In a ceremony Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Deepak Anand, MPP, and prominent members of Canada’s Afghan community, Business Point broke ground on their new industrial condos.
The project, named 5250 Solar Drive, is 41-unit multi-use industrial condos based in Mississauga’s Airport Corporate Center. The project is expected to come live in the fall of 2020, when the city approves the building and new businesses move in.
Crombie was proud that Business Point chose Mississauga as the location of their units. “My business as the Mayor is to bring Businesses to Mississauga.” Crombie said. She is also happy that an Afghan community is thriving in Mississauga.
Anand lauded the industrial project’s outcome of supporting small and medium-sized businesses, who are being pushed out of the market by multi-national players.
“Global e-commerce companies are buying up industrial units across the Greater Toronto Area and driving up prices.” James Hussaini, President at Business Point said. “We are building these units to support smaller companies who have nowhere else to base their business.”
Industrial units in Toronto are following a trend seen across all major cities in North America. With the rise of ecommerce, demand for industrial units is rising too. Without new industrial units to meet this new demand, traditional businesses that required industrial space feel stressed.
Home to the Canadian Headquarters of many global companies, including Bell, Kellogg’s, Acer, Hershey’s, Sketchers and many more, Airport Corporate Centre is a vibrant hub of corporate activities.
Business Point recently released their plans to open a brand new business park. Located on Solar Drive, just south of the Toronto Pearson International Airport, the city of Mississauga has invested in the long-term future of Airport Corporate Centre by completing 2 Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) hubs walking distance away to help provide convenient transportation and an ideal location for logistic companies.
The city is continually making infrastructure improvements to keep up with business demand and provide businesses with the most modern and best services possible.
“Mississauga is one of the fastest growing cities in the Greater Toronto Area,” said James Hussaini, president of Business Point. “And the proximity of this project to the Pearson International Airport and major highways makes it an ideal location for both investors and business owners alike.”
He said there is a rapid growth of e-commerce in Canada and this had sparked an expansion in the country’s logistics and distribution sector. “At the same time, supply [of small industrial spaces] is constrained due to a scarcity of developable land.”
The developer offers a total of 32 industrial units. “Most of our units are 1,800 sq. ft. and we have as big as 12,000 sq feet,” said James. After research, Business Point has concluded that most small businesses are looking for units around 2,000 sq. feet. “Small units are in high demand in today’s market,” he said.
“This is the only 26 feet high ceiling industrial condo project in the area,” said the Vice President of Business Point, Ahmad Elahi.
Availability of industrial space in GTA has hit an all time low at 2.1%. Sale prices and leasing rates have grown exponentially and with an average of double digit growth over the past few years. Despite the tight market for space and high rents, companies still choose to locate their distribution facilities in the GTA for fast access to the regions of high-income consumer population.
“[The project] was launched on September 5th, at Hilton Suites in Markham,” said Neelo Ahmadi, asset manager of Business Point. “Over 70% of the units were sold on that day.”
After more than a year and about $2 million spent on restoration and re-construction, the Queen’s Hotel on Main Street Unionville is set to re-open.
The hotel, built in the 1870s, was damaged during a fire last March.
Since then, the owner has been working to preserve the historic building.
“This street is recognized because of this building,” said James Hussaini, president of Business Point, a co-working office space company that owns the building.
“This building is in every picture. There are a lot of emotions attached to this building.”
Preserving the bricks and mortar was the priority, for the business and for himself.
“Even I have an emotional attachment to this building,” said Hussaini, who worked in a highrise prior to starting his own business.
He remembers a photo on the wall showing the hotel in the late 19th century.
“There were no cars,” he said. “There were horses in the photo. That type of history creates an attachment.”
The cause of the fire was sourced back to a malfunctioning potlight in the ceiling of a retail store on the ground floor.
“It was a stubborn fire,” said Neelo Ahmadi, hotel restoration project manager. “It’s because it was an older building, it went quickly. Thank goodness there were no injuries.”
While there was little damage to the exterior, there was extensive smoke and water damage to the interior.
The interior of the building is brand new. The restoration process included new electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems as well as extensive fire-proofing measures.
“We want to make sure this never happens again,” Ahmadi said. “The good news is it’s all new and the outside is preserved.”
With any restoration, there were ups and downs.
While the city toed the line when it came to preserving heritage, as it should Hussaini said, he never expected the process to drag on more than a year.
At one point, their insurance company wanted to take down part of the exterior wall along Main Street.
It took about six months to settle that debate between city and insurer.
“We weren’t looking for financial help,” Huassini said. “But we thought because it was a heritage building, the process would be expedited.”
The fire and the restoration process took a toll on several businesses in the building and Business Point lost a few tenants.
But the restored building will be home to a couple of boutique retail shops on the ground level and a slew of businesses on the second and third levels including a lawyer, real estate agent, wedding planner and mortgage broker.
There was some discussion about transforming the building into an indoor mall with several small retail and boutique shops, while maintaining the historical integrity of the exterior.
The mall would have added another attraction to the street, especially during winter, Hussaini said.
But after pushback, he kept the original plan – executive office spaces and a business centre.
If all stays on track, Business Point will open by the end of the month, just in time for the summer when Main Street is at its busiest.
“We’re excited,” Ahmadi said. “We can’t wait to open again. It’s very emotional.”
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