Magna International in King City

Prestige i8

 

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.”

 

Prestige i82

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.

Magna-International-Magna-International_uvodni-stranka-650-650-1360585412

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

King City Employment Lands-1 copy

 

 

Our Prestige Employment vision, at long last has been realized – and beyond any measure imagined.

Prestige i83

Magna International Inc. recently unveiled a pair of industry-first systems making their respective debuts on the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. These new systems are outside mirrors with hidden turn signal indicators and an electronic side-door latch system called “Smartlatch that are featured on the i8. Thanks to the elimination of the lock rods, release cables and handles, Magna said its SmartLatch is a lower-cost door latching system that is flexible enough to be used in any type of car or truck. “We expect SmartLatch to become the benchmark for door-latch designs over the next few years,” said Frank Seguin, president of Magna Closures and Magna Mirrors. “The BMW i8 is an ideal vehicle on which to debut both of these game-changing technologies—the ‘i’ stands for innovation, after all.”

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!

By |2018-08-11T15:09:57+00:00May 15th, 2015|Development, Featured|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Greg Locke May 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Cleve,

    All I can say is … WOW! This is fabulous. I was wondering what exactly Magna has planned since the King Connection learned of the land purchase. Certainly Magna would have plans for such a large parcel of land. But a plant? Perhaps but unlikely, given the cost of land and the lack of a local population base to draw upon.

    Moving their global head office to King — that’s very interesting. That’s no cheap feat.

    It was just last night I was watching Steve Paikin’s AGENDA on TVO and the topic was the recent spike in auto investment in Mexico. There are multiple reasons why Mexico has been able to attract these investments – and labour cost advantage is actually not that significant (Labour cost is only about 6% of the cost of a typical car).

    Canada (really, south western Ontario) is still in the game for autos – especially with the exchange rate realignment of late. I think any existing plants can be reasonably assured of survival as a result. But .. I don’t see any new ones being built, and this is the challenge. We’re done I believe for growth in the traditional branch plant model that came into fashion with the Auto Pact.

    This is where an opportunity like this with Magna comes in: We have R&D advantages in auto technology that if exploited, can keep Canada in a significant, profitable role in this industry. I’m particularly interested in Magna’s planned research component for this site as a result. No doubt there head office footprint will make a statement on that corner – their Aurora offices certainly did and I can only think they’ll match if not exceed that (though I’m curious what architectural style they’ll use).

    I’m really excited! No doubt a lot of other King and surrounding residents and businesses are too.

    Thanks for spreading the word Cleve!

    Greg

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