The hamlet centred at the four-corners at Highway 48 and Aurora Road, has been known as a quiet, family-friendly place, suitable for golf-course living and even retirement, but not for sizeable commercial developments. That’s about to change as the north-east corner of the Ballantrae community will gain a 38,000 sq foot development that will play host to retail outlets. The development is long overdue says Councillor Maurice Smith. “There are approximately 12,000 residents within a 5 KM radius of this location. These residents now drive to Aurora or downtown Stouffville for services such as a grocery store, financial institution, medical or other professional services. Many of these needs will be met once this plaza is operational.”
Tom Letros of Markham-based MFS Realty and Derry-McLauglin Development, the firms responsible for the project, says that it wasn’t for lack of trying that they hadn’t put shovel-in-ground earlier in Ballantrae. Noting they have had the land for over a decade, he is effusive of ward councillor Maurice Smith’s efforts to get the much-needed infrastructure moving. “Councillor Smith has been instrumental in pushing the approval of this development as he knows the needs of his community and will not rest until it’s completed”.
Letros, with co-worker Alex Karamitsos and Councillor Smith, was on site recently for the start of work noted that the development, for them, is not a get rich-and-leave scheme. They plan to be a partner in the community not only building it but managing it ongoing as they have done in a number of other GTA-area retail/medical developments where they boast A-list vendors like Shoppers Drug Mart, Tim Horton’s Pizza Pizza and top-tier banks. Tenant negotiations are in process, but similar occupants to the developer’s other locations are hoped for.
The impending sale of the current Global gas bar at the same corner will also likely yield a modernized gas/retail complex that the developers are hopeful will complement their development.