Oxford Unveils Casino Project Proposal
The debate for a casino in Toronto continues, this time with Oxford Properties Group unveiling the proposal for a casino development on Front Street.
In a news release sent out from Oxford, which is the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), a $3-billion development would be built on the south side of Front Street between Simcoe Street and Blue Jays Way. Most of that stretch is the Metro Convention Centre which Oxford already owns.
The project would be fully funded by the private sector, and would be one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in North America. The plan includes a revitalized and expanded convention centre, significant new retail, office and residential space, 4,000 new sub grade parking stalls, and an integrated casino and hotel complex. The casino itself would comprise less than 10% of the project and would be funded, built and operated by the casino operator selected by the province. A new 5.5 acre urban park connecting the core to the waterfront would be contemplated over the existing rail corridor.
Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO, Oxford Properties, said, "If the decision is made to have a casino in the City of Toronto, Oxford believes it can provide the best location and the ideal solution for all stakeholders. Oxford Place is a well-conceived private sector solution that requires no public infrastructure or other funding and drives significant community benefits for area residents, visitors, corporate tenants, taxpayers and the broader Toronto community. Every aspect of this project draws on Oxford's world class development expertise which is demonstrated by our large scale mixed-use projects in New York and London."
Michael Kitt, Executive Vice President, Canada, Oxford, said, "Although the casino itself represents less than 10% of the project's area, it is a necessary and essential catalyst for the entire development and is a use that will be complementary to Toronto's core in the way that we have designed and conceived it."
The development would require the demolition of two existing buildings on the site, including one currently occupied by Royal Bank of Canada.