Prime Middlesex County real estate at Forks of the Thames sold to developer
LONDON, ONT. -- Two Middlesex County properties in the heart of London have been conditionally sold to York Developments.
The building at 50 King Street currently houses the Middlesex-London Health Unit, while the historic Middlesex Courthouse and Jail is at 399 Ridout Street North.
The highly desirable land sits at the Forks of the Thames River across from Budweiser Gardens.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Middlesex County Warden Kurtis Smith is calling it a win.
"County council is ecstatic to find the perfect development and construction partners - that will not only preserve what our forefathers built - but will exponentially enhance the historic site."
Middlesex County Chief Administrative Officer Bill Rayburn is also positive about the deal with York.
"Their past interest in dealing with public sector partners and enhancing historical sites - and Ali's work in the public sector and the work he's done in investing in the public sector facility is outstanding in the community - and so - all of that is a combined factor that led to the decision to select Ali."
Ali Soufan, president of York Developments, says they are working on a concept that will be phased in over five years.
"You will see mixed-used developments - consisting of high density, highrise condominiums, commercial, retail, office and hopefully a public aspect to the development as well."
City of London Mayor Ed Holder confirms the city also made a competitive offer for the prominent location, while being mindful it was taxpayer dollars, but it wasn't enough.
Still he's hopeful, "The history we've had with York Developments has been terrific - you see what we've done with Bostwick - they provided the land to our city and we provided the library and the arena."
As to heritage concerns for 399 Ridout, which was built in 1830, Rayburn says, "It is protected by all kinds of heritage municipal bylaws, and it's an Ontario Heritage Site."
Middlesex County administration will remain in the building at 399 Ridout for the next four years as they complete the transition into their new building while the health unit is expected to relocated to Citi Plaza in April 2020.
- With files from CTV London's Reta Ismail