The Globe and Mail will build a new headquarters in the King Street West neighbourhood of Toronto, an area of the city that has been a hive of condo and hotel development over the past decade.
Woodbridge Co. Ltd., a private holding company that manages the assets of Canada's Thomson family - including a majority stake in global information company Thomson Reuters Corp. and an imminent majority stake in The Globe and Mail - said on Thursday it will invest in new office space for the newspaper.
The building will likely be on Wellington Street West, near the site of its current home on Front Street West. The Thomson family owns about 80 per cent of the real estate on the block between Spadina Avenue and Portland Street, an area The Globe has called home since it bought the building from the former Toronto Telegram in 1971.
"You can't walk through the front door of this building any more and say, 'This is what a modern media company looks like,' " said Geoff Beattie, chief executive officer of Woodbridge.
The Globe bought the Front Street West building for a reported $7-million after the Telegram closed in 1971. It left its King Street West building - which it had occupied since 1938 - three years later.
The Front Street headquarters is the seventh building the paper has occupied since 1844.
While a decision hasn't been made on the fate of the 47-year-old building The Globe now occupies, the area has seen a rash of development since zoning laws were loosened in 1996. Condos have brought an influx of residents to the former industrial neighbourhood, and developers have renovated the area's aging office space.
"King West is one of the most spectacular examples of urban transformation in the country and even the continent," said Michael Emory, chief executive officer of Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). "When the zoning changed, the private sector really began transforming the area. It is a tremendously dynamic neighbourhood."
Mr. Emory, whose REIT is one of the largest owners of office space in the area, said tenants can occupy space in the neighbourhood for about 50 per cent of what it would cost in the nearby downtown core.
There are no specific timelines for development, although construction is expected to start by 2012.
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