IROQUOIS – Stalled for almost a year, the Esso/Tim Hortons development planned for Iroquois is beginning to move forward.
“We hope to break ground on this in early August,” said Gabi Hossain, the Mississauga-based developer who took over the project earlier this year.
The project has been stalled for nearly a year since the Site Plan Control Agreement had been approved by South Dundas council in August 2018. Originally begun by Webheads Development Inc., a Toronto-based firm, the project stalled for undisclosed reasons. A similar project in Bayfield, Ontario by Webheads has been left partially finished since the Spring of 2018.
Iroquois has been without a gas station since March 28, 2018 when the Ault family closed the business prior to the County Road 2 property sale.
Hossain said his project includes an Esso gas station, a Tim Hortons franchise, and a convience store.
“It is very close in design to the original plan from last year,” he said.
The Iroquois project is one of six he is building this year. Other locations include Cobden, Niagara Falls, Barrie, and Guelph.
The developer has been working with the Municipality of South Dundas to proceed with the issuing of a building permit.
In an email from South Dundas director of building, planning, and enforcement Don J.W. Lewis, told The Leader that there have been some drawings relating to the exterior and the site plan received from the developer.
“We will be receiving the construction drawings with all the supporting applicable documents shortly,” Lewis said. “The community as well as the municipality are pleased to hear that this proposed project will commence this year.”
That thought was echoed by Prescott Tim Hortons owner Shawn Lockett, who will operate the Iroquois coffee franchise once the service station is built.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” he said. “[The developers] are guaranteeing me that they are opening this year.”
Lockett has some staff already hired and trained for the location, currently working out of his Prescott location.
In addition, much of the equipment has already been purchased awaiting the building construction.
“I’m ready to get this going,” Lockett said.
As soon as the building permit is issued by the municipality, the developer plans to put shovels in the ground to begin construction.
“We’re excited to open in Iroquois, and for this development to be built,” he said. “It’s a nice town, close to the 401, and has growth potential.”
Once the initial construction of the property is finished, Hossain plans to renovate the existing garage, car wash, and laundromat building at the back of the property.
“It needs updating and we’ll add retail space in the one vacant area,” he said, confirming that the laundromat and car wash will remain open.
Hossain expects the construction project will take three to four months to complete, and hopes for the location to open before Christmas this year.