction process while laying the groundwork for the future community. Our team is very passionate about the concept of placemaking, and these bold, beautiful artistic works make the site a vibrant and enjoyable place for locals and visitors. And although our original plan did not anticipate a global pandemic, we felt even more dedicated to this project and the employment opportunities it presented for artists to earn income during this particularly difficult period.

The murals also significantly enhance our sunflower program: One million sunflowers have been planted next to the art installations and are set to bloom alongside the works in late August. This is the second year in a row for the sunflower program, and we’re excited to welcome people back to experience their impressive beauty.

What will be the next noticeable sign of activity? Your project timeline shows the Discover Centre opening in late 2020…

The Lakeview Village Discovery Centre will a be a modern, welcoming space where we will showcase the vision for the project and its exciting regional impact, as well as the work of our neighbours and partners, including the adjacent Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area. We also envision the Centre being a safe gathering place for the community that we can offer for activities and events throughout the construction phase. This exciting space will also serve as our future sales centre.

Implications of the pandemic have delayed our original plans to open the Discovery Centre by the end of this year. We’re now aiming to open its doors in the spring of next year.

The timeline also shows breaking ground in Q1 2021 for phase one… Is that still on track, and what will be included in phase one?

We still anticipate earthworks occurring in 2021. Our goal for the first phase is to start with excavations, followed by beginning to install key servicing infrastructure. These foundations will be key components to bringing the community to life.

What are the timelines for the other phases?

The project will be developed in multiple phases and our focus right now is on Phase 1. By 2025, we anticipate first occupancies occurring in our first phase blocks, which will be in sync with the completion and opening of the project’s many parks and the adjacent Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area. We are currently evaluating and advancing plans and timelines for future phases. We hope that businesses are drawn to Lakeview in the near future and we (in partnership with the City of Mississauga Economic Development Office) can start construction within the Lakeview Innovation District and establish this district in the early phase of development as well.

What is the breakdown of housing types, highrise versus mid- and lowrise, and the approximate timelines?

The 177-acre project will combine diverse high-quality housing options for all lifestyles and life stages. The council-endorsed master plan allocates approximately 60 per cent of residential builds to be midrise, 10 per cent townhouses and 30 per cent highrise, creating around 8,000 residential units.

As a true mixed-use community, residential areas will be integrated alongside retail, commercial and recreational areas. This will include almost two million sq. ft. of office and institutional space, plus thousands of sq. ft. in retail, hotel and educational spaces.

As for the timeline, we’re working with the City of Mississauga through our development approval process right now with hopes of securing planning approvals by the end of 2020, allowing us to begin detailed engineering design, earthworks and servicing in 2021. This will be a multiphased project with a buildout over 10 years or more.

When can prospective buyers expect to be able to actually purchase at Lakeview Village?

We are hopeful that the first phase of unit sales will go forward in fall 2021.

Lakeview Village’s homebuilding partners include Branthaven Homes and Greenpark Group. What other builders might be involved?

Lakeview Village’s development is led by Lakeview Community Partners Limited (LCPL), which is an unprecedented collaboration between five community builders, including TACC Construction Ltd, Greenpark Group, CCI Development Group, Branthaven Homes and Argo Development Corp. Each developer plays an important role in the project. I find it incredibly rewarding to work with true innovators and leaders in the industry on something as unique and exciting as Lakeview Village. We are seeking to create Canada’s most transformative mixed-use waterfront community, bringing new life to Mississauga and connecting residents to this portion of Lake Ontario for the first time in decades.

The list of amenities for this new community looks very impressive. What are the top highlights, in your view?

What we’re creating at Lakeview Village will rival the world’s most acclaimed waterfront developments. One thing that really jumps out at people when they visit the site or look at the plan is the pier. We have one of the longest piers on Lake Ontario in our development. It was created to bring coal to the power plant, but we’re going to reimagine it as a place for the community to gather and to draw tourism and events. It will be fully open to the public, and it’s something no other community can match.

We’re planning on delivering more than 67 acres of land back to the city through the waterfront park, the pier, cultural lands and space for employers across sectors. This is in addition to several new parks, more than three kilometres of waterfront trails, and connections to bordering parks in the surrounding regions. After years of being cut off from Lake Ontario, we want residents and visitors to be able to reconnect with the water and create an unparalleled urban waterfront experience.

Our commitment to reviving the natural landscape also includes the collaboration with Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). This includes restoring Serson Creek – an extensive project that will realign and restore the creek back to its original and natural location as part of the conservation area, revitalizing habitat for wildlife and nature in the region. We are also supporting CVC, which is building the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area, a 64-acre coastal conservation area that attract both wildlife and fish species back into the rebuilt habitat. Another exciting and vital component of the project is the Lakeview Innovation District, which will be a new business corridor with a variety of employment, institutional and educational uses. The District presents the opportunity to bring 9,000 jobs and attract innovative companies to the region, creating a true mixed-use community with significant economic impact. The city of Mississauga has so much potential and we strongly believe this hub will attract top talent, new employers and innovation to the city’s already established business sector.

How will Lakeview Village pay homage to the Lakeview Generation Station, the decommissioned coal-fired power plant whose former site the community will be built on? The plant, with its smokestacks known locally as the “Four Sisters,” had been a part of the local history since the early 1960s…

This site has a rich and interesting history – something we very much respect and keep top of mind as we plan for the future of this community. The former power plant delivered electricity to the region, which helped facilitate the considerable growth of Mississauga and the Region of Peel over the past 60 years. But it also produced heavy pollution in the form of smog days and contributed to the disconnect between the community of Lakeview and their access to Lake Ontario. We’ve been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform this former polluting utilitarian site and make it a vibrant, sustainable place to live by the lake.

One of the most exciting outcomes of the plant’s demolition is that we were able to donate more than 200,000 tonnes of concrete from the former foundations of the power plant to the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area being built next to our project. The former foundations of a polluting coal burning powerplant will forever be the foundation to a new coastal conservation area. This creates an incredible start to the revitalization of the waterfront in southeast Mississauga.

What would you like to say to potential buyers, who may be watching all this unfold, perhaps have lived in the area, and are looking to see what buying opportunities there might be coming at Lakeview Village?

To either future buyers, locals or people who have been following Lakeview’s story, I would say get excited and get vocal! Our team is incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated to the vision for Lakeview Village – an urban experience that will transform Mississauga’s waterfront into Canada’s most innovative and sustainable mixed-use community. It will be waterfront revitalization done right, and be a place to live, work, play, learn and enjoy.

We always encourage people who are interested in the project to use their voice, whether that’s to share their visit to the murals on social or connecting with local government representatives to share their thoughts and support for the future of this community.

mylakeviewvillage.com

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