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Buttonville Airport Redevelopment (404 & 16th Ave, Armadale, multiple bldgs, P+S)

Solaris

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This should be interesting ... a mix of of residential + commercial to be created through the conversion / redevelopment of the existing Buttonville Airport in Markham, southeast of Highway 404 + 16th Avenue :)
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From Daily Commercial News:

Armadale Properties plans conversion for Toronto's Buttonville Airport
September 3, 2009

TORONTO

Armadale Properties says it is moving forward with work to convert the site of the Buttonville Municipal Airport to a mix of housing and commercial properties.

A decision by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to terminate the operational funding previously provided to Toronto Airways for operation of the airport played a role in the decision, Armadale said.

It said it will also be making submissions to the Town of Markham to allow a greater variety of uses than are permitted under existing planning designations.

The company said planning and design of a new development for the Buttonville lands would take several years before construction could proceed.

The team assembled for planning and development work includes Malone Given Parsons Ltd., IBI Group, Page & Steele Architects and Cole Engineering Group Ltd.


http://www.dailycommercialnews.com/article/id35184
 

whatever

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I wonder if Markham/Richmond Hill will start seeing some taller buildings along 7 now, as I was under the impression the airport was partly to blame for the height restrictions in that area.
 

p5connex

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This plans smells and smells bad. First, where are all the people going to go now that Buttonville will be closed? I assume that this is a preemptive move by the GTAA to push their agenda to develop the Pickering site. I don't like the idea of the Pickering site being developed, especially because Pearson has not even reached its peak of 55 million pax a year- we are a long way off yet, and I don't think we will be there anytime soon.

Leave Buttonville alone and intensify some of the other areas- is it really necessary to develop such low density campus's..no!

p5
 
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ShonTron

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This plans smells and smells bad. First, where are all the people going to go now that Buttonville will now be closed? I assume that this is a preemptive move by the GTAA to push their agenda to develop the Pickering site.

I suspect as much as well. The abandonment and demolition of Pickering building and lands continues unabated. Nothing bureaucrats in public and quasi-public sector (ie TPA, GTAA) love more than empire-building.
 

Solaris

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Novae Res Urbis

MARKHAM AIRPORT PLANS – Buttonville Redevelopment

It was recently announced that the family that owns Buttonville Airport in Markham is starting to formulate redevelopment plans for the site on the town’s western edge.

The Sifton family has owned and operated the airport for over 50 years and is now beginning to develop plans for a mixed-use development on the site. The Sifton’s aviation company, Toronto Airways Ltd., operates the airport while the family’s real estate company, Armadale Properties Ltd., is working on the redevelopment plans.

Long-term plans for the airport have included a gradual transfer of its services to another site nearby, said Armadale general manager Paul McVeigh, but money from a capacity maintenance agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority was what would have made it possible to operate the airport through a transition from one location to another. When the GTAA cancelled the agreement earlier this year, the Sifton family had to start move into the planning phase of the redevelopment.

“There was no choice but to think of the alternative use of the land,†McVeigh told NRU. “The lands are way underutilized and the only reason for keeping them going was to transition the aviation business. Since that’s not on the table, then we move forward.â€

Armadale hopes to engage Markham and York Region staff on the re-designation of the site through town and regional official plan reviews that are currently underway. York Region is holding a series of public consultation sessions on its draft official plan this month.

“We would like to have the Buttonville lands considered as something other than an airport,†McVeigh said, adding that the site is designated for a business park. “We’d like to open it up for discussion in that document.â€

Right now nothing is set in stone, as Armadale’s plans are in their infancy, but McVeigh says the Sifton family wants to see “something that’s a bit more vibrant and exciting than just a business park,†and that is “more modern, that makes better use of the infrastructure.â€

Including ancillary pieces of land in the area, the development site that sits at Highway 404 and 16th Avenue measures 170 acres, too large for Armadale to develop on its own; the company is currently looking for development partners.

Armadale is currently looking to develop the site with a mix of uses, including offices and retail shops. However, McVeigh noted that the retail format being considered is more of a main street style and would not include big box stores. While consideration is being given to including some residential units, the site would primarily focus on a mix of office and retail uses.

“There could be some residential. It wouldn’t be the highlight, but if you don’t have residential, it’s hard to have life after five on the site,†McVeigh said. “It sort of clears out, it defeats the purpose a little bit.â€

Local councillor Dan Horchik did not reply to a voicemail and email requesting comment.
 

TOareaFan

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This plans smells and smells bad. First, where are all the people going to go now that Buttonville will now be closed? I assume that this is a preemptive move by the GTAA to push their agenda to develop the Pickering site.

p5

I thought I read a while ago (a year or so) that the operations and flights that currently use Buttonville would be shifted/amalgamated with those at the Oshawa airport.....could be wrong but I think the idea was that we were subsidizing too many small regional aiports in the Toronto area and that, both, Oshawa and Buttonville were underused so amalgamation made sense.....I either read that or had a very detailed dream about a subject that I have very little interest in! ;)
 

luxome

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i wonder if another shopping mall will be part of their plan here. if so, i'm sure it'll have a serious impact on Remington Centre where retail space will be more costly ($/sqft) than Eaton Centre.
 

yyzer

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I thought I read a while ago (a year or so) that the operations and flights that currently use Buttonville would be shifted/amalgamated with those at the Oshawa airport

actually, I believe the long range plan is to close both Buttonville and Oshawa airports, and relocate both to a new facility in Pickering....
 

investican

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Buttonville has been a troublesome project for a while now.

The problems with the funding with the federal gov't, the strategic location of the property and the towns/regions vision for that area.

I personally had a tenative deal to purchase the property for $180 Million IF RESIDENTIAL USES WERE PERMITTED, an offer was in the works but the client is a well known developer and basically was told NO WAY ANY CONDOS CAN BE PUT HERE there have been many other groups who have put offers on the property with that condition but for pure commercial use nobody wanted to touch it for that price.

Would of been a nice commission cheque but you have to figure the best use for this property, without allowing the residential uses, is a not a standard business park but a commercial/industrial zone--I feel that whoever the Sifton's partner with--it will be something unique and defined.
 

paul

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why no residential?

What is the benefit of having minimal residential uses? I guess as a developer, designing the region to fail in the long-run ensures future work. Also, why partner to develop the whole property at once? Wouldn't a more gradual development lead to more organic use?
 

investican

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What is the benefit of having minimal residential uses? I guess as a developer, designing the region to fail in the long-run ensures future work. Also, why partner to develop the whole property at once? Wouldn't a more gradual development lead to more organic use?

Well it's the opinion and future planning for how they would like to see the area and traffic. Both Markham and Richmond Hill are going to be working together on an agreed plan.

They will have a master plan that will encompass the whole properties but the development will gradually move along. I agree with you on having a developper to co-develop the whole thing seems a bit off but I see there being the Siftons Jv'ing with another big company (My guess, Metrus) and there will be parts that will be for other developpers.
 

p5connex

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I thought I read a while ago (a year or so) that the operations and flights that currently use Buttonville would be shifted/amalgamated with those at the Oshawa airport.....could be wrong but I think the idea was that we were subsidizing too many small regional aiports in the Toronto area and that, both, Oshawa and Buttonville were underused so amalgamation made sense.....I either read that or had a very detailed dream about a subject that I have very little interest in! ;)

Brilliant - gotta love detailed dreams! I have to say I recall hearing something about this as well. I had a prof. who does/did a lot of work for the Sifton family, developing some of the office campus's around the airport and he may have made mention of this as well - or, I had a dream about it (lol). All the same, I understand that this land lies in a considerably ideal location for office/industrial development, but I have such fond memories of the place and feel like this is nothing more than a way for the GTAA to move their agenda along.

Personally, I am against the idea of the Pickering project. We do not need another airport which can alleviate pressure from Pearson - besides a few times a year, the airport is busy, but nothing in comparison to LAX, Heathrow, or Dallas for that matter. I don't want to have a to pay more fees to fly out of Pearson, because the GTAA decided to forge ahead with some empire-building scheme. We already pay enough fees. I say complete Pearson, build it to the maximum growth potential and turn it into a real destination hub and when it approaches the 55-60 million passenger mark, then I say develop another site - until then, no!!!

p5
 

paul

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Well it's the opinion and future planning for how they would like to see the area and traffic. Both Markham and Richmond Hill are going to be working together on an agreed plan.

I'm just not sure they have a sane master plan. The new "downtown markham" on enterprise seems like a step in the right direction, although it's a shame that it's isolated from the rest of the region instead of integrated a little more closely.

I'll definitely grant that I'm a noob to planning issues, but all the reading I've been doing seems to indicate that the way to get a vibrant neighbourhood is to do mixed development, not single-use like we tend to see in the suburbs (and like is proposed at the Buttonville site).
 

investican

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I do agree with you. Buttonville has a type of stinge on it. Everybody at the town knows the issues on that piece. Its very special. I wish there could be residential on there (I would of got a nice commission out of that) but they are strong on that force. Also, Markham is desperately seeking more commercial/employment buildings. So if you have a commercial project that you want rezoned to residential, all I have to say is Good Luck.

Also lets not forget about OPA. 149 (the stretch of land between Woodbine/404 from 16th to markham's border one concession block north of 19th ave) there is some residential more south but along the 404 and the first concession block north of Elgin Mills its all Commercial/Office/Industrial--where the honda plant is)
 

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