New tenant coming to Yonge-Dundas

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By Allan Woods

Toronto-based developer PenEquity will announce this week that an “excellent new tenant” has been found to move onto the land on the northeast corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets, said downtown city councillor Kyle Rae.

The mystery company will join AMC theatres as the major tenants in the 24-screen Metropolis entertainment complex.

The announcement, Rae said, will be made at a conference of the International Council of Shopping Centres, which runs from Tuesday until Friday in Whistler, B.C.

Construction on the land, which will also house several other compNIEW, is expected to begin in February.

Ryerson has negotiated to use the completed theatres as classrooms weekday mornings between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs, said she was told during a telephone conversation with PenEquity in December that construction is slated to begin in February.

“If it starts in February, we’ll celebrate,” Grayson said. “But until people see it there’s always uncertainty.”

The original proposal called for a 30-screen movie theatre but was later scaled down to 24-screens, and the venue — which was to be open by last Christmas — has been plagued by delays.

PenEquity was in negotiations for a year-and-a-half with Disney Quest — a Playdium-like division of Walt Disney World — and spent $700,000 working on designs for their proposed Toronto site before the company backed out, Rae said.

Keith Travis, who oversees the project development for PenEquity, is “away on business for the week,” said in an office employee.

Jane Harrigan, manager of the firm’s King Street West offices, declined to comment on whether or not an announcement would be made at the four-day convention.

Rae said he has been sworn to silence about who the tenant is for “strategic” reasons. The anticipated announcement comes two weeks before AMC is expected to publicly reveal the building’s other tenants, Councillor Rae said.

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