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Globe and Mail Centre, The 
351 King St E, Toronto
Developer: First Gulf

Globe and Mail Centre, The | 83m | 17s | First Gulf | Diamond Schmitt

Discussion in 'Buildings' started by DSC, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    The expansion of the Sun Building is returning to the Design Review panel next week and they have had a re-think. Instead of a residential tower and an office tower at the east end of the property (near Berkeley) they are now proposing only one, office, tower.

    The tower at the west corner of the site (on No Frills parking lot) which is for a future development, is still in the plan.

    333 King Street East, King-Parliament Neighbourhood
    Rezoning Application, 2nd DRP Review (1st Review June 2012)
    Great Gulf / First Gulf
    Presentations:
    Willie Macrae, Community Planning; Myron Boyko, Urban Design
    David Dow, Diamond & Schmitt Architects
    Description: revised development proposal consisting of an office building (20 storeys) on the east portion
    of the property and a separate office building (13 storeys) on the southwest corner of the site
     
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  2. chriskayTO

    chriskayTO Active Member

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    Very interesting - that shows that First Gulf has some optimism for the commercial office market. And perhaps a not so hot outlook for the residential condo market.
     
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  3. Razz

    Razz Active Member

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    I presume the 20 storey office building would be sited along King Street in the gap between GBC and the heritage building on the corner of Berkeley Street. I am curious at to why First Gulf have abandoned their rezoning for a residential tower on the nwc of Front and Berkeley. Perhaps they see more office and/or retail as a better fit for the site, long term.

    November 11, 2012:

    [​IMG]

    The east elevation is getting more fins:

    [​IMG]

    I will reserve my judgement on the fins until I see how the building elevations play out when complete. At this point I am not sold on the fins I think if they blanket the entire elevation, it will look too busy. So much for the green roof. It looks like that is the extent of it. The city green roof by-law only requires them to green a minimum of 20% of the roof, and it appears that is what they did. Not a square foot more. What a shame.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. taal

    taal Senior Member

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  5. chriskayTO

    chriskayTO Active Member

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    Thanks for the photo update! Sad and disappointing about the green roof, though.
     
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  6. Razz

    Razz Active Member

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    I love the design. It’s a vast improvement over D&S’s previous concept, which was an abomination (IMHO). Like night and day. However, that said, I think it’s overly ambitious for this specific site and general location. The 25,000 sf floor plate is considerably larger than all of Scotia Plaza, TD Bank Tower, Royal Bank Plaza north and south towers, Commerce Court West, Royal Trust Tower, Ernst & Young Tower, BAC West, etc. Furthermore, while I am not opposed to height as a rule, a 20-storey office tower (with that massive a floor plate) in this location is completely out of context with the built form along King Street East and in particular the existing and proposed office buildings directly opposite (SAS, North-West Value Partners Inc.) which are approx 12 stories in height, not to mention the uniformly 12 to 15-storey residential condo buildings (and TCHC building opposite) that straddle King Street between Parliament and Sherbourne.

    I regret that I was unable to attend the DRP meeting today to see what the panel’s final recommendation was. I’m pretty confident they would have salivated over the iconic design, but I wonder what their comments were on building size, height, massing, context, etc. I am clearly in favour the basic architectural design of the building, but would rather see it scaled back to perhaps 14 or 15 stories in height, with the floor plate reduced proportionately to no greater than 17,000 or 18,000 sq. ft., presenting more as a point tower than the proposal shown. Besides, a reduced building will have a much better chance of success from a leasing and financing standpoint given the fringe office location (Coca-Cola Canada notwithstanding). To proceed with a 500,000 sf office building, they would need to attract an investment grade quality tenant to take at least 200,000 sf or more. That is a monumental challenge at this time and in this location. Reducing the depth of the building would also give FG more options with respect to their abutting vacant land parcel to the south bounded by Front and Berkeley . It will be very interesting to see how this new proposal plays out.

    Back to more mundane things, I noticed this morning that workmen were messing with the fins on the east elevation, removing the previously installed horizontal banding elements. The result is quite striking. This adds a nice accent to the south-east corner of the building. I hope it stays this way, and that they repeat the pattern on one or more of the other elevations.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. taal

    taal Senior Member

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    25K is about the size of all those towers:
    BMO: 31K
    TD Canada Trust: 23K
    Royal Bank (south tower): 24K
    Comerce Court: 24K


    Actually larger floor plates are generally a huge plus.

    I too think its a bit ambitious ... if you didn't check out the article I linked too, its very interesting as you can see they think they'll be able to go after the core businesses, but like some comments made in the link, I doubt it.

    Someone mentioned great gulf had plans to move its HQ here (they're currently somewhere on Victoria Park) ... but that's max 70-100K
     
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  8. taal

    taal Senior Member

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    Not as optimistic regarding the new building ... take Queen Richmond Center West ... they've been marketing it for 2 years now, and it seems only just now have they signed on one tenant for 50K ... and its arguable the west is more attractive then the east.

    Keep in mind there really hasn't been much in terms of big new office development outside the core (still referring to downtown) in the last 5/10 years. By big I'm not referring too huge towers, rather anything larger then 100K for example (which is the size of most suburban office towers). There has been some office conversions of older warehouses (but most of this took place even earlier).

    So it'd be a big accomplishment to get this off the ground and would be a good sign.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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  9. Edward Skira

    Edward Skira http://skyrisecities.com Staff Member

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    Coca Cola moved here from the burbs so that shows this location is viable for office. And 2 years for a new project isn't that long.
     
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  10. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    Great Gulf (and/or First Gulf) are moving their own offices there so that already deals with several floors - I think they said 6 but am not sure.
     
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  11. beaconer

    beaconer Active Member

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    This is no doubt, a consequence of our condo boom, as this article suggests:

    Oodles of condos create a thirst for downtown office space
    http://www.torontolife.com/daily/in...rket/2012/04/18/condos-downtown-office-space/

    I can definitely see this area in particular morphing into a more mixed used neighbourhood, more so than it currently is. Especially with the build out of Pan Am, Distillery, Waterfont, and First Gulfs huge DVP property.

    King West developed first, took care of the residential need mostly because that is where the demand was. Its big appeal, I think was to cater to live close to where you play, moreso to live close to where you work.

    King East developing later. I think the appeal being more the opposite, with the appeal being live close to where you work. As a consequence of being developed later, and with still quite a lot of land, it has been able to change its direction based on the demand and the needs of the booming downtown population, already in place.

    CURRENTLY:

    -You will have three head offices of some pretty impressive companies (SAS, Coca Cola, First Gulf/Great Gulf) all more or less on the same block, all moving in fairly recently, with SAS being the original, and Coca Cola and Great Gulf still being frontier. Their reward for being somewhat pioneering, is prime location, or what will be in say, 10-15 years, when all the construction dust settles.

    -You also have Chorus, that moved from west to east, down Sherbourne, which you can argue is geographically proximate.

    -Lesser/smaller known, you have two longstanding sofware companies: Quest Software (bought out by Dell) and AutoDesk, and then auctioneer house Waddingtons (who have moved west end to east end) all close by on King.

    I think this all serves the East End well.
     
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  12. Ramako

    Ramako Moderator

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    The east side of downtown is really undiscovered territory for a lot of Torontonians, but it's definitely moving in the right direction with respect to both residential and office development. As the CBD continues to expand, it seems inevitable that the areas surrounding the core will become prime candidates for redevelopment. Whether or not there is a demand for office space on the east side of the core right now, I have no doubt that in 20 or 30 years, the area will be considered very prime employment real estate. After all, there won't be a "south core" to relive the pressure.
     
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  13. Conrad Black

    Conrad Black Senior Member

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    This is great news.
     
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  14. taal

    taal Senior Member

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    Did you see this in an article ? Its just I haven't heard this from anyone !
     
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  15. beaconer

    beaconer Active Member

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