A private-sector group has announced plans to redevelop the former Ledo Hotel downtown into a 150,000 square-foot commercial development.
Dubbed 'Le Ledo,' the $40 million plan would be fully funded by private investors and would be built in conjunction with the city's plans to build the Junction in the area of Shaughnessy, Van Horne and Elgin streets.
Le Ledo spokesperson Chris Tammi, who is broker of record for Mallette-Goring in Sudbury, said Monday the investors behind the project want to remain anonymous until the project receives municipal approval.
The existing Ledo Hotel will be kept, repurposed and integrated into the project. The design sees a continuation of a three storey brick and glass facade across the site with a 14-storey tower above, clad in copper (a nod to the city’s history) and glass.
Repurpose the building
"So the existing structure, the former Ledo hotel property, the intent is to integrate that into the design and to repurpose the actual structure itself," Tammi said. "It would be basically a three-storey commercial building that would wrap around the full perimeter of the site and then a 14-storey tower … with the main entrance fronting on the corner of Shaughnessy."
Tammi said the plan is an example of the private sector stepping up to support the redevelopment of downtown, and envisions construction taking place around the same time as the new art gallery and library is being built as part of the Junction.
Added to the Place des Arts being built up the road on Elgin, and plans for a new performing arts centre as part of the Junction, he said the time was right.
"With all the developments downtown underway, we felt this was the time for a project like this to come together," Tammi said. "We're excited to be a part of the growth of the Junction district."
While they support the idea of leaving Sudbury Arena downtown and repurposing it, Tammi stressed that the project will go ahead regardless of where the arena ultimately ends up.
'A real opportunity'
"You know, the goal of the Downtown Master Plan is to increase intensification in the in the core, as opposed to into the suburban areas, and we felt it aligned with what our vision was," he said. "And that's what we felt is needed in order to, you know, help change the tone and change the culture of (downtown). It feels as though there's a real opportunity here."
While the developers want to remain anonymous until all approvals are in place, Tammi said there's a mix of people from Sudbury and southern Ontario.
"These are people that see what's possible for the site and for the area," he said.
The project is also a vote of confidence in Greater Sudbury, which has fared comparatively well compared to other cities during COVID-19. With expected growth in mining because of demand for electric vehicle batteries, combined with the quality of life here and lower costs, Tammi said the investors group believe the city has a bright future.
"One hundred percent," he said. "We feel as though, because of our (lower) population density, our lower cost of living, one of the best quality of life, we feel Greater Sudbury could really be position for a period of growth."
The project would also add to the city's tax base – more than $600,000 a year, in addition to education taxes. The goal would be to have the project finished at the same time as the Junction – roughly two or three years.
"We're ready to go," Tammi said. "There's an opportunity for this to become a reality if the other parties are willing to do the same. So we're ready to rock and roll and we hope that that's the case for the other stakeholders, as well."