Developers Westbank and Allied REIT have partnered up to purchase the historic warehouse at 19 Duncan Street plus an adjacent laneway and surface parking lot. The purchase price was $47 million, with both parties taking a 50% stake in the acquisition, with an expected closing date of February 10, 2015. Redevelopment plans call for the restoration and incorporation of much of the six-storey warehouse into a new much larger structure containing retail and office space on at least the first five floors, with rental apartments to occupy the floors above.
The 24,778 square-foot site is has 111 feet of frontage on Duncan Street and 250 feet of frontage on Adelaide West. To the east side of the warehouse, the 36-space surface parking lot would likely become the base of the new tower. One further surface parking lot will remain to the immediate east.
The red brick building currently occupying the site was constructed in the early 1900s for light industrial use and was renovated in 1999 for offices. This acquisition will add to Allied's growing portfolio of adaptive re-use developments in Toronto, which includes the high-profile QRC West project currently under construction at Peter and Richmond.
This joint venture is not the first for Westbank and Allied. Michael Emory, Allied's President & CEO stated "One of the preeminent real estate developers in Canada, Westbank has been an excellent joint-venture partner for us in the TELUS Sky project in Downtown Calgary. We're delighted to be embarking on a second joint-venture with Westbank, this time right in the heart of our Downtown Toronto target market."
Westbank's President Ian Gillespie declared "We're thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Allied, a company with which we believe we share many values, including a passion for thoughtful city building. 19 Duncan represents an opportunity to invest in a neighbourhood in which, like Allied, Westbank already has a significant stake, with our Shangri-La Hotel, Soho House and Momofuku businesses. We think the site is really interesting from a number of perspectives, but what we are most excited about is contributing to the area's vibrant densification in an architecturally distinct and beautiful manner."
While details about the architect and the design are still unknown, Westbank and Allied's 58-storey TELUS Sky project is designed by renowned Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a firm Westbank is also employing to design their Vancouver House project in that city. Though this is nothing more than musing on our part, the relatively large footprint of the site combined with its proximity to the recently approved 92- and 82-storey Mirvish+Gehry Toronto towers leaves this property ripe for a dramatic and bold landmark design, and it can be assumed that Westbank and Allied are fully aware of the opportunities here.
In addition to showing the location of the approved Mirvish+Gehry towers, the annotated map above shows the 19 Duncan site in yellow, as well as nearby proposed developments like the 41-storey PJ Condos, and recently built high-rise developments like Theatre Park, the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Festival Tower, and Pinnacle on Adelaide.
Information is just beginning to emerge about these development plans, and we will be sure to return with updates as new details are revealed. In the meantime, you can join the discussion by checking out the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.