RioCan's plan to install a Walmart within strolling distance of Kensington Market has been shelved, but the developer still has its sights set on the location (currently home to the defunct Kromer Audio store). On Tuesday afternoon, Toronto and East York Community Council heard a revised application by RioCan; the developer still wants to put up a three-storey building on the site, but now they're offering to halve the amount of floor space requested in the original proposal, down to 6,622 square meters from 12,000. The largest single retail unit would be limited to 4,200 square meters, split over two storeys. The modified proposal also has street trees and wider sidewalks in front of the property, a deeper stepback for the upper floors, and fewer parking spots in the underground lot (298, down from 320).
Overall, this sounds like a plan that would be less likely to rile Kensington residents. The scaled-down main retail space would still be around double what Loblaw is proposing for their new Kensington-area location, but it's still less than half of what RioCan was asking for originally. Will this modified proposal meet with the City's (and the neighbourhood's) approval? Stay tuned; Council will consider it on March 20.
· Developer Backs Away From Plan to Put Walmart in Kensington Market [Globe]
· Will This Be the Most Hated Walmart in Toronto? [Curbed Toronto]
· Bathurst Street Project Site at RioCan [RioCan]