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731 Eastern @ Leslie (FreshCo site, Craft Development, 10s, AUDAX)

smably

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I stumbled on this render on the AUDAX site for a "new mixed-use development" near the waterfront:
PROJECTS - Eastern Mixed-Use-copy1.jpg

Image via AUDAX site.

AUDAX has been commissioned to design a vibrant mixed-use community on what is currently a four acre big-box store site near Toronto’s beaches and waterfront trails. The design being proposed includes an elegant mix of two to three storeys of retail and commercial spaces at grade, with mid-rise residential condominiums on top. To create a rich pedestrian realm for the new community, the design uses stone for the three storey retail podium and light and airy floor-to-ceiling glass for the design of the condominium residences above.
There isn't much detail on the page, but the client is listed as Craft Developments, and the image filename contains the word "Eastern". Sure enough, Craft owns the plaza with the FreshCo at 731 Eastern Avenue, at Leslie and Lake Shore.

No idea how old the render is or what their current plans are for this property, but it might be worth keeping an eye on. This plaza and the Loblaws across the street are both ripe for redevelopment.
 

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Armour

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I was just checking out the architect's website and their Annex and Bridle Path residences are incredible. Anyone have any idea what the addresses are for those houses?
 

Lenser

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That would certainly be a game changer for that intersection. It's been pretty dowdy and under-utilized. Makes sense. The spit and the bike trails along the waterfront are right there, as well as decent transit connections. You also have the Lake Shore, Gardiner and DVP all nearby. Add in the relief subway line and you have a whole swatch of the east end which will be seeing some intensification.
 

smably

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That would certainly be a game changer for that intersection. It's been pretty dowdy and under-utilized. Makes sense. The spit and the bike trails along the waterfront are right there, as well as decent transit connections. You also have the Lake Shore, Gardiner and DVP all nearby. Add in the relief subway line and you have a whole swatch of the east end which will be seeing some intensification.
Totally. Also, once the Unilever site gets built out, this area will have great access to Toronto's second downtown, with 50,000 jobs within walking distance. I think a bunch of other properties along Eastern also have commercial redevelopment plans.
 

Lenser

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Torontologist, not so sure about that... you may have inside information of course but my thinking is that there's a slew of film-related redevelopment a little further west along Eastern and none of it is residential - it's mixed use but it's a combo of film studios and related production offices plus supporting office/service/supply small businesses, as well as retail; in other words, there's already lots of employment stuff in the works along that strip.

I'm guessing that the location of the FreshCo store would be deemed very desirable for residential due to its proximity to the lake and other factors. I would also expect that this proposal wouldn't even have made an appearance here if they didn't already have some kind of understanding with the city.
 

innsertnamehere

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The city has been fighting residential development in this area for years, and has been winning. Residential here will be quite the uphill fight.
 

Lenser

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I don't doubt it. And who knows how old that rendering is, and what's become of the initial vision. I will be disappointed if it's not residential, although I suppose I won't be terribly surprised either. The Queen East corridor, and further west along Eastern as it nears Broadview, are definite targets of intensification.
 

torontologist

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Torontologist, not so sure about that... you may have inside information of course but my thinking is that there's a slew of film-related redevelopment a little further west along Eastern and none of it is residential - it's mixed use but it's a combo of film studios and related production offices plus supporting office/service/supply small businesses, as well as retail; in other words, there's already lots of employment stuff in the works along that strip.

I'm guessing that the location of the FreshCo store would be deemed very desirable for residential due to its proximity to the lake and other factors. I would also expect that this proposal wouldn't even have made an appearance here if they didn't already have some kind of understanding with the city.
It's been municipal planning's policy for a while to resist any sort of residential redevelopment on employment lands. The development at 459 Eastern comes to mind, where the city wouldn't even allow Live/Work units in a mixed use building, let alone straight-up condos. They are even resistant to rezoning these lands from Core Employment to General Employment- the process to get the StudioCentres site rezoned to General Employment was pretty tricky, as far as I know.
 

Lenser

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I know that the fairly ambitious project at 629 Eastern is not involving residential of any sort but there's been speculation on the part of locals that it's not simply due to the city wanting to keep employment land; that whole stretch of Eastern is contaminated from decades of heavy metals. The soil remediation issues alone would be huge; between 629 Eastern and 721 Eastern (apparently another project of some sort), it's a huge tract of land.

Not sure if the lands currently occupied by FreshCo are similarly contaminated, although it stands to reason, given its proximity to the old Canada Metals plant (721 Eastern) and the land formerly occupied by the tannery further west. Before Price Chopper (the original store before the FreshCo conversion), about 16 years ago, the land it sits on was a brownfields lot... I lived at 20 Leslie back then and happened to document the construction of the Price Chopper in 2003, as well as shoot the huge fire in March 2001 which took out the old tannery a few doors west.
 
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yyztvguy

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Why would we want something like this when we could have another monolithic Canadian Tire mess like on the south-west corner! Considering its location - that plaza is brutal. The walls around the new Streetcar facility look great compared to the cell-block Canadian Tire.
 

Lenser

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Agreed - the plaza is indeed brutal. A real throwback of a design. Above-ground yet horribly subterranean-feeling and, in its bowing homage to the car, deeply suburban. The place's only saving grace is the hotdog truck at the south-end. Clearly he's popular.
 

Yoshimura

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Why can't they have residential here? The units are way above the ground.
 

ChesterCopperpot

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