TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condominiums | 170.98m | 52s | Lanterra | architectsAlliance

ShonTron

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if the owners "invested a lot in the place", it would not look like that. I simply don't see their investment. They like any business only care quick profit and never bothered to place the buildings nice and attractive.

The OP said that the store owners invested a lot in the place, but there's only so much they can do if the building owner refused to do so.
 

ksun

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The OP said that the store owners invested a lot in the place, but there's only so much they can do if the building owner refused to do so.

Fair enough, although judging by the interior the investment doesn't seem to be immense, and they probably can recover a good portion. On the other hand it is a business risk any business faces unless you own the property. I think they should expected those buildings will be sold sooner or later. I just don't see how these owners are particularly unfortunate - the run a mediocre business at best I'd say.
 

Thernan

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I think Kathmandu, Papaya Hut, and Cocina Lucero gave the street character. Sure the building was hideous and needs to be replaced, but you can't tell me Tea House will have retail like this. Look at Five and compare the final result against the renderings. It's a great condo tower, but the renderings showed a bakery and a hat shop and a few other small retailers, eclectic retail like what we're losing here. But in reality, Five is getting an RBC.

There are 13 retail spots in 501 Yonge which will be replaced by 5 retail spots, a couple of which are tiny. The developer said no when asked at a community meeting if they would promise not to join the 5 retail spots into one contiguous space.

Don't worry, it will be filled by three Starbucks locations (all of which will have long lines and slow service), a bank and an upscale juice bar.
 

arvelomcquaig

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Ugh. Why can’t the City make rules about retail? What would it take for a maximum width to be implemented? Soon downtown will be one giant bank.
 

bilked

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UD2

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people will complain about everything i find. In North York ,we have complaints about Tridel stores being too narrow, in downtown we have the same type of complaints about stores being too wide.

With regarding to the lease on these units.

1. All leases are legal contracts signed in the spirit of profit making. If any tenant has a long-term lease and the owner wants the move the tenant out, then the owner would have to buyout that lease and pay the tenant any cost of relocation and any differences in the cost of lease in a similar location/type of property if the new property costs more. So nobody is losing their livelihood over this development.

2. If the business did not have a long-term lease on their location, then they should have already made plans to relocate/or close-down. Most businesses have 10 year leases plus 10 year options (at min 5 year leases + 5 year options). This means the business owner (tenant) would have had at least 5 years to make preparations for the move. If that is not enough for a business to relocate to a similar property in a similar area, then the business model of that particular was probably not sustainable in the first place.

Once again, nobody should be losing their livelihoods over this if they are running a good business.
 

ksun

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Once again, nobody should be losing their livelihoods over this if they are running a good business.

hardly any of the relocated business qualify as "a good business". Most are boring. Do I really miss the Blue Jays T shirt shop there? Or whatever fake Asian restaurant which is always 90% empty? No.

It is just normal business and I don't see the point of all the sympathy toward the store owners. I walked by last night and almost all of them have a sticker on the door indicated where they have moved to. They aren't losing "their livelihood", rest assured.

I agree Yonge st needs more interesting retail, but those which existed before aren't the answer.
 

grey

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people will complain about everything i find. In North York ,we have complaints about Tridel stores being too narrow, in downtown we have the same type of complaints about stores being too wide.
You are observing the difference between suburban expectations for retail versus downtown, where narrow spaces are seen as a desirable barrier to big-box chain stores and greater variety within a smaller space.
 

Parkdalian

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Let's be honest here - we tend to only favour the retail that we, ourselves patronize. So, if you like Best Buy and H&M, you want big spaces, if you like artisanal doughnut stores and artisanal blanket stores, you want small spaces. And of course, most of us are middle/upper class, so the idea of shopping at discount stores or using a pizza place on Yonge seems "tacky" - even though it might be a requirement for the lower income people nearby. And for those people, those stores definitely added to the street life.

I think it's absurd to think that some sort of idealized Mom and Pop small store will be in the new condo building - if we aren't talking about a dry cleaners (which are probably often Mom and Pop stores, no matter how often we denigrate them). The rents will be much higher than an older building. Isn't that part of Jane Jacobs thinking, anyway? "New ideas need old buildings - old ideas need new buildings." And to think that large retail spaces aren't required anywhere misremembers the past and how much Victorians loved large retail spaces, like department stores.

I think it's fun to argue over whether we like small stores or big stores in condos, but let's not pretend there's anything moral about it. A huge battering ram of wealth is replacing a hodge-podge of economic vitality with a giant incubator of rental income. A narrow store on the bottom floor is not going to even out this situation, or prevent a similar thing from happening next door. And it seems obvious that condos would have banks on their first floor: who buys condos? People with mortgages - huge bank debts - and therefore, are huge bank customers.

There are problems with wealth and inequality in this city, but deciding that banks are bad and some trust-fund kid's "vibrant" tiny store is good doesn't seem like the solution to it.
 

Edward Skira

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The problem as I see it is zoning. In the past new modern retail pushed older retail into surrounding areas. So residential side streets where homes were converted to retail. That's not allowed to happen today today.
 

Towered

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The problem as I see it is zoning. In the past new modern retail pushed older retail into surrounding areas. So residential side streets where homes were converted to retail. That's not allowed to happen today today.

Do you know why? I'm curious as to the history of this. It's long fascinated me why some streets have old houses converted into retail units, and why it hasn't continued to happen. Something like that could be the easiest solution to making those massive swaths of suburbia that are strictly residential far more pedestrian friendly.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Do you know why? I'm curious as to the history of this. It's long fascinated me why some streets have old houses converted into retail units, and why it hasn't continued to happen. Something like that could be the easiest solution to making those massive swaths of suburbia that are strictly residential far more pedestrian friendly.

Probably NIMBY - granted there may also be negative impact done en masse (servicing, parking, traffic infiltration, character change, etc), but at the end of the day we are forgoing a very effective avenue of neigbhourhood change by stonewalling this type of evolution.

AoD
 

interchange42

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The car killed neighbourhood retail, or specifically parking the car killed it. A shop at the corner is not a huge issue when you don't need parking, but it becomes an issue when most people drive to stores. In newer suburbs where everything is more spread out and cars are almost a necessity, the parking lots grow, and zoning was created to keep the parking lots sequestered away from most homes. Hopefully the return to a more compact form will loosen some restrictions on neighbourhood commercial in residential areas which are dense enough to support it through walk-ins and cyclists.

42
 

Miscreant

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I think that's a solid point--but I think we also need to add to the explanation differences in costs per square foot in low-rise areas vs. condos. Take the Annex b/t Spadina and Bathurst, for example. A thoroughfare, but largely smaller retail (though this is slowly changing in some interesting ways). It strikes me--and I don't know this for certain--that it'd just be too expensive to house many of these kinds of shops in the podiums of condos, regardless of cars.
 

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