Dalron aims to create 'financial district' in downtown Sudbury

A Sudbury real estate company is trying to declare the corner of Cedar and Durham as the "financial district" of northern Ontario.

Site has been a parking lot since the 100 Georges restaurant was torn down a decade ago

John Arnold from Dalron is hoping to brand the corner of Durham and Cedar in downtown Sudbury as Northern Ontario's financial district. (Erik White/CBC)

A Sudbury real estate company is trying to declare the corner of Cedar and Durham as the "financial district" of the city.

It's part of an effort by Dalron to attract tenants to a new office complex it hopes to build on a parking lot on that corner, which is already home to three banks.

Dalron commercial leasing manager John Arnold says that kind of branding does help attract tenants.

"Absolutely. Clustering is a common term used in commercial real estate. You want to be by your competition. You see it in downtown Toronto, other major centres, they have financial districts, they all want to be close," he said.

"We're fishing, we're marketing, we're branding." "And I think as you create that brand and people referring to this as the financial district, you're going to get the attention of some of the other people who say 'Hey, I want to be down there.'"

Arnold says there has been some interest in the new office complex so far, but he says more companies need to sign on before it becomes a reality.

After decades of buildings in downtown Sudbury being torn down and replaced with parking lots, this would be one of the first to go in the opposite direction.

Different buildings have been on the site in the past, but most recently it was the home of the 100 Georges restaurant, before it was torn down about a decade ago.

"So, I think that would be a great signal, a great sign for the downtown. Where the private sector would step in and build something on a parking lot, where in the past parking lots were created," said Arnold.

Arnold has been an outspoken advocate for the need for more parking in the downtown, arguing that it is keeping new business and residential development away, but feels the corner of Cedar and Durham is too valuable to leave as a parking lot.