Interest pouring in over former South St hospital site
Just weeks after releasing a request for proposals to redevelop the former South Street hospital site, interest has been pouring in from across the country and here in London.
"We've had a few dozen inquiries, we've had lots of interest from coast to coast, most of the interest is local as we expected," says Kevin MacDougall of CBRE Real Estate.
On Thursday, a group of developers toured the site with city staff.
The 5.1 hectare property is one of the most desirable in southwestern Ontario.
It's large, backing onto the river and already serviced with utilities.
Neighbours believe that the right development of highrises, townhouses, shops and a riverfront promenade could transform the So-Ho neighbourhood.
The city of London believes the site has so much potential that it went to the somewhat unusual step of advertising it internationally in hopes of generating the greatest amount of interest and most creative ideas.
"The developers are touring the buildings with historical significance. We hope we can re-purpose them to add something extra to the development," adds MacDougall.
Developers offering to preserve heritage buildings, incorporate high quality design elements and construct public spaces will be rewarded by city hall with higher density zoning.
The incentive being that larger buildings that include a limited number of additional units means more more profit.
"Best quality proposals get rewarded for it through having more units available in their developments and taller buildings in their development," says Jim Yanchula with the Planning Department.
Developers interested in the site have until December 18th to submit an expression of interest.
The city will then create a shortlist who will provide more detailed designs.
Construction could begin on the site as early as 2016 or 2017.