Longtime London manufacturer has grown out of its Dundas Street head office space

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One of London’s oldest industries, is growing into a new home.

Emco Corp., with two London sites, has bought land at 2150 Oxford Street East near Veterans Memorial Parkway and construction of a new, 30,000-square-foot office was just approved by the city.

“There are nice things going on there. It is a nice-sized business,” said Sean Ford, partner in Dancor, the London builder that is building the new office.

“They are expanding and it did not make sense to hold on to where they are now.”

Emco is now at 1108 Dundas St., near the former McCormick plant site.

“It is an older building, not a usable site,” said Ford.

That area is targeted for redevelopment by the city, part of the city’s McCormick Area Plan, where mixed use, residential and commercial development, may take place. This move means there will be another building to be part of the redevelopment plan.

“I can see that happening. We will end up with towers downtown and residential next to commercial and industrial,” as part of the McCormick area, said Ford.

Emco’s Dundas Street office is its head office and its Leathorne Avenue site is a distribution/warehouse operation with about 20 staff.

As for its new home, construction began this week and it plans on moving in March, said Ford.

Emco officials could not be reached for comment.

The building was approved at a recent city planning and environment committee and goes to council Aug. 22.

The city’s approval of building, however, “is contingent on a site plan and building elevations that incorporate high-quality urban design features that recognize the prominent gateway location of the site, including enhanced building and landscape design, screened service and loading areas, and building orientation and setbacks,” states a city staff report to the committee.

Emco Corp. opened in 1906 as a small plumbing store in London under the name Empire Manufacturing Company Limited. It now has 200 offices, warehouses and showrooms across Canada. In 2003 Emco was bought by Hajoca, a U.S. plumbing distributor.

Dancor has been busy, Ford said, with three new builds last year and four this year already.

Among its new builds is a new office for FedEx on Wilton Grove Road and one for Ryder Truck on Green Valley Drive, said Ford.

“We were quiet in 2013 and 2014. In 2016 things got going again. We’re happy now,” said Ford.

Other planning committee matters, also going to council, include a housing subdivision approved at the committee level.

The development, at 2332 Wickerson Rd., will add 142-single detached dwelling lots to the Byron neighbourhood.

“We are getting pressure to get building lots online. The builders say they need to build as quickly as possible,” said Allister MacLean, in the city’s development services office.



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