Etobicoke residents have given their blessing to revised plans to expand Humbertown Shopping Centre, a deal that will bring a mixed-use development to the affluent Humber Valley neighbourhood.
Details of the agreement, reached through five days of mediation before the Ontario Municipal Board, remain confidential until it receives council approval next week. But area Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby said it will "vastly improve" the original plans, which included three residential buildings, 654 apartment units and 28 townhouses.
"It's a good resolution," she said. "There are several parts of this deal that are precedent-setting for the city."
Dori Segal, CEO of First Capital Realty Inc., the shopping centre developer that owns the property, said the deal was two years in the making and is a result of negotiations with an active residents' group that hired its own professionals to develop alternatives for the site.
As part of their fight against the proposed redevelopment, residents peppered the area with Save Humbertown lawn signs and packed public meetings to voice their opposition to plans they said were "too big, too dense, too tall" for their suburban neighbourhood. They also hired an architect to develop a "Better Humbertown" proposal.
First Capital purchased the aging plaza at Dundas Street and Royal York Road several years ago with an eye to redeveloping it and has always believed it would become "a jewel" in its portfolio, Mr. Segal said, indicating he is happy with the outcome.
About 200 members of two local residents associations were given a preview of the plans earlier this week and gave them their support, Ms. Lindsay Luby said.
If approved by council next week, the deal will avoid a costly trial at the OMB, she said.
"It's good news for the community. It's good news for the taxpayer," Ms. Lindsay Luby said.