By Colleen Isherwood, Editor
TORONTO — It wasn’t just a ground breaking, but also a ground drilling on Sept. 23 as SAMM Developments celebrated the beginning of construction on its Regal Plaza complex near Toronto Pearson Airport. Along with the traditional shovels, the celebrants used jackhammers at official launch of Regal Plaza Corporate Centre, a new mixed use $104 million business complex which includes a Staybridge Suites extended stay hotel at 600 Dixon Rd. (at Martin Grove Rd.) in Toronto. Jonathan Lund, IHG regional vice-president, Canada; Ali Ackman, president, SAMM Developments; Michael Ford, Toronto Etobicoke North Ward 1 councillor; Sajed Rahaman, owner, Regal Hotel Group and Chad Hope, CEO LHM Canada Inc. were all on hand at the opening.
“This is a very exciting project for my community here in North Etobicoke,” said councillor Ford. “It will bring many more jobs and economic revitalization to the area, which is key as our city continues to travel through COVID-19.” Ford spoke enthusiastically about the improvements being made on Dixon Road. The Ford family already knows the complex well, as Michael’s uncle, Ontario premier Doug Ford, has been known to hold cabinet meetings at the onsite Perkins restaurant!
“When completed, this 193-room property will be the 13th Staybridge Suites hotel in Canada, adding to the more than 310 Staybridge Suites properties across the world,” said Jonathan Lund, InterContinental Hotels Group’s regional vice-president, Canada. “Floors 5 to 11 will house our new 136,464 square-foot Staybridge Suites. Guests will also have access to numerous amenities including laundry facilities, an exercise room, outdoor patio with BBQs, a swimming pool, meeting rooms and shuttle service to Toronto Pearson Airport.”
“Regal Plaza is an example of our company’s ongoing commitment to innovative initiatives that improve local markets and economies,” said Ackman, president of Toronto-based SAMM Developments.
“This is an important area of the city as far as business is concerned. Proximity to the highways and airport is ideal. And with commercial, retail, restaurants and three floors of corporate condominium office space in the building, tenants will have accommodations, eateries and shopping facilities all in one location. Anyone attending events at the International Centre just a short walk from this property, will also find Regal Plaza convenient for staying over. We are calling this Toronto’s premier business address.”
The existing Holiday Inn and Perkins restaurant will remain on the 4.7 acre-site, Ackman told CLN during a tour of the property. They will be developing the new project adjacent to the eastern part of the parking lot, and the project will include two floors of underground parking for the 11-storey development.
“In Europe, we are used to having buildings with several functions, and all the buildings we have done so far have several functions. The hotel will be a Staybridge Suites, which is a long-term stay hotel with kitchenettes, and rooms that are bigger than standard hotel rooms (570 square feet). We did our research and found that there is only one long-term stay hotel in the area and it had 97 per cent occupancy.” In addition to the hotel, the project will include 150 hubs of 750-square feet for office space, easy to combine if a tenant wants multiple units. The ground floor and mezzanine will include the lobby of the hotel, commercial spaces with businesses such as restaurants, pharmacies, hairdressers and dry cleaners.
“This will energize the building,” said Ackman. “There will be a patio on the ground floor which has glass coverage.” The new complex will be connected to the existing building, so that there is no need for people to go outside during inclement weather. The conference centre and banquet hall will be in the new building and will include panoramic views. Once the second hotel is built, the complex will have almost 400 rooms between the existing Holiday Inn and new Staybridge Suites hotels.
“The new atrium will feature skylights and is designed to resemble an indoor courtyard with seating areas and greenery to accommodate exhibits and business presentations,” said SAMM’s project director Mark Robertson. “It will also encompass a breakfast area and lounge. On the ground floor, the café and retail shops will serve tenants and guests of both hotels; the new Staybridge Suites, the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG) upscale extended-stay brand, and the existing Holiday Inn brand hotel. Levels 2, 3 and 4 will encompass a total leasing space of 64,820 square feet of commercial office condos, with 750 square foot modules that can be combined to create larger spaces. On the penthouse level, a banquet hall will be available for large gatherings.”
SAMM Development’s Regal Plaza Corporate Centre project team includes: architects IBI Group; engineers Cole Engineering, LEA Consulting, Sigmund Soudack and United Engineering; construction manager, Gillam Group; interior designer, Chase Architect; landscape architect, Ferris & Associates; marketing, FOXX Advertising & Design Inc.; public relations, tcgpr (The Communications Group Inc.); sales, Regal Plaza Corporate Centre.
Regal Plaza Corporate Centre “is being constructed to meet the TIER-1 Toronto Green Standard. More than 50 construction jobs are now confirmed,” said Robertson.
Meeting the TIER-1 standard involves using energy-efficient heat pumps for heating and cooling; LED lighting to help with electricity consumption; and landscaping that has green space everywhere, Ackman noted.
“It’s a new architectural design that brings a different concept to the area,” he said.
The project is on track to be finished at the end of March, 2023.