Old courthouse and health unit building sold to York Developments

A pair of high profile properties at The Forks of the Thames have been sold to a private developer, according to Middlesex County CAO Bill Rayburn.

Developer promises to respect the heritage value when designing a 'mixed use' project

Middlesex County Council has authorized a conditional agreement for the sale of the old courthouse at 399 Ridout Street and 50 King Street, which houses the offices of the Middlesex-London Health unit. (Gary Ennett/CBC)

A pair of high profile properties at The Forks of the Thames have been sold to London-based York Developments, which plans to convert them into a "mixed use" facility which could include offices and residences. 

Company president Ali Soufan was vague on details regarding the vision but said it would be a "dense development" that could also include a food provider.   

"There's significant heritage in the 399 Ridout Street building, and we want to enhance and respect that and use it in the design elements," Soufan explained at a news conference Wednesday at the location. 

York Developments has also purchased the adjacent building at 50 King Street, home to the Middlesex London Health Unit. Soufan said that would be the "first phase" for new development. 

"We've formalized an agreement where the county can stay in their existing facility for up to four or five years," he said. 

Ali Soufan, the president of York Developments, said there will be a mixed-use development on the two properties, including residential and commercial space. And he pledged to protect the heritage elements of the old courthouse. (Gary Ennett/CBC)

Sale price not disclosed

Neither Soufan nor officials from Middlesex County would disclose the sale price for the prime piece of downtown land. 

Bill Rayburn, CAO for the county, did say the money would be re-invested into the county's services and infrastructure.

"We think that we've managed to hit a home run here, right at the perfect opportunity."

Rayburn said county council laid out a "difficult set of goals," and he's relieved to have satisfied them all.

The City of London was also interested in purchasing the land. While they lost the bid, Soufan hopes the city will work collaboratively on plans for the new development. 

"Whether it be the city or some of the other downtown London employers, we're very excited about what the future will hold," he said.