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Bloor-Yorkville Scene

marsh

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What's happening to Coach on Bloor Street? The past few days the window and doors are covered with paper and it looks closed.
 

prosperegal

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What's happening to Coach on Bloor Street? The past few days the window and doors are covered with paper and it looks closed.
Renovations, according to Retail Insider.
 

buildup

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The area inside the box was what was described to me, though it's from a second hand source. I can't clarify any further until drawings leak. I understand the city pushed the developers to work together - the city isn't running the competition. 5 international architects have been invited to compete - what exactly they are competing for is a bit unclear at this point (public realm, built form, or both). Obviously stuff that is under construction isn't going to be affected. I can only guess this is a push towards a development like the waterfront plans, the distillery, or the globe and mail lands. Though seeing as developers are commitment-phobes, I'm guessing we'll see this when we see OMA's plans for the Unilever lands or Fosters for the Keating channel's.
I understand there has been movement here recently. Does anyone have an update?
 

Josh

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I managed to squeeze a bit more out about the competition. It was a two-phase competition - phase 1 is now over, with the phase 2 winner to be announced sometime this fall. BIG was eliminated in the first phase.

It's supposed to be super open - the only limit is that the existing tower at Yonge and Bloor has to stay (though could be reclad) and that Holt Renfrew is accommodated somewhere on site. The property's on the line are everything between yorkville ave and Bloor and everything between Yonge and Bay. The proposed towers on Yonge between Yorkville and Cumberland are not included.
 

ADRM

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I'm confused by the bounds of this project - what physical elements, specifically, would recommendations/guidelines cover?

- There's been a recent near-neighbourhood-wide raft of streetscape improvements, so it'd be a little strange to doubled up on that.
- The only sizable parkland in the area has also been recently redeveloped.
- Presumably virtually all of the buildings in the area are privately owned (save for a few public buildings that won't get redeveloped). So are we talking mainly about guidelines for planned and/or future development guidelines?
- Would there be an assumption that any funding implications of the recommendations

Yes, masterplans have guided redevelopment of areas like East Bayfront, Yonge Precinct, West Donlands, etc. but those are fundamentally different scenarios given that they were largely brownfield and/or mass re-zoning exercises.
 

Waterloo_Guy

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I'm confused by the bounds of this project - what physical elements, specifically, would recommendations/guidelines cover?

- There's been a recent near-neighbourhood-wide raft of streetscape improvements, so it'd be a little strange to doubled up on that.
- The only sizable parkland in the area has also been recently redeveloped.
- Presumably virtually all of the buildings in the area are privately owned (save for a few public buildings that won't get redeveloped). So are we talking mainly about guidelines for planned and/or future development guidelines?
- Would there be an assumption that any funding implications of the recommendations

Yes, masterplans have guided redevelopment of areas like East Bayfront, Yonge Precinct, West Donlands, etc. but those are fundamentally different scenarios given that they were largely brownfield and/or mass re-zoning exercises.
I'm just as confused by all of this. The BIA recently improved some of the streetscape with more planned for later. All of the property is privately owned, either with existing buildings or proposals. There is little if any open space for anything here. What do they have to work with here?
 

Retail-Insider

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I'm just as confused by all of this. The BIA recently improved some of the streetscape with more planned for later. All of the property is privately owned, either with existing buildings or proposals. There is little if any open space for anything here. What do they have to work with here?
Basically three landlords own all of the property mentioned, and they may be willing to collaborate on this initiative (two already are). One of them is touchy so I'll avoid going into details here.
 

Waterloo_Guy

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Basically three landlords own all of the property mentioned, and they may be willing to collaborate on this initiative (two already are). One of them is touchy so I'll avoid going into details here.
Without spilling too many beans, can you say if some of the developers are prepared to change their existing proposals?
 

Josh

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Remember this is a privately run competition - not public, or in the same line as the East Bayfront. I'd also assume a tabula rasa here - essentially everything currently on site being demolished (including streets / existing proposals) except for the tower at Yonge and Bloor and the two developments north of it. The developers are likely looking for a way to re-allocate land in order to get more towers on site in a more reasonable block structure. New public spaces could emerge in either park form or pedestrian streets. It's not a masterplan in the sense that guidelines would be written - it's a masterplan more like that of 'the well' - whatever is proposed would eventually be built.
 

Retail-Insider

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Without spilling too many beans, can you say if some of the developers are prepared to change their existing proposals?
That's pretty much guaranteed. One landlord acquired two Bay Street office properties as part of an assembly, prompting changes to plans. I got slapped on the wrist earlier this week for discussing this company publicly so that's why I'm being vague.

It would be interesting to see the existing CIBC tower at 2 Bloor St. W. integrated into a larger adjacent tower, similar to the Grand Hotel proposal on Jarvis (and a few others). With 1 Bloor East and 'The One' across the street, I'm sure the city would approve something very tall for that northwest corner.
 
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Waterloo_Guy

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It would be interesting to see the existing CIBC tower at 2 Bloor St. W. integrated into a larger adjacent tower, similar to the Grand Hotel proposal on Jarvis (and a few others). With 1 Bloor East and 'The One' across the street, I'm sure the city would approve something very tall for that northwest corner.
Those Frankenstein buildings always look ugly to me. I would like to see the tower re-skinned though. And I would really like to see 2 Bloor East/The Bay get totally re-skinned, including both the tower and the bunker. I don't know if that is in the cards, but it would be an amazing contribution to the area.
 

UrbanLurker

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A snippet from a recent Toronto Life article reveals that 75 Yorkville will be undergoing renovation soon:
I had a meeting with our architecture and design firm, Partisans. They’re building all of my restaurants in Toronto. A big chunk of today’s meeting was about the expansion of Trattoria Nervosa, which will get started in 2017. The instruction I gave them was to keep the yellow house and build something crazy and modern around it. I think they came up with something super-progressive and beautiful.
I'm personally a fan of Partisans work, very excited to see what they have in mind for this location.
 

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