KITCHENER -- Cambridge city council has agreed to move forward with a proposal that will redevelop a strip mall into a mixed residential area on the way into the city.

Property owners in Cambridge got council's support to speed up the process to make the land into an improved gateway into Cambridge.

The land is owned by SmartCentres and currently operates as a strip mall. The proposal would turn 18 to 60 Pinebush Road into a mixed residential unit, including commercial and retail space.

SmartCentres received council's support for a minister's zoning order on Tuesday night. That means they can start redeveloping the site next year without having to proceed through a normal planning application and public consultation process. That would typically take two to three years.

The proposal outlined a plan that could see between 5,000 and 10,000 residential units, including condos, apartment rentals, townhouses and senior units, over the course of 20 years.