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Owner of former Kellogg’s plant applies for zoning changes to re-imagine area

The former Kellogg's plant in London, Ont. in April 2014. Travis Dolynny / AM980 London

The future of the former Kellogg Canada Inc. buildings in London, Ont., is coming into focus.

A re-zoning application was filed by the new owners of the property last week, seeking changes that would allow for the revamping of existing buildings on Dundas Street and Kellogg Lane for a mix of residential, commercial and light-industrial uses.

The main floors of the buildings could see a variety of restaurants, retail and other services. According to the planning justification proposal, the plan is being envisioned as a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented, main street-style area on the ground floor, with other uses such as offices, commercial schools and/or residential on the upper floors. There is already 90,000 square feet of office space with adequate parking available on the site.

“There’s a huge amount of interest and it’s an area that’s in transition,” said Coun. Jesse Helmer.

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“Obviously, the closure of the plant was not good, it put a lot of people out of work. We’ve got the McCormick site on the north side and then this Kellogg’s site, which is humungous. A million square feet doesn’t come up in the city very ofter to be re-purposed and how that redevelopment goes is going to be really important for that area.”

The application took into consideration the City of London Official Plan, the London Plan and city bylaws.

The property is owned by Tillsonburg-based E. & E. McLaughlin Ltd., which specializes in warehousing and logistics. The company purchased the buildings from BayShore Groups, which bought the plant for $4 million in June 2015 and auctioned off the remaining equipment and materials.

“I think it’s going in the right direction and kudos to the folks who are putting the private money into building these businesses and redeveloping these sites,” said Helmer.

“It’s one thing to have the planning processes in place and have the right kind of policy framework, but it takes private money and entrepreneurs to make these things happen.”

Part of the plant is currently being leased by Drexel, a national distribution company based in London.

A community meeting is expected to be held in Old East Village before a public participation meeting will be scheduled for a future planning and environment committee meeting.

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The former Kellogg’s manufacturing facility was shuttered in December 2014 when 467 workers lost their jobs.