Building Magazine


New mixed-use development intended to jumpstart Ajax’s wilting downtown

Today, Ajax Council and Windcorp Grand Harwood Place Ltd. unveiled Grand Harwood Place,  a new $118.7 million development that, along with Medallion’s Vision at Pat Bayly Square, is an important step in achieving the Town’s vision of creating a thriving, prosperous and livable downtown core.

The proposed development along Harwood Avenue at the Ajax Plaza will feature two, 10-storey buildings comprising eight storeys of condominium apartment buildings with 268 units (the first new-build condominiums here in two decades), 30,000 square feet of ground level retail space, a minimum 25,000 square feet of office space, private underground and decked parking and a number of sustainable building elements.

The Ajax Plaza was originally built to serve a community of up to 25,000 people.  However, with increasing competition from other retail centres, the closure of the Harwood/401 interchange, and a growing population of 110,000, the plaza no longer functions as the Town’s primary commercial focus. As a result, the condition of the site has deteriorated considerably and redevelopment is necessary.

“The revitalization of the Ajax Plaza has long been a priority of numerous Ajax Councils. The plaza was once the commercial heart of Ajax and was a symbol of prosperity when the Town was founded,” said Mayor Steve Parish at the unveiling. “Grand Harwood Place will act as a catalyst for change, restoring economic growth and establishing a welcoming and vibrant environment once again in the centre of Downtown Ajax.”

Total construction costs for the project are estimated at $118.7 million, however the agreement is subject to conditions that will need to be met, including site plan approval and residential sales. If all conditions are met, construction could commence in a 1-2 year timeframe.

Once complete, the Town is expected to net approximately $1.7 million in property tax revenue in the first 10 years. After this period, Ajax is expected to net $660,000 per year. In total, the Region, Town and school boards could expect to collect $35 million in property tax revenue from the development in the first 20 years. In comparison the revenue over this same period without the proposed development would only be $4.5 million.

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