3C Waterfront | ?m | ?s | 3C Lakeshore | Foster + Partners

Discussion in 'Buildings' started by AlvinofDiaspar, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    From the Star:

    Controversial waterfront site sold to developers

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    Great news, also keep in mind they are involved in the EBF Bayside proposal that has been highly regarded. Looking forward to the plans/details.

    Note: thread will be moved to P&C once more details are available

    AoD
     
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  2. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    Certainly a positive development but it will be interesting to see how it changes, if it does, the Waterfront Toronto plan to bring Queen's Quay east of Parliament Street (to Cherry) and bring Cherry further south to a new bridge over the Keating Channel. These new roads would run through this site.
     
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  3. yyzer

    yyzer Senior Member

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    Great news indeed! I don't think we could hope for a better group of developers to build this....
     
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  4. Conrad Black

    Conrad Black Senior Member

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    East Bayfront (Parliament & Lake Shore, Castlepoint/Cityzen/Continental Ventures, ?)

    Very cool. Cityzen lost to Hines on the site to the west but get this one.

    Controversial waterfront site sold to developers
    http://www.thestar.com/news/article...?bn=1&sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4cd169e7ef08cd21,0


    More than a decade ago, developer Alfredo Romano opposed construction of a mammoth Home Depot store on the Toronto waterfront.

    He had company. In 1999, Home Depot’s decision to build the big-box outlet drew strong opposition from politicians and residents.

    “I wasn’t opposed to putting retail in the area, but it was the size that was the issue,†Romano said in an interview.

    “What most people didn’t want to see was a big box.â€

    The high-profile developer at Castlepoint Realty Partners confirmed to the Star Tuesday that he has purchased the Home Depot lands along with two other developers, Cityzen Development Group and New York-based Continental Ventures.

    And he’s not ruling out putting a Home Depot in the area — if it’s the right size.

    “If it fits the sensibility of the area and works within an urban setting, that would be a possibility,†said Romano, noting that big-box retailers such as Canadian Tire already have smaller locations downtown such as the one at the Eaton Centre.

    The site at the southwest corner of Cherry St. and Lake Shore Blvd. E. was home to Tent City, a shantytown built by homeless squatters who were evicted by Home Depot in 2002.

    The developers closed the deal Oct. 29. The price is undisclosed.

    The 5.54 hectare site is important to the fortunes of the waterfront not just in location, but also because of the scale: It was rezoned this year for 2.4 million square feet, which makes it larger than the 2-million-square-foot Pan Am athletes village project in the West Don Lands.

    “We are very excited to come to Toronto,†said Jane Gol, president of Continental Ventures.

    “There is a lot of synergy with arts and film, and there is incredible potential in waterfront development,†she said from New York.

    “We already do a lot of work with waterfront in our city and we believe this is where people want to live.â€

    Gol, a former commissioner on New York City’s planning commission, has had significant experience in redeveloping and nurturing underdeveloped areas in urban centres. This is her first foray outside the United States.

    “Other developers would come back and tell me that I should go see what’s happening in Toronto, that this would fit the type of long-term development that we do, and they were right, we love the city,†said Gol.

    Romano said the project will likely be a mixed-use development of retail, condominium, hotel and office space.

    “We are still in the planning stages, and we are assembling a team, but it will be something we can be proud of — we want to lead with outstanding design,†said Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen.

    Crignano said the developers were in talks with Home Depot for the past year before the deal was struck. “Home Depot isn’t in the development business, so it was really a win-win for all sides,†said Romano.

    Home Depot had owned the land for more than a decade. Despite public opposition to the 113,000-square-foot store, it took its fight to the Ontario Municipal Board, where it was turned down.

    The controversy was not unlike the recent fight over the building of an ice rink in the portlands, dubbed “Home Depot 2010†by some critics, a clash over suburban and urban values.

    As first revealed in the Star earlier this year, noted urban designer Ken Greenberg quit over the proposal which ignited debate over the fate of the portlands.

    A revised vision of the rink was finally approved by Toronto City Council in August.

    However, mayor-elect Rob Ford was one of the councillors who voted against the $88 million building, so it is by no means a sure thing.

    The developers estimate it will take at least two or three years before a shovel hits the ground, and the project will take about a decade to build.

    “We are all very patient developers and we want to see it done right,†said Gol.

    The sale of the Home Depot site means that development along the Toronto waterfront is now at full throttle.

    Waterfront Toronto also has another project in the East Bayfront district, four hectares of land south of Queens Quay Blvd., between Lower Sherbourne and Parliament Sts.

    The plan, developed by Hines, a global real estate firm, was approved by council in August and calls for 1,700 condos and space for 2,400 jobs.

    Romano’s company is the largest private owner of land in the Toronto waterfront area.

    A related company in the Castlepoint group already owns two hectares adjoining the Home Depot site. And Castlepoint is a part owner in the neighbouring Pinewood Studios.

    The developers are known for their bold design statements, including teaming with Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes to develop the L Tower, designed by star architect Daniel Libeskind on Front St.

    Cityzen is a partner with Fernbrook on the Peter Clewes-designed Pier 27 waterfront condominium development at the foot of Yonge St.
     
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  5. Tulse

    Tulse Senior Member

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    Can someone explain how the waterfront development process works? This parcel of land is within the area identified as the Lower Donlands by Waterfront Toronto -- what control if any does that organization have over the development that takes place on this parcel?

    (And a note on the thread title: Because this area is, as I understand it, technically Lower Donlands and not East Bayfront, a title change may be in order.)
     
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  6. CapitalSeven

    CapitalSeven Active Member

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    Good question Tulse. I assume no one knows just how this is going to work. The city's plan for the area involves rerouting Cherry St. a few hundred feet to the west - through this property - and extending Queen's Quay to and beyond Cherry as well (with streetcar rights of way on both). This plan can't be fully carried out until and unless Lakeshore is rerouted north of the Gardiner, which of course can't happen until the Pan-Am Games wrap up, since the pool sits where the road would run. That makes the city's plan a not-short-term one, though developing this property is not an overnight proposition either, given the surroundings and lack of urban infrastructure (as Christopher Hume's article in the Star notes).

    Is it too much to hope that the owners/developers and public authorities recognize that they need each other to make something happen here? Given what's already in the works for the East Bayfront and West Don Lands, I don't see a great chance of selling much here before 2020. Cooperating to get workable infrastructure in place during that time and then building something of higher value is in everyone's interest. The city's plan already includes mixed uses with medium to high density and three tall towers here, so they should't have too much to fight about, unless the developers regress to the Big Box Now mentality. Which, sadly, the mayor would likely support.
     
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  7. Tulse

    Tulse Senior Member

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    I guess my broader question is to what extent Waterfront Toronto controls this area, and whether they have a say in it development to the same extent that they seem to with, say, the Bayside development project. I'm confused because this parcel is in an area that Waterfront Toronto seems to be doing planning for, but it sounds like they may not actually have any legal force in setting development standards for it.
     
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  8. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    WT has clear "Strategies" that are outlined on their website at http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/about_us/strategies Most of their other sites further west and north were or are owned by some public body but I think the priorities and general procedures for WT remain the same; to plan for and install the necessary infrastructure and transit and work with the City to draw up the zoning plans and street layouts (Plan of Subdivision) etc. I would doubt that the "Home Depot Site" now has nearly enough City services (water, sewer, hydro etc) so the first thing they will need to do is to get that in place and only then can the developers move in. As this is private land I assume the developers will have to come up with $$ to achieve this.
     
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  9. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    This site isn't located in the East Bayfront precinct (East Bayfront extends from the Jarvis slip to the Parliament slip). This area is known as the Keating Channel precinct (part of the larger Lower Don Lands). The City has approved a precinct plan for Keating, setting out the planning framework for the neighbourhood, and recently enacted a zoning by-law for the western portion of the precinct.

    Castlepoint also owns the adjacent Victory Soya Mill site (sold by Lance Trumbell!), and WT owns the lands on the east side of the Parliament slip, all of which will presumably be planned in conjunction with the Home Depot parcel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
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  10. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    I hope they finally come up with a plan to reuse the Victory Soya Mills silo and integrate it into a new development. We're seeing ambitious redevelopment projects with good attention to detail in the area, so there may be a good chance of it happening.
     
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  11. College Park

    College Park Active Member

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    Alyna, I was thinking the same thing myself. I sure hope the "years fly by".
     
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  12. Towered

    Towered Senior Member

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    Cityzen will not let us down. Maybe this is the site where Toronto will get its equivalent of Mississauaga's Absolute stunners!!
     
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  13. maestro

    maestro Senior Member

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    perfect site to have Pier 27 type midrises surrounding one or two 60 storey type Absolutes
     
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  14. borgo100

    borgo100 Active Member

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    This is a great area for a Toronto equivalent of the Chicago Spire. Toronto Spire? 2000 ft, 150 stories anyone?
     
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  15. Automation Gallery

    Automation Gallery Senior Member

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    Are you crazy...you cant be talking about anything over 995 feet/298 meters, many UT forumers will have your head.:D lol lol
     
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