I expect Mirvish will sell and, if he doesn't, he will need partners who will dropped Gehry for at least the towers.
But I think Mirvish should be responsible for reconstructing the heritage buildings elsewhere.
This isn't Mirvish's only site; rumours running around about the redevelopment of Mirvish Village indicate a potential second development site. While Bathurst and Bloor is definitely no King West, it could be argued that (if legacy is the primary concern) he could do much more with the Honest Ed's location. It's where the Mirvish 'empire' began, and it's set within a neighbourhood that has grown up with the Mirvish family. While they've owned the theatres on King West for sometime, they don't have the same connection with the area as they do with the west Annex. He may not be able to build three 80 storey towers here and make an obscene profit, however he has the chance to create a legacy in tandem with the community, without enraging half the city.
The King west site is (in my opinion) too tied in with the current condominium boom to be a wise legacy project; imagine if the Massey family had personally developed Crescent Town (built upon their land holdings at Victoria Park) as their 'legacy' development, rather than selling it off. Instead, they created a legacy which consists of a stunningly designed college at UofT, a music hall, and a number of scholarships and lecture series. Money spent on a project that provides a financial return (condominiums and leased office space, i.e.) does not constitute legacy. The inclusion of a space to display your extensive art collection at the bottom of said towers doesn't erase the buildings' primary functions.
There are different ways to measure things.
The free Thanksgiving turkeys and cheap items all year round have definitely made an impact. The store and sign and "village" are famous, that's all good. It started earlier there too, yes. My argument is that the Mirvishes have been more transformative to the King street area than they were in the Bloor/Bathurst area. King was on the decline. Bathurst and Bloor never was, not to any such degree.
I'm not saying that David Mirvish is going to take a personal loss building these buildings. I'm saying that the whole venture is a very tricky one, and that he's unlikely to make a significant profit. You don't seem to recognize that the podiums here will represent most of the profit being drained away. The gift to OCAD U and the creation of the Art Gallery represent tens of millions of dollars in design and construction costs. If those features were being sold, that would represent the bulk of the profits on the development, but they are not being sold, and they represent far more spending than the S.37 funds required from most projects.
If Mirvish was out to make any significant profit on this project he would not have gone with Gehry; he would have gone with a cheaper to hire Canadian firm who could have produced something serviceable for much less money. Any number of firms could have designed something we could be proud ofâ€¦ but few other architects could produce anything like the transformative landmark we are now considering.
The Mirvish+Gehry project is far more about spending money then making it. It's about giving something amazing to Toronto through the architecture, through the OCAD gift, through the art gallery. No one else is in a position to do this at the momentâ€”at least no one else is stepping up and proposing anything even remotely similar. If Mirvish succeeds with this, if he makes some profit, (another word for which is pay, everyone deserves pay for what they do), well, you can split hairs on how much is too much compensation, but I have trouble seeing where the vast profits could possibly come from here. A lot of people have trouble seeing how Mirvish/Projectcore will be able to afford this/build this at all.
There is still a fraught approvals process lying ahead for this proposal; there's no guarantee that it will make it through. A lot of people are determined that this project should fit snuggly into every broadly prescribed municipal guideline despite its exception quality. All the best to Mirvish and Projectcore, and thanks to them for going out on a limb to build something simply spectacular in my beloved home town.
Where did that come from?
Why would he sell? If he sells, where will his art treasures go? Where will the name "Mirvish" be displayed?
Mirvish needs this prominent site and the prominent architect to create his legacy. This is his "Rockefeller Centre" - He gets nothing by selling. At some point you start to think and plan for your eventual exit and you can't take it with you.
I have no doubt this wil get built - it's just a matter of time.
Mirvish says asking the OMB to intervene appears to be the only way to save a project ...
Mirvish said in an interview that he’s more “bemused” than frustrated by how far apart the two sides remain after a year of negotiations and considerable changes Gehry has made to the original designs to appease city concerns.
Mirvish now likens the three towers to “three vases.”