When we look back on this time in history, the people of Mississauga won’t just consider the SNC Lavalin Nuclear Campus the deal of the year, as proclaimed by the 15th Annual Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards Program, but the deal of the decade! This project ignited the start of the rejuvenation and redevelopment of Mississauga’s long standing science and engineering business community, known as Sheridan Park.
SNC-Lavalin, a leading engineering and construction group was looking to consolidate a total of 420,000 square feet, spread across five buildings in Mississauga and Oakville, into a single 215,000 square foot location. The departure of SNC-Lavalin was not an option for landlord, Slate Office REIT, as it would have left a hole in a vital commercial corridor in the Mississauga’s Sheridan Park area.
Slate, was starting from a disadvantageous position as the existing buildings were recognized as dated with inefficient facilities that were out of step aesthetically and environmentally with the image that SNC-Lavalin projects. In order to compete against some of the market’s newest developments, Slate worked closely with Sandy Craik of JLL, and developed strong partnership between the private sector and the City of Mississauga to convince SNC-Lavalin to stay in Mississauga.
It was 288 days before this deal closed, that Sandy reached out to the Economic Development Office (EDO). We all recognized the loss of approximately 1,200 local jobs, more than 350,000 square feet of late 1960s era office space to a node of 1.7 million square feet was on the line. Once the RFP was announced, EDO was able to help coordinate a strategic response team of departmental heads that committed to work with Slate to expedite permits and approvals, ensuring tight building timelines were met.
Our collective message to Slate, JLL and the building contractor, Arguson Projects was that they had our full support and we would do our best to meet the timelines necessary to get the buildings redeveloped and the tenant into the space. This meeting really crystalized the start of a partnership and was a factor in SNC-Lavalin accepting Slate’s proposal.
Slate has become a key mover in in the revitalization of Sheridan Park – one of the most significant contributors to scientific innovation in Canada. Slate’s investment of $46 million to create an environment befitting of a forward looking SNC-Lavalin and the city’s commitment, will result in a reimagined, reengaged and revitalized home for SNC-Lavalin, and the beginning of the rejuvenation of Sheridan Park.