Jack Winberg, president and CEO of the Rockport Group, announced recently plans for a commerical condominum near Laird and Eglinton. The project will be known as Wicksteed Business Park and will take a fallow, 9.5 acre (3.5 hectares) brownfield site in midtown Toronto and develop it with seventy-eight commercial condominum spaces ranging from 1,000 to 30,000 square feet.

South-East view of Wicksteed Business Park along Wicksteed Avenue, image courtesSouth-East view of Wicksteed Business Park along Wicksteed Avenue, image courtesy of The Rockport Group

The Rockport Group is a fully integrated real estate services provider which handles all aspects of land acquisition, development, project and construction and property management for residential, commercial, industrial, and retirement home properties. With over fifty years experience, Rockport has developed a portfolio of over 30,000 residential and retirement suites as well as retail units, commercial and industrial properties, self storage facilities and golf course estate communities. Rockport was one of the original pioneers of the condominium concept in Ontario, having registered the first five residential condominium corporations in the Toronto area.

By retaining employment uses within the Toronto, Wicksteed Business Park helps fulfill an ongoing effort by the City and the Province. Many new projects request that 'employment lands' be rezoned to residential use. This forces employers to look for office and warehouse space in the outlying suburbs, increasing traffic and development pressure near the Green Belt. Rockport aims to do precisely the opposite at Wicksteed. By retaining employment uses within the city, employers are able to offer employees better connections to neighbourhood amenities and a greater number of transportation options. In that vein, Rockport is actively promoting the site's proximity to downtown Toronto via the 401 and Don Valley Parkway highways as well as the TTC's upcoming Crosstown LRT line along Eglinton.

Wicksteed Business Park location, image courtesy of The Rockport GroupWicksteed Business Park location, image courtesy of The Rockport Group

Though some may question the complex's extensive parking and auto-oriented design, its planning is actually quite intellegent, pushing buildings to the property line so as to define space rather than simply exist within it. This approach will enhance Wicksteed Avenue and introduce a level of urbanity not before seen in this part of town.

Phase I will be divided into three buildings, Ashwood, Beechwood and Dogwood Places, while room has been made to the east for future expansions. Each building is divided into 1,000 and 2,000 square foot units, allowing prospective owners to buy as many units as needed. The units are configured so that upper floors can be split off from lower floors if desired, and one of the two floors could be leased by the owner to others.

Wicksteed Business Park site plan, image courtesy of The Rockport GroupWicksteed Business Park site plan, image courtesy of The Rockport Group

According to Rockport's press release, the Wicksteed units will feature:

"...high ceilings, ample parking, large windows and second-floor skylights. Private washrooms are roughed in and gas-fired HVAC is installed on the roof, and wiring is in place for the latest communications technologies via fibre optic and co-ax services. Upgrade options provide a wide array of customization possibilities, including sound resistance, elevators, security packages, showers, and kitchens."

Detail shot of Wicksteed Business Park, image courtesy of The Rockport GroupDetail shot of Wicksteed Business Park from the north-west, image courtesy of The Rockport Group

Wicksteed Business Park's units start in the $280,000s. Interested buyers should contact commercial sales representative John Robb of Bosley Real Estate for further details.