On October 12, in a press conference with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, Fairmount Properties, the developer of the $100 million Global Village Windsor project – located at the site of the former Grace Hospital on University Avenue West – announced affiliation agreements with St. Clair College and the University of Windsor, and provided updates on a healthcare offering, retail (including grocery) operators, and restaurants.
The pandemic slowed progress on the project, but the developer used this time strategically to lock down user groups and finalize design concepts.
While Fairmount Properties will likely maintain a local architectural production partner, the company has engaged one of the premier architects in the world, Callison RTKL, to design this transformation initiative.
“This is not a simple strip retail project or free-standing apartment building. The Global Village is a complex, multi-faceted, mixed-use district which requires significantly more planning and effort on the front end,” said Randy Ruttenberg, founder and principal at Fairmount Properties.
Fairmount Properties has achieved 31 separate ground-breakings and nearly $2 billion of projects successfully completed over the past 24 years.
“We look forward to bringing our place-making experience to Windsor in what we hope will be many more projects in Windsor/Essex for Fairmount Properties,” said Ruttenberg.
“Fairmount is fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a great number of cities throughout North America, and the successes being experienced in economic development, education, housing and healthcare in Windsor are unprecedented. The Windsor administration continues to deliver in ways that will continue to attract investment long into the future. When Fairmount comes into a community to look at a project, we, of course, must underwrite the deal itself. But as important, we must underwrite the strength of the local government and its ability to drive the economic growth and long-term success of its community. Early on, we were very impressed with Mayor Dilkens’ vision and priorities for Windsor. Now, as we can all see, he has delivered. These accomplishments are what will continue to drive investment like ours into this city,” said Ruttenberg.
The Global Village continues to meet the initial goals the developer set forth in the original submission:
• The goal of housing international students in a safe and affordable manner. To meet this goal, Fairmount Properties has reached affiliation agreements with both St. Clair College and the University of Windsor to co-market the housing for nearly 500 students in cutting-edge residences, with programming and amenities that aim to retain this great knowledge base following graduation;
• The goal to retain healthcare offerings within this submarket. To meet this goal, Fairmount Properties has a signed a Letter of Intent with a major operator of healthcare practice groups that will lease 14,000 square feet of space within the Global Village;
• The goal of providing retail and restaurant amenities for those living and working in the Global Village and the broader community. Fairmount Properties is in advance discussions with two grocery operators, one from Canada and one from Michigan, and will select one by year-end. This will be a smaller format store, between 9,500 and 12,000 square feet, with a focus on produce, meats, seafood, everyday staples, and prepared meals. The developer has also had preliminary discussions with operators within its target categories of health and fitness, coffee, fast casual food offerings, sit-down restaurants, and smaller boutiques. Fairmount anticipates making final decisions in six to 12 months.