In recent months, details of a new 12-storey commercial complex in Toronto's Liberty Village have emerged. Located at 58 Atlantic Avenue, the project is designed as a hub for The Fueling Station, an office-sharing company specializing in bringing communal and semi-private workspaces to the commercial market. Designed by Sweeny &Co Architects with engineering by Blackwell, the 26,301 square metre proposal incorporates the existing property at 25 Liberty Street into the new building, with the weight of the tower redistributed around the older structure in a manner similar to the x-shaped delta framing system that supports another Sweeny &Co design, QRC West.
Featuring landscaping by NAK Design Strategies and heritage preservation by ERA Architects, the development would see the older property at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Liberty Street become the centrepiece of the project. Though not officially heritage designated, the City of Toronto's Heritage Preservation Services has nonetheless indicated the the property bears notable heritage value.
The architecturally ambitious project would bring another notable presence to the growing area, which is finding a newly modern yet heritage-sensitive character with Hullmark's Quadrangle-designed neighbouring commercial projects 60 Atlantic and the upcoming timber-framed 80 Atlantic.
In addition to over 24,000 square metres of flexibly configured office space, the building will also feature 1,605 square metres of retail at grade, while the second floor will be given over to a 1,975 square metre showroom (which will not include retail space). The 10 remaining floors will feature dedicated office spaces, with the building's 12 habitable storeys rising to 53 metres. Above the office space, a six-metre mechanical penthouse will see the building top out at 59 metres.
The proposal will be evaluated by the Toronto and East York Community Council on January 19th, with a City Council review expected in the coming month. Though the proposal is in its relatively early stages, the Fueling Station's ambitions for redeveloping the site have caused some controversy since the company purchased the site in 2014.
For decades, the building at 25 Liberty functioned as a de-facto live/work space, with a number of tenants—who faced eviction—using their officially commercial space as a primary residence. The situation created somewhat of a legal grey area regarding the Fueling Station's obligation to replace the existing residences and compensate the displaced tenants. While the building's live/work designation received OMB approval in 1998, it was unclear how a commercial redevelopment of the site could legally proceed.
Though the specifics of how the situation was resolved—and whether any tenants remain in the building—remain somewhat unclear, the current proposal involves a compromise by way of an off-site replacement of the 25 Liberty's rental housing units.
We will keep you updated as the proposal continues to develop. In the meantime, make sure to check out our dataBase file for more information and beautiful new renderings by Designstor. Want to share your thoughts on the project? Leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing discussion on our Forum.