Farhi Holdings Corporation, in partnership with TechAlliance, the London Small Business Centre, and the London Institute, unveiled a dramatic vision for the former London Free Press Building: Venture London, the new home for entrepreneurship in the city.
When construction is complete, the 180,000 square foot facility located at 369 York St. will become the focal point of entrepreneurship in London and the surrounding region by providing both the space and the support infrastructure that businesses need to succeed.
“While most people will know me as a real estate developer, I have also been an active investor in London companies for many years.” says Shmuel Farhi, president of Farhi Holdings Corporation. “I see Venture London as the best investment that I can make in this city’s future, and it is one that will pay dividends for many years to come.”
The entrepreneurship centre’s services will be built around TechAlliance and the London Small Business Centre, who will both be moving into the building’s first floor to provide entrepreneurs with one-stop access to supports, services, and workshops. Businesses will also benefit by having in-house access to key services including legal, finance, and capital investment provided by companies and organizations staffing offices in the building.
“For London to be able to compete economically, regionally and globally, we have to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to start and succeed.” says Marilyn Sinclair, President & CEO of TechAlliance. “That is the vision behind Venture London: to provide quick and convenient access to the right support infrastructure — mentoring, financial, legal, capital investment — that we know businesses need in order to have the best chances of success.”
Programming, services, and events for entrepreneurs will be organized individually and in partnership by TechAlliance and the London Small Business Centre. “It’s both symbolic and meaningful that London Small Business Centre and TechAlliance are working together under one roof.” says Steve Pellarin, Executive Director of the London Small Business Centre. “This new level of collaboration will enhance entrepreneurship in this city in amazing new ways, as together we can offer new shared programming, realize more efficiencies, and generate better outcomes for all.”
Other building amenities will include event spaces for use by tenants and the general public, outdoor areas, a rooftop patio, on-site catering facilities, and coworking spaces. Future plans also include spaces for restaurants, cafés, and retail options including small grocery and clothing stores. The site will also include over 400 surface and underground parking spots and convenient transportation options including Via Rail, Greyhound, and London Transit.
“We have taken a bold step forward to finally join other major Canadian cities in the technology and innovation race,” said Amir Farahi, Project Manager and Executive Director of the London Institute.
Renovations will begin Spring 2018, with expected occupancy of Phase 1 in late 2018.