Soil testing is taking place at the former Schneiders plant in Kitchener and the demolition of some old industrial buildings will begin by early spring, the developer says.

The property southwest of Kitchener's downtown core had sat vacant for three years before it was announced last October the London, Ont.-based Auburn Developments had purchased it.

Auburn Developments, known in Waterloo region for its redevelopment of the Arrow Lofts on Benton Street and The Barrel Yards community in uptown Waterloo, gave an update on the project saying the office tower of the former factory over to Palmer Avenue will be demolished.

Developers are also working with the City of Kitchener on getting site plans approved to move forward with the project, which will see the land used for a mix of residential, employment and green space.

Last October, Auburn said the 11-hectare property will become "the largest central infill development in the region."

Auburn plans to launch a naming contest for the new development in March.