The Globe and Mail has made public a plan to redevelop their site at 444 Front Street west of Spadina Avenue, which will include the construction of a new headquarters at the corner of Front and Spadina where a Toyota delearship currently stands.

The Globe will sever this parcel from the bulk of their lot to build an 18-storey office tower, designed by KPMB Architects. The building will be designed to LEED Gold standards and employ many green features. While the Globe offices will take up the six-storey podium, other tenants will be sought for the tower with the intention that the building be a hub for the media and related industries.

UrbanToronto member FrankR attended a local community meeting about the 480,000 square foot proposal and reports that a new north/south road will be built west of the office building for access, parking, and loading. The road will presumably to connect to Wellington Avenue, and to some land retained for new green space on the site. The building is scheduled to open in late 2015.

Forum member Johnny Kay provided us with the early rendering of the project below.

Early rendering for the new Globe and Mail offices at Front and Spadina by KPMB Architects

UrbanToronto member 400WellingtonGuy reports that KPMB's presentation at the community meeting promised that the building will interact with the public through a media wall, Spanish steps, and an interior glass-shelled high-tech theatre for nearly 300 people that will be wired for things like TED talks, and which will be available for outside groups. He also reports that there is a possible projection wall coming on the east face of the 18-storey tower, along with 250 commercial parking spaces. A ground floor restaurant is also planned.

"They set back the building off of Front to give everyone some breathing room and to set a precedent on Front for future development." 400WellingtonGuy says they are hoping to attract media and design businesses that could sometimes work with Globe staffers, and that they believe this might be the start of a Front Street West media concentration corridor.

The remainder of the site along Front and Wellington Streets where the current Globe offices and former plant are located, reaching west to almost Draper Street, will be sold off, and RFPs are in process.

FrankR reports that at the community meeting several people were concerned that a master-plan or strict guidelines should be in place for redevelopment of the large remaining lot. "Whoever buys that huge chunk of land will have lots of issues to deal with - especially with Draper Street and traffic issues on Front Street. It'll be interesting to see who gets it and what they propose. Here's hoping for good things!" 

UrbanToronto looks forward to seeing how both the new Globe headquarters building evolves through the planning process, and of course what the future holds for proposals on the rest of the site.

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