Well there that that aspect in any hot market- buy low sell high etc. The architect mentioned smell at one point, I assume she was referring to the effluvia from Redpath? Personally I've never minded it but I have been there with people who thought it pretty horrible. I wonder if this will affect turnover.
We often see that there are those who don't care much about the architectural expression of a building—they just want a place to live (or to rent out). That doesn't change the fact that others want better looking buildings in this city, whether they own in them or not: UrbanToronto generally believes that creating new buildings comes with some social responsibility to create buildings that give back to the city.
What's interesting about the youtube videos mentioned above (watch the follow-up roundtable discussion that autoplays next too), is that you can see the deliberations that go into the final plans for a building. What's being mentioned as a cheapening above, fails to mention that Daniels was telling the architect that they wanted to be able to spend more on the amenities and public realm, all while keeping the price point down. Whether any of us agree on the spending priorities as stated, that's where Daniels stands.
In the meantime, they are a reputable builder, they are one of the most socially aware developers out there, and they are quite philanthropic. I'd love for them to spend more on a architecture too (and believe they'd benefit from it, even though I cannot prove it), but their largesse in other areas is laudable to a degree that has me tending towards forgiveness.
I was a bit concerned about what 'cheapening' meant but just had the chance to watch the video on the project, and it all makes a lot of sense in terms of balancing the economics versus design. It is really unfortunate that Daniels didn't take the opportunity to push the envelope with the two towers; however, the tradeoff - an incredible amount of amenity and social space - does make sense as a key differentiator for them in this area. Their emphasis on making the area an all-round work/life/social neighbourhood is fantastic and it will help carry the overall area in general .
I do have to say that I am a bit surprised by Waterfront Toronto's design review panel decisions on the East Bayfront versus the West Don Lands. I understand the need for density and massing etc, but there doesn't appear to be any form of architectural vision for the area. In 10 years from now, we'll have the interesting Tridel/Hines block with a backdrop of ok'looking very tall towers.
Not sure if this is the best place to ask this question - I was reviewing the East Bayfront Urban Design guidelines last night and it's clear that the development on the East Bayfront so far exceed the elevation guidelines provided in the document (pages 62 on):