Loblaw is building a massive 1.2-million-square-foot logistics and distribution centre in East Gwillimbury, just north of the Newmarket border.
The company announced June 3 that it acquired control of 154 developable acres of industrial land at the corner of Highway 404 and Green Lane East to build the new facility. The municipality said it expects the facility to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the community.
East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson said the town is thrilled with the investment.
“This is the largest employment development project our town has ever seen, and it will bring great benefits to the community in terms of job creation,” she said in a news release.
The project has been in the works for some time, but the company has not been revealed publicly until now. Rice Group has been developing the land and helping it through the planning process.
Along with Choices Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, Loblaw said it would build a multi-stage industrial park there. A news release said they hope to bring the distribution facility into operations in the first quarter of 2024.
“This new facility reflects our continued drive to advance our supply chain to better serve our customers and meet their evolving needs,” Loblaw chief operating officer Robert Sawyer said.
East Gwillimbury said the facility would generate more than $500,000 in municipal taxes annually. The municipality is also getting $7 million in development charges to service the area. It said York Region school boards will also generate approximately $1.5 million in revenue.
“Business and job growth are fundamental to York Region’s economic success,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said. “We are pleased Loblaw Companies Limited and Choice Properties REIT have joined our thriving business community."
The project is part of the municipality’s expansion plans, with East Gwillimbury projected to become almost as large as Newmarket over the next 30 years. The municipality is looking to expand in all aspects, though has faced some pushback for going into agricultural lands.
But the town has said it needs to expand to complete its community and that it has plenty of green space available.
“This high-profile project is also starting the development of EG employment lands and will serve as an important anchor for the attraction of future investment,” Hackson said.