Kevric's Liberty Village Ambitions
Last month we reported on rumoured Canadian Tire interest in being part of a redeveloped John Brunswick Building, the heritage structure in the heart of Liberty Village, developing a new, smaller urban retail model for the big box retail company. Sources now tell us the real estate people at Canadian Tire have had challenges getting upper management to sign off. But it’s still full steam ahead in terms of development of the century-old structure. The building’s owner, Kevric, has now submitted a proposal to city planning that calls for extensive renovations to the building, allowing for retail and a restaurant.
The main entrance to the building would move to Hanna Avenue, and plans call for a repositioning of the main floor of the building to street level. (A new address and you don't even have to move.) Kevric also wants to build an eight-storey office tower on the Atlantic Avenue side of the site, subject to getting city approvals. A smaller two-storey structure would go in the small parking lot that sits at the corner of Hanna and East Liberty. Avison Young’s Jonathan Pearce says they have a deal done with a restaurant group for 11k SF of space, and they are in “active negotiations” with several other national retailers for space in the Brunswick Building. Any leasing deal is conditional on the project getting city approvals.
The building is currently zoned for industrial, so retail isn’t permitted, according to a city spokesperson. Kevric also wants to put the parking area underground. The development will be a tricky one, we're told, because of the city is not going to want to the developer to bury the heritage element of the site, especially the boiler house building and tower on the south side. There is a community meeting coming up later in April, where the developer will present their vision for the site. In the image is a shot of the Brunswick building from the early 20th century.