Built in 1928, abandoned in 2000, and meticulously disassembled in 2016, the Loblaws Groceterias warehouse at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West in Downtown Toronto is soon to be reborn in both the figurative and literal sense as part of Choice Properties' West Block Est. 1928 retail and office complex. Four years after the building's brick-by-brick disassembly and cataloguing, a process overseen by heritage experts ERA Architects, the rebuilt and expanded building—including an architectsAlliance-designed office structure atop the reconstructed heritage facades—is now preparing to welcome its first tenants.
Among the businesses set to populate the retail space is namesake grocery store Loblaws, who are just days away from opening their new flagship at this location. Signage for Shoppers Drug Mart has also appeared in recent weeks, while clothing retailer Joe Fresh is also gearing up to open its doors in the building.
The completed reconstitution of the exterior walls includes restored brick and limestone finishes (which we covered in greater detail in an earlier article covering the project). Another more recent detail that has added to the overall aesthetic is the addition of medallion motif window blinds on the second and third floors of the reconstituted warehouse, prominent along the main Lake Shore Boulevard elevation.
Loblaws will occupy 4,000 ft² of the ground floor, while Shoppers will occupy 12,000 ft², and Joe Fresh 6,400 ft². Loblaws is taking the entire 45,000 ft² footprint of the second floor, along with a 1,650 ft² mezzanine above. In total, there is 101,378 ft² of retail and 160,989 ft² of office space at the site. Along the ground floor's Lake Shore Boulevard frontage, smaller spaces are set to include a 1,400 ft² cafe and an 1,800 ft² office lobby.
Meanwhile, the two IBI Group-designed condo towers developed by Concord Adex to the north are also wrapping up construction. Known as The LakeFront and The LakeShore, the 37 and 41-storey towers are now welcoming their first residents, evidenced by a sign along Bathurst directing residents to a pickup location for their suite keys. While the towers are practically complete, work continues on various elements at the base of the towers, including a two-storey restaurant space set to front Bathurst Street in the base of the west condo tower.
Other finishes are beling applied to other retail spaces along Bathurst and below the Gardiner Expressway in a couple of standalone buildings, with a group of four commercial retail units sized at 913 ft², 1,653 ft², 7,599 ft², and 8,858 ft².
The Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart are currently aiming for an August 28 opening.
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