The Home Hardware building in Stratford will finally be redeveloped, two and a half years after the company closed its doors.
Robert Haggis, principle architect and sustainable designer with Sable Arc Studios, said Home Hardware has entered into a long-term agreement with Tangible Capital Inc., owned by the VanNieuwenhuyzen family, who also owns Vanco Farms Ltd.
Haggis said Sable Arc Studios will handle the renovations and redevelopment.
The building is still owned by Home Hardware, but Haggis said ownership will likely eventually fall to the VanNieuwenhuyzens and they have been given permission to develop the property.
“It’s going to be a mix of retail, office (and) commercial space,’’ Haggis said. “Not all of the space has been spoken for.’’
At the moment, between five and 10 tenants have agreed to move in and nearly 60 per cent of the building has already been spoken for.
Haggis said as tempting as it is to say more about who the tenants are, they all want to do their own rollout.
“The family is really excited about it,’’ Haggis said, referring to the VanNieuwenhuyzens. “They’re locals (from) just outside the Stratford area and they’ve been sick and tired of seeing it empty as well and they saw an opportunity and approached (Home Hardware).’’
“The family is really excited about it. They’re locals (from) just outside the Stratford area and they’ve been sick and tired of seeing it empty as well and they saw an opportunity and approached (Home Hardware).’’
Home Hardware closed abruptly in November 2015, catching many employees completely off guard. But the corner has seen more traffic with last year’s Sobeys expansion.
While Haggis wouldn’t reveal any of the names that will be moving in, The Guardian did ask him if the any of the businesses would be recognizable to the public.
“A couple may not be and a couple definitely will be. That’s as far as I can go.’’
Work on the property will begin mid to late summer.
“The initial work is primarily (on the) exterior. The interior will get cut up as necessary with the tenants that we know now and other tenants (that) may come in the future so it’s (now) primarily exterior cladding and windows and things like that to address new entries and stuff.’’
Stratford Mayor David Dunphy said it’s obviously good news for the town.
“This property is located in a key, high-traffic area in the heart of Stratford,’’ Dunphy said. “There is strong demand for additional commercial rental space in the town and this development will help address this shortage of commercial space. The redevelopment of this building will also generate additional employment in Stratford and provide residents with additional opportunities to purchase goods and services much closer to their home.’’