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It’s still a factory – but it will be a fun factory.
A large portion of the vacant Kellogg cereal plant on Dundas Street will be reborn as a huge indoor adventure park called The Factory, it was announced Wednesday.
The London facility will feature North America’s largest indoor ropes course with ziplines, a trampoline park, electric go-karts, mini golf, escape rooms, axe-throwing, an arcade and a toddler soft play area.
Another portion of the plant will hold London’s newest craft brewery, called Silverstacks, named for the huge stacks in the former Kellogg factory’s power plant.
The adventure park and craft brewery are the first phase of a multi-year plan by Tillsonburg-based E&E McLaughlin Ltd. to redevelop the 93,000 sq. ft. site for a variety of uses including office, light industrial and recreational.
E&E McLaughlin has a history of offering older buildings a new lease on life.
The Factory is a $7-million, 170,000 sq. ft. space being developed by Londoner Dan Cassidy, who has a background in customer service, including managing a Canadian Tire store.
Cassidy and his financial partners believe the London market is ready for a big recreational attraction that will draw families year-round.
He has already been working on the first phase – 27,000 sq. ft. that is scheduled to open in January.
“We have a big space that we can bring all the key element of indoor adventure together with no seasonality. There’s a huge market opportunity here,” Cassidy said.
Dan Cassidy, who is developing The Factory Indoor Adventure Park in the old Kellogg’s factory in London, Ontario, lays out his plans during a press conference on Wednesday August 16, 2017. (MORRIS LAMONT, The London Free Press)
Silverstacks Brewery is an expansion of a craft brewery that was opened in Tobermory in 2014 by Matt Buckley and his wife Kristin, two former London police officers.
The London brewery will produce beer for the original Tobermory brewery as well as producing the new Silverstacks brand.
“There’s always an opportunity for great craft beer. This is a great place to expand. It will be the central destination for this whole complex,” said Chris McCoy, another former London police officer who is the brewery’s sales and market director.
Silverstacks also plans to open in Jan 2018.
E. E. McLaughlin is also looking for tenants to occupy the large glass-face office tower that was part of the Kellogg complex.
The company’s assets include the former Electro-Motive Diesel plant on Oxford Street East.
The Kellogg plant opened in London in 1913 and closed in December 2014, eliminating more than 500 unionized jobs. The Michigan-based cereal giant moved most of the jobs to the United States.
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