Back in 2000, after extensive public consultation, the King City Community Plan was approved. As part of that plan, a 105 acre parcel of land at the south east corner of King Road and Jane Street was designated as a Prestige Employment Area. The vision was for a head office of an insurance company, or a computer research lab or a high tech company like IBM or Apple to land on this site.
However, relatively recently, the land was purchased by a speculator whose desire was to convert these lands to commercial. The proposal, if approved would have substantially compromised the vision of this part of King City, and perhaps even prevented it from becoming the Prestige Employment Area it was originally planned for.
I was opposed to such conversion, and so did council fundamentally, but we felt backed into a corner. As quoted in the King Weekly Sentinel “I was comfortable with refusing and dismissing the application last November,” said Mortelliti. “I haven’t been comfortable since we have been in the mediation process … From my own perspective, that is not what I envisioned there. There is a concern that if we don’t accept it we could get something worse.”
From my point of view, the whole process of this attempt to convert the lands and the subsequent mediation process has been a difficult and discouraging ordeal. I felt like we were seriously compromising on our vision, yet constantly received criticism that the idea of Prestige Employment on these lands was a pie in the sky unrealistic goal.
Well it appears that lady luck has smiled upon us. With the land speculators appeal mired in procedural delays at the OMB, and thanks to the ever present networking prowess of Mayor Pellegrini, a knight in shining armour has ridden into town and bought the lands with the intention of using the land for what it was initially intended. Our goal of attracting a research and development head office has been realized. In November of 2014 Magna International closed on the purchase of the property, and on May 14th, 2015, the Township of King issued a formal press release confirming that Magna is moving through the process of building their new corporate head offices in King City, bringing with it 625 jobs focused on research and development, while eventually consolidating other GTA offices onto this site. And their intention is to use the entire parcel for this purpose, with no desire to convert the lands as proposed by the previous owner.
New Site for Magna’s International Headquarters
Our Prestige Employment vision, at long last has been realized – and beyond any measure imagined.
We’re not always as lucky to be able to hold onto and defend the vision set out in our community plans, but this is one outcome that we as a community can savour for years to come. Such a great result for King City. Such a great result for all of King.
Welcome Magna International!