On a crisp fall afternoon, Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin and Kingsmill owner Tim Kingsmill revealed the college’s newest real estate acquisition.
Devlin told media that the purchase of London’s historic Kingsmill building is almost official, and he is “ very pleased and excited.”
“Fanshawe College has waived the conditions on the offer to purchase Kingsmill,” Devlin said. “We’re tremendously excited about that and it’s great to share that with London.”
The purchase of Kingsmill will bring 2,000 students from the schools of Information Technology and Tourism & Hospitality to the downtown core.
Devlin thanked Kingsmill.
“I’m grateful to Mr. Kingsmill for all that he’s done and to be so supportive of Fanshawe College coming soon in greater numbers in downtown London.”
Kingsmill confessed that he’d been in a state of uncertainty in the past year and a half but he is excited for this major development.
“It’s a very exciting day for me, and it’s an exciting day for downtown London,” he said. “It’s going to move us forward quickly.”
Devlin explained what having the Centre for Digital and Performing Arts and Kingsmill buildings so close to each other could mean to the existing downtown.
“We’re right across the street,” he said. “Imagine the energy – the synergy of 2,000 students in two buildings across the street from each other.”
“Two schools – cutting edge schools, cutting edge programs and the effect that we will have on southwestern Ontario and the industries here.”
The deal is “near darn closed.”
“We’ve waived our conditions,” Devlin said. “Lawyers now need to do a little bit of stuff as would be expected in a real estate transaction. In that intervening period of time, we aim to finalize the request or proposal for the design of this great building.”
Naturally, the question of preserving Kingsmill’s original structure came up.
“We have great respect for the building as we go through design,” Devlin said. “The build phase will determine what we can keep of this wonderful building.”
The saga between college and the city began at the end of June when Fanshawe initially presented its proposal to buy the building.
Devlin says construction will start in the spring.
“We are on time, we are on target,” he said. “We want Londoners to be confident in the relationship and the movement of Fanshawe College in the future delivering the programs that students need to be successful within the industry.”
The plan is to open up shop in 2017 with the School of Information Technology and Tourism & Hospitality opening in the following year.