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Developer touts big future for site of former funeral home
A planned major redevelopment project in Kitchener’s north end is getting even bigger.
Development firm Zehr Group announced Monday that it had led the group purchasing the property at 621 King Street West, which housed the Ratz-Bechtel funeral home up until its December 2015 closure.
Zehr Group already owns the King’s Crossing plaza on an adjoining property, which it has long planned to redevelop.
Combined, the two properties feature more than five acres of space, and could potentially house more than 875,000 square feet of development.
“We’re very excited about the potential for this entire site and it will certainly attract broad interest,” Zehr Group CEO Don Zehr said in a press release.
Zehr cited the site’s proximity to the Ion light rail transit line, a future transit hub at King and Victoria streets, and the downtown Kitchener tech hub as three factors working in the site’s favour.
At least some of the building’s heritage features will be preserved, Zehr said.
The former funeral home was built in 1897 by Kitchener businessman Jacob Kaufman, and served as the Kaufman family home for many years.
Blaming construction in the area – which is expected to continue for most of 2016 – the operators of the funeral home pulled out of the location last month, moving into new space at another home elsewhere in the city.