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Oakville Real Estate News: Big Plans for Bronte Village Mall?

May 2, 2009

  There’s a new, proposed re-development plan in the works for Bronte Village Mall in Oakville’s west end.  A fixture in the Bronte community for many years it’s become more and more clear that the Bronte Village neighbourhood of Oakville needs revitilization.

  The community’s positive feedback is encouraging for the future of Real Estate in Bronte and Oakville. The proposal will need approval from the Town of Oakville still and hopefully it will get it.  This will be a step in the right direction for the revitilization of Oakville’s west end.

  The full article from the Oakville Beaver follows below:

“It’s not every day that a proposal for a 21-storey structure near a residential area is met with positive feedback, but that’s what happened during a Thursday night open house concerning the revitalization of the Bronte Village Mall.

More than 200 people, packed into a room at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bronte, gave Bronte BIA Chair Murray McDonald a round of applause after he concluded a presentation about how he would like to see the mall change over the next eight to 10 years.

“Over a period of time, the community has deteriorated, if you look around you can see there’s a

 number of empty lots, empty stores,” said McDonald in reference to the

 mall. “The community really isn’t set in a way that’s friendly to walking. There’s a lot of dead space in between the shops that are there trying to make a go of it, but really it isn’t a real walkable, enjoyable community.”

“What we’re looking for is a combination of mixed use redevelopment, residential and commercial within the Bronte core. What we want is within a five minute radius you can access all the activities, retail, professional space as well as residence, reduce the reliance on cars and increase walkways.”

The proposal for the mall, which will probably go before Town council for approval in about 18  months, was put together by a focus group consisting of five Bronte residents and one Bronte business owner.

Wylie Freeman, who formed the focus group, spoke about how they came up with the current design.

“We worked together over four months and we met every two weeks and we had an urban designer work with us to help give form to the ideas that were coming from the people in the group,” said Freeman.

“It really was a ‘from the ground up’ planning operation from people who really understood how this community functioned and what its needs were.”

While the square footage and height of the structure will largely be dependent on what Town Council allows, the group is currently shooting for a 700,000-square-foot complex with height components ranging from two storeys to 21 storeys. “Our group was particularly concerned that the buildings keep a low profile along Lakeshore, so the height in that whole front section will be between two, three and four storeys,” said Freeman.

“The higher buildings, the condominium buildings (8-20 storeys in height) will be behind those. Then, fronting on Sovereign Street, we’re going to have a row of townhouses, two storeys stepping back to four storeys. Sovereign will become a totally residential street. We’re putting an east/west internal street into our project so we can take all the truck traffic off Sovereign. All the deliveries to the grocery store will be made using that street.”

The project’s 21-storey signature building, proposed for the corner of Bronte and Lakeshore Roads, will feature a boutique hotel with rooftop dining area and observation terrace, available for public viewing of the lake and harbour.

This building will also serve as a beacon showing people from far and wide how Bronte has changed, McDonald noted.

The mall complex will feature a mix of affordable residential housing and condo suites, however, at this point the number of units has yet to be determined.

To accommodate employees, residents and shoppers, the proposal features around 80 surface parking spaces and possibly up to 1,000 underground parking spaces. Some on street parking is also being planned.

Other parts of the plan include generous amounts of public open space, an expanded Sobey’s grocery, a pharmacy, plus cultural and performance space.

As the mall revitalization process is expected to be phased in over a long period of time existing tenants will be moved to unaffected parts of the mall as needed.

The Bronte BIA is currently looking for a developer to take on the challenge of changing the mall revitalization project from mere plans into a reality.

The BIA wants the Town of Oakville will hold a public meeting on the issue at some point in June, but doesn’t expect to begin construction until three years from now, provided council approval is given.

While some people had concerns over the building heights and the potential traffic the development could bring to the area, many at the open house seemed sold on the idea of bringing the proposed design to Bronte.

“We need it,” said Ron Tuske. “I think it looks great.”

Gail Broten also had nothing, but good things to say about the design.

“I absolutely love it. I think we need something like this. Right now it’s an ugly mall. It’s practically empty. I would like to see some business brought here,” she said.”


Source: Oakville

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