Construction on the Hullmark Centre by Tridel and Hullmark has reached the maximum 6-storey podium height and the 25-storey mark of the project's smaller 35-storey tower that fronts onto Yonge Street. The taller of the Kirkor Architects-designed Hullmark Centre's two towers will be 49-storeys fronting onto Sheppard Avenue, but there isn't much evidence yet of its climb to the sky.
There has been a lot of talk about how to turn the intersection of Yonge and Sheppard into a major urban corridor and transit node. Development along Sheppard has increased in the decade since the Sheppard Subway was opened in 2002, but ridership has yet to reach anywhere near levels required for the line to pay for itself. According to TTC statistics, the Sheppard Subway carries just under 50,000 passengers per day. Compared to the Yonge Subway, which carries nearly 750,000 riders per day, there is a lot of room for ridership growth. Ridership will improve once the Sheppard East LRT is ready to go into service near the end of the decade, which will bring passengers from east Scarborough on the LRT line to the Sheppard Subway.
The Hullmark Centre and its neighbour, Emerald Park Condos just across the street, and develpments further east along the Sheppard Subway, such as Tango and Tango 2, Discovery at Concord Park Place or Legacy, Ultra and Yorkland at Heron's Hill, will all serve to increase density and ridership on nearby rapid transit.
The Hullmark Centre's prime location at the southeast corner of Yonge and Sheppard, the intersection of two suway lines and just a few blocks north of Highway 401 make it a desirable location for business offices and retail that will occupy the project's podium, as well as for residents who choose the Hullmark Centre's towers as their home. Many new developments in Toronto, epsecially large multi-unit condo towers located along major streets are required to include podiums in their design specifically for retail and office space in order to create a balance of residential and employment activity.
With the Hullmark Centre and other large projects along Sheppard, development is finally catching up to the investment made in rapid transit with the Sheppard Subway. We expect to see even more growth along the Sheppard corridor in the coming years as the LRT draws more developers and residents to Sheppard Avenue East.