07/19/2007 12:00AM

Woodbine project advances


A massive retail-entertainment-residential development proposal for land adjacent to Woodbine that was unveiled almost two years ago came a step closer to reality Tuesday when the Toronto City Council approved major bylaws related to the project.

"We crossed an important hurdle," said Nick Eaves, president and chief executive officer of the Woodbine Entertainment Group, noting that the official plan and zoning amendments for the project, known as Woodbine Live!, had been approved.

Eaves said that the process is not complete, as details such as site-plan amendments and subdivision plans must be approved.

Woodbine has entered into partnership with the Baltimore-based Cordish Group for the project. The cost was originally announced as $310 million but Eaves said, "The scope has grown significantly."

The first phase of the project will involve a 25-acre retail-entertainment district and 80 to 90 acres of upscale retail. Phase two will be residential development on approximately 50 acres. All of the land is owned by Woodbine.