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Revitalize the Ledo? Private sector pitches $40M plan to transform downtown Sudbury

'Le Ledo' would be a 150,000 sq. ft. commercial development in the Junction
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Le Ledo Inc. (LLI) of Sudbury has developed the concept and business models to transform the city's planned Junction district. (Supplied)

Le Ledo Inc. (LLI) of Sudbury has developed the concept and business models to transform the city's planned Junction district, and it is centred around transforming one of the more run-down buildings in the city’s downtown core.

At $40,000,000, the plan as envisioned will be the largest private investment into the city’s downtown.

LLI has been working for a few months with an internationally recognized Canadian architecture firm on the design of what is being named ‘Le Ledo‘,” the group said in a news release today.

The 0.6-acre site that is bordered by Van Horne, Elgin and Shaughnessy will reimagine the entire property with a 150,000 sq. ft. commercial development in Sudbury’s south section of the Junction district with a combination of existing uses and others allowable within the C-6 commercial zoning. 

The project would conform with the city’s Official Plan and the Downtown Master Plan, LLI said today. 

LLI states, “with several road networks, transit hub and infrastructure already in place, Le Ledo will do its part by making use of the central location and benefits to the city”.

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.

Based on the commitment from the City of Greater Sudbury to build a new public library and art gallery as part of the Junction project, LLI felt the time was right to look to redevelop an historic and iconic corner of the downtown. 

Design teams for the Junction were shortlisted by the city this past spring. The proponents of the LLI idea said in a news release this indicates the city’s commitment to moving forward with the project. Coupled with what LLI called “the real prospect” of the Sudbury Arena being renovated and transformed by the Project NOW idea (which would require the city to withdraw its support for the already underway Kingsway Entertainment District project), the Le Lido idea is viable, proponents said.

Additionally, the international design competition led by the McEwen School of Architecture (Sudbury2050.ca) has seen over 100 entries from 30 countries vying for the $63,000 in prize money.

An LLI spokesperson said “having the design competition during our process encouraged our team knowing there will be some very compelling ideas for the public to get excited about this Fall.” LLI has indicated to the city that they would enter into a long-term lease agreement for 120-plus parking spaces within the Junction District with an annual revenue to the city of  more than $100,000. 

Additionally, as part of LLI’s commitment to the neighbourhood and people, the group said it would provide $150,000 to a local social services agency to assist with outreach efforts in the area.

According to the news release from LLI, the project would generate, on an annual basis, $600,000 in new tax for the municipality (a 1,400-per-cent increase), $225,000 in new tax for education (a 2,300-per-cent increase) and $90,000 in new dollars for the downtown BIA (a 1,500-per-cent increase).

This investment coincides with the city’s desire to create the Junction District (East and West), develop the downtown and increase the property tax base, and value of living for residents of Greater Sudbury. 

"Le Ledo will provide a stunning backdrop to support that vision to the south," said the news release. "LLI looks forward to working with staff, council and the private sector to realize this goal."

LLI believes Sudbury has the ability to rebound quicker than larger centres in Canada in a post-COVID world for a whole host of reasons given its regional strength, quality of lifestyle and adaptability. 

With that in mind, LLI anticipates the completion of the project to coincide with the opening of the downtown public library and art gallery.