Residents have started to get used to the sudden growth of buildings being erected as part of the extended Markham Centre development plan.
This includes the Downtown Markham area which covers much that is south of the Rouge River and north of Highway 407, between Kennedy and Warden.
But if a new proposal from the owners of Markham Town Square — the plaza on the north-east corner of the Warden and Highway 7 that includes a No Frills grocery store and McDonald’s— is approved, the tall towers on the south side of Highway 7 will be replicated. This is part of what the city has dubbed the Uptown development area of Markham.
That Uptown area, north of downtown with meandering boundaries roughly measured by the Rouge River on the south, Apple Creek Blvd on the North, Rodick Rd. on the west, around Markham Town Square with a long east-west sliver of land south of Highway 7, is already seeing significant densification thanks to sprouting condo towers. But the Markham Town Square looks to create even more density.
Markham officials received an official application from Unionville Square Shopping Centres Ltd to redevelop the 16-acre property that would see the current assembly of commercial stores give way to up to 10 towers in 8 buildings. The tallest of these being 48, 40 and 30 stories in height would be closest to the Warden-Highway 7 intersection.
While the bulk of the proposed space would allow for residential condominium construction, significant retail/commercial space would also be included. This would especially be true for the “Phase 1” portion (outlined in red on the map) of the plan that would see the most southerly section along Highway 7 provide 1,666 residential units and 61,709 sq ft of retail space.
There are plenty of obstacles to overcome before the plan becomes a reality, including some zoning amendments that would be required from city council as well as a series of public meetings that would incorporate the considerations of residents.
Some of the plan also runs in opposition to some of the broader planning initiatives underway in Markham including the recently presented Uptown Demonstration Plan that would see radical change for the broader area.
The Uptown area plan will itself be a matter of considerable scrutiny over the next couple of years. The accumulation of public input for Markham Square has begun.