The former Schneiders meat processing plant on Courtland Avenue in Kitchener has been sold to Auburn Developments.

The London-based company plans to transform the 11-hectare property into what they describe as, "the largest central infill development in the region."

Auburn Developments is known in Waterloo region for its redevelopment of the Arrow Lofts on Benton Street and The Barrel Yards community in Uptown Waterloo.

Pay tribute to history of lands

Jamie Crich, the president of Auburn Developments said in a statement they will pay tribute to the history of the Schneiders operation.

"We are thrilled to have purchased the 27.6-acre former Schneiders plant on Courtland Avenue and are excited to be planning and creating a wonderful new mixed use neighbourhood," Crich said.

schneiders plant kitchener

According to Auburn Developments, the Schneiders site has over 750,000 sq. ft. of vacant industrial and office space. (Google Earth)

"We are working on development concepts and have a vision for a range of housing forms and densities on the site along with some office, commercial space and parks. The site is adjacent to the ION LRT line and close to downtown Kitchener, and we think there are a lot of great development opportunities here."

In a blog post on his website, Coun. Frank Etherington said some of the buildings will be demolished while the office and warehouse may be converted. 

"Planners are looking at a mix of residential, commercial and institutional and office use along Courtland," he wrote.

More details about the vision and plan for the site will be prepared in the coming year.

"Preferred plans include medium and high-rise residential uses at the back of the site complete with innovation employment sites and possibilities for a brewpub, retail and restaurants."

According to the news release, clean up and initial steps to prepare the site for future development will begin in 2018.

Affordable housing would be 'appropriate legacy'

Etherington wrote he hopes councillors, planners and developers "will make certain the highest standards of urban design are used on a development where Schneider's first established its historic meat-packing plant 91 years ago."

He also expressed disappointment Schneider's Creek, which runs under the site, "does not look as though it will be naturalized and unearthed." 

He had also hoped the village might include subsidized, affordable housing.

"I'm working on it because I can't think of a more appropriate legacy to Schneiders's than to see some housing affordability on a site where thousands of working people and families found jobs, sometimes jobs that lasted a lifetime," Etherington wrote.