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Woodbridge changes plan, will sell parcel of downtown Toronto land

Woodbridge plans to sell a parcel of land, in foreground, which it had originally planned to develop

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail's parent company is selling a high-profile parcel of real estate in Toronto's downtown and cancelling plans to build a new office tower whose tenants would have included the news organization.

The company is negotiating to sell the land to a trio of developers that have already agreed to buy the property that The Globe and Mail currently occupies at 444 Front Street West for $136-million.

If a deal is struck to include the second property, which is next door at the corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue, the developers would own a sizeable piece of land in which to build its planned shopping centre and office complex.

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RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust chief executive officer Ed Sonshine, whose company joined with Allied Real Estate Investment Trust and Diamond Corp. in the deal for the current Globe site, said it represents one of the largest undeveloped contiguous parcels of land in the city's downtown.

Adding more land would allow the developers to expand their plans.

Woodbridge Co. Ltd. – which owns 85 per cent of the Globe – had previously announced plans to build an 18-storey office tower at the Front and Spadina site. Work on the building officially started last month, when a Toyota dealership was razed.

Workers have been drilling footings on the site since mid-November, and the new building was slated to open in 2015.

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