Although the name has not been in Toronto quite so long, it has been 25 years since that Concert Properties was formed in British Columbia, and the company which now has assets in excess of $1.6 billion and shareholder equity of approximately $800 million, is celebrating!
Concert started in 1989 through a unique partnership between the City of Vancouver, the Province, Canadian union and management pension funds, and private investors with a start-up capitalization of $27 million with a mandate to provide economically priced rental housing. Three years later, in 1992, Concert saw an expansion into the condominium market and four years after that, in 1996, Concert began acquiring and developing industrial and commercial properties.
Brian McCauley, now Concert’s President and Chief Operating Officer, guided Concert’s expansion into the Ontario market in 2002, taking an initial focus on developing and managing new assured rental housing in cooperation with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). Assured rentals are buildings that are guaranteed to always be used as rentals, and are protected from future conversion into condominiums or other uses.
Concert's early GTA rental projects include Prelude in North York and Jazz on Church Street, and in the time since, Concert has developed a number of commercial and residential developments to the growing Greater Toronto Area including recent projects like rental property Motion on Bay Street and The Berczy condominium, Concert's first condominium development in Ontario. Concert also completed a joint venture with Tridel last year, the Blythwood at Huntington condominium development. The first a two phase development, Blythwood at Huntington is home to 118 luxury condominium homes within the existing sought-after neighbourhood of Lawrence Park.
The Berczy was an outstanding success, with the building being fully registered in advance of first occupancy - a rarity in the Ontario real estate world, but a common practice in British Columbia. With their successful entry into the Toronto condo market now completed and occupied, Concert is building on their condo portfolio with the 58-storey 88 Scott Street, now under construction at the northwest corner of Wellington and Scott Streets.
Last summer, Concert acquired land for a multi-phase community within walking distance of Kipling subway and GO station in Etobicoke, to be known as The Kip District. The site is on the western edge of the coming Etobicoke City Centre redevelopment of the Six Points lands, and just over one kilometre west of Concert’s Village Gate West master-planned community which includes rentals and a Tapestry retirement residence. The Kip District will ultimately be Concert’s largest multi-phased residential development in the City of Toronto, and the company’s first residential condominium developments in Toronto’s west end. The community will be made up of 1,300 condominium homes within five buildings on a six acre site.
During its 25 year existence, Concert has built over 10,000 rental and condominium homes, and constructed or acquired more than 11.4 million square feet of income-producing properties. The company has created more than 20.8 million person-hours of on-site union employment and contributed over $90.3 million to affiliated union pension, health and welfare plans. With active and complete projects like The Berczy and Blythwood at Huntington and 88 Scott as well as pre-construction projects like The Kip District, Concert continues its successful expansion in the City’s condominium market.