Where others see challenges, Farhi Holdings Corporation (FHC) sees opportunity.
Founded in 1988, the London, Ontario based real-estate development company has a long track record for heritage restorations, design-build, and partnerships with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. The company currently owns and manages more than 4 million square feet of office, retail, hospitality and residential space as well as over 2,500 acres of current and future land development in more than two dozen communities throughout Ontario. That includes two historic inns: Ingersoll’s Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and the Idlewyld Inn & Spa in London’s Old South neighbourhood.
FHC has been investing in Windsor since 2004, when founder Shmuel Farhi bought the Lear Seating factory and surrounding 110 acres of land. The factory is long gone – a victim
of the 2008 economic downturn – but the city-owned 40-acre WFCU Centre on part of the site is now home to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.
Farhi Holdings is feeling very confident in the Windsor market. Currently
the company has a vast portfolio of developments that are ongoing or in the approval process across a variety of sectors from hospitality, to residential, commercial, mixed-use properties and subdivisions.
“Windsor has done a great job of transforming itself from Canada’s automobile capital to a more diverse economy,” says Farhi. “There are a variety of reasons I felt this was the city in which to expand our holdings, but one of the most important was the staff at the City of Windsor. From the early days to now the administration and council at City Hall showed us they were very progressive and very open to listening to our ideas. The bottom line for them is job creation, expanding the tax base and pushing the Region forward and we
are on the same page with their goals.”
In addition to the ease in dealing with the City of Windsor, Farhi mentions another key factor in his confidence in the marketplace – the City of Detroit just across the river, “you can see a very tangible turn around in Detroit. The billions of dollars being poured into the city has created a spillover effect for Windsor.”
The Detroit effect is one of the reasons Farhi is expanding his hotel operations and focus into mixed-use development. With tourist visits and long-term stays continuing to increase, Farhi Holdings has three major hotels comprising 623 new suites in the city. The Best Western Plus houses 306 rooms including 21 suites with the Holiday Inn Express consisting of 156 rooms (4 suites) and the Hilton’s Double Tree housing 161 rooms including 46 suites.
In addition to the hotel expansion, Farhi Holding has plans to create a large mixed-use development that will include residential, commercial, and retail space. The plan is
to include 278 single-family residential walk-up units over 9 acres near Lauzon Parkway and also include 119 single family and detached homes over 14 acres. A variety of commercial spaces have been allocated across 9 acres and further mixed-use spaces over an additional 6 acres on the same site.
Farhi Holdings for some time has also been acquiring additional land in the Windsor Region. One of the purchases includes 53-acres on County Road 42, directly across from the proposed site of Windsor’s new mega-hospital and scheduled to begin construction within the next five years. Farhi says his land will provide an ideal location for commercial, retail, residential and hospitality development needed to support the state-of-the-art regional medical facility.
“We are long-term investors,” says Farhi. “We believe in Windsor and its future and see a bright opportunity ahead to grow and prosper as part of the Windsor business community.”
To learn more about Farhi Holdings Corporation visit www.fhc.ca