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York Developments secures deal for 2 prominent London properties

From left to right: York Developments chairman Mike Meddaoui, Middlesex County CAO Bill Rayburn, York Developments president Ali Soufan, Middlesex County warden Kurtis Smith, Nathan Campbell of EllisDon and Randy Reymer of EllisDon stand in front of the Middlesex County building on 399 Ridout St. .
From left to right: York Developments chairman Mike Meddaoui, Middlesex County CAO Bill Rayburn, York Developments president Ali Soufan, Middlesex County warden Kurtis Smith, Nathan Campbell of EllisDon and Randy Reymer of EllisDon stand in front of the Middlesex County building on 399 Ridout St. . Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

The Middlesex County council announced it has reached a conditional agreement with York Developments over the sale of two prominent London properties.

The specifics of the sale of 50 King St. and 399 Ridout St. was revealed during a Wednesday morning news conference inside the Ridout building.

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The King Street property serves as the London office of the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), while the old courthouse on Ridout Street is used as an administrative building for the county.

The land has been a prime spot of real estate at the forks of the Thames River.

Middlesex County chief administrative officer Bill Rayburn told Global News that the county’s council fielded an overwhelming amount of offers for the properties, many of which were unsolicited.

READ MORE: Proposed loan-based programs seek to create affordable housing in London

“It’s not only development ideas for the forks of the Thames, it’s also the concept that people have wanted to be able to develop this into the next economic engine for the downtown,” Rayburn said.

As for the county’s presence at 399 Ridout St., Rayburn said there will be a transition phase out of the building over the next four years.

Built in the 19th century, the building on 399 Ridout Street is a designated historic site.
Built in the 19th century, the building on 399 Ridout Street is a designated historic site. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

York Developments president Ali Soufan said he plans to maintain the historical appeal of 399 Ridout St. – a building that was first erected in 1830.

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“We will enhance it, we will respect it and we will develop a mixed-use community around it that will complement it,” Soufan said.

The developer was short on details when discussing the future of the two properties.

The site on 50 King St. is currently zoned to permit a 28-storey mixed-use project, but Soufan would not say if a highrise was in the works.

Soufan said that York Developments will partner with construction company EllisDon for the development of the two properties.

The Middlesex-London Health Building as seen at the corner of Ridout Street and King Street on June 14, 2017. (Matthew Trevithick/AM980)
The Middlesex-London Health Building as seen at the corner of Ridout Street and King Street on June 14, 2017. (Matthew Trevithick/AM980) Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

50 King St. made headlines last year when the MLHU mulled plans to relocate its London office to Citi Plaza at 355 Wellington St.

The relocation came in response to the county’s intention to rezone the 50 King St. location to permit the development of a 28-storey mixed-use project.

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The Middlesex County council refused to allow the move, citing concerns over costs and a lack of consultation.

When the county refused to give its consent, the MLHU initiated an application in the Superior Court of Justice for a ruling to determine whether the consent of the health unit’s municipal partners is required for the proposed move.

A two-month-long judicial review ensued, and the MLHU came out on top, clearing the way for its relocation to Citi Plaza in April 2020.

READ MORE: Middlesex-London Health Unit seeks $5.2M line of credit from city to help with move

Middlesex County council would not reveal how much money is involved in its conditional deal with York Developments.

The conditional period of the deal ends on Dec. 16, after which the county plans to share more details on the sale.