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Old October 21st, 2010, 06:14 PM   #521
CanadianSkyScraper
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Theatre Park
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Thanks, guys. So, I take it that the second shed is simply a component of the overall project ?
Yep. The shed makeover is a prominent but relatively small part of Union Station's overall billion-dollar transformation/revitalization.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #523
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Best city in the world
WOW that's a big call ...
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Old October 25th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #524
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WOW that's a big call ...
I consider Toronto the best too, it's why I moved here. If I didn't, I'd go back to London.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #525
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I consider Toronto the best too, it's why I moved here. If I didn't, I'd go back to London.
London (UK) or London (Ontario)
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Old October 25th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #526
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Redevelopment of Toronto's East Bayfront:

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Old November 2nd, 2010, 02:30 AM   #527
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London (UK) or London (Ontario)
Originally, I'm from London, UK.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 03:54 AM   #528
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I thought you grew up in Halifax.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #529
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I thought you grew up in Halifax.
You do know what 'originally' means right?
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:04 PM   #530
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Controversial waterfront site sold to developers
Toronto Star
November 03, 2010





More than a decade ago, developer Alfredo Romano opposed construction of a mammoth Home Depot store on the Toronto waterfront.

He had company. In 1999, Home Depot’s decision to build the big-box outlet drew strong opposition from politicians and residents.

“I wasn’t opposed to putting retail in the area, but it was the size that was the issue,” Romano said in an interview.

“What most people didn’t want to see was a big box.”

The high-profile developer at Castlepoint Realty Partners confirmed to the Star Tuesday that he has purchased the Home Depot lands along with two other developers, Cityzen Development Group and New York-based Continental Ventures.

And he’s not ruling out putting a Home Depot in the area — if it’s the right size.

“If it fits the sensibility of the area and works within an urban setting, that would be a possibility,” said Romano, noting that big-box retailers such as Canadian Tire already have smaller locations downtown such as the one at the Eaton Centre.

The site at the southwest corner of Cherry St. and Lake Shore Blvd. E. was home to Tent City, a shantytown built by homeless squatters who were evicted by Home Depot in 2002.

The developers closed the deal Oct. 29. The price is undisclosed.

The 5.54 hectare site is important to the fortunes of the waterfront not just in location, but also because of the scale: It was rezoned this year for 2.4 million square feet, which makes it larger than the 2-million-square-foot Pan Am athletes village project in the West Don Lands.

“We are very excited to come to Toronto,” said Jane Gol, president of Continental Ventures.

“There is a lot of synergy with arts and film, and there is incredible potential in waterfront development,” she said from New York.

“We already do a lot of work with waterfront in our city and we believe this is where people want to live.”

Gol, a former commissioner on New York City’s planning commission, has had significant experience in redeveloping and nurturing underdeveloped areas in urban centres. This is her first foray outside the United States.

“Other developers would come back and tell me that I should go see what’s happening in Toronto, that this would fit the type of long-term development that we do, and they were right, we love the city,” said Gol.

Romano said the project will likely be a mixed-use development of retail, condominium, hotel and office space.

“We are still in the planning stages, and we are assembling a team, but it will be something we can be proud of — we want to lead with outstanding design,” said Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen.

Crignano said the developers were in talks with Home Depot for the past year before the deal was struck. “Home Depot isn’t in the development business, so it was really a win-win for all sides,” said Romano.

Home Depot had owned the land for more than a decade. Despite public opposition to the 113,000-square-foot store, it took its fight to the Ontario Municipal Board, where it was turned down.

The controversy was not unlike the recent fight over the building of an ice rink in the portlands, dubbed “Home Depot 2010” by some critics, a clash over suburban and urban values.

As first revealed in the Star earlier this year, noted urban designer Ken Greenberg quit over the proposal which ignited debate over the fate of the portlands.

A revised vision of the rink was finally approved by Toronto City Council in August.

However, mayor-elect Rob Ford was one of the councillors who voted against the $88 million building, so it is by no means a sure thing.

The developers estimate it will take at least two or three years before a shovel hits the ground, and the project will take about a decade to build.

“We are all very patient developers and we want to see it done right,” said Gol.

The sale of the Home Depot site means that development along the Toronto waterfront is now at full throttle.

Waterfront Toronto also has another project in the East Bayfront district, four hectares of land south of Queens Quay Blvd., between Lower Sherbourne and Parliament Sts.

The plan, developed by Hines, a global real estate firm, was approved by council in August and calls for 1,700 condos and space for 2,400 jobs.

Romano’s company is the largest private owner of land in the Toronto waterfront area.

A related company in the Castlepoint group already owns two hectares adjoining the Home Depot site. And Castlepoint is a part owner in the neighbouring Pinewood Studios.

The developers are known for their bold design statements, including teaming with Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes to develop the L Tower, designed by star architect Daniel Libeskind on Front St.

Cityzen is a partner with Fernbrook on the Peter Clewes-designed Pier 27 waterfront condominium development at the foot of Yonge St.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #531
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http://www.thestar.com/opinion/edito...t-is-on-a-roll
Waterfront is on a roll
6 November 2010
The Toronto Star

When Torontonians consider the city's waterfront, many of us still cling to an outdated view that nothing much is happening there.

In fact, large tracts along Toronto's once moribund shoreline have become hives of activity. Buildings are rising up; new parks have recently been opened, with more are on the way; and in the West Don Lands, site of the future Pan Am Games athletes' village, construction has started on the area's first affordable housing complex.

"We've passed the tipping point," says Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell. "So much is happening, and the momentum is only going to increase."

The latest indicator of movement is news that a strategic plot of long-neglected land has been purchased by developers from Toronto and New York. They intend to create a mixed-use complex of stores, condominiums, office space and a hotel at the southwest corner of Cherry St. and Lake Shore Blvd., an area formerly the site of a prominent "tent city" for the homeless. Plans remain in the early stages, but one would hope the development will include a significant number of affordable housing units.

Just to the west, Corus Entertainment has opened a new headquarters building, bringing 1,100 jobs to the waterfront. Sugar Beach offers a playful escape from the city. Sherbourne Common, featuring a new "urban river," is close to being complete. And work is well underway on a new George Brown College campus.

Even along the city's central shoreline, an area long criticized for wall-to-wall condo development, Waterfront Toronto has created interesting new public spaces through boardwalk extensions and eye-catching features such as the undulating wave decks at the foot of Simcoe, Spadina and Rees streets.

Yes, much remains to be done. But progress is being made, and that is something to celebrate.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #532
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I was talking to a friend and what I said the cool thing about Toronto is we're developing districts that you never leave ... and no need to ... they have everything you want.

You can now live King west and have no reason to ever go to Yonge Bloor, etc.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #533
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I was talking to a friend and what I said the cool thing about Toronto is we're developing districts that you never leave ... and no need to ... they have everything you want.

You can now live King west and have no reason to ever go to Yonge Bloor, etc.
It's not anywhere close to being at that point yet. I live in King West and always head downtown when I have a few hours to kill. It's next to impossible to get any of my friends to visit me out here even though it's just a 30-40 minute TTC ride. Even if I were further east close to Spadina it would be difficult to get them to venture my way.

I don't blame them: there's nothing to do out here. King West, Roncesvalles, Danforth, West Queen West, the Annex: perhaps in 30 years they will start to compete with downtown. They don't even have department stores. You need more than a little bit of high street shopping.

Where are the galleries, museums, packed streets, subway stops, office workers, bistros, colleges, public squares, sports, or big attractions out in these places? Am I supposed to hang out at a coffee shop every day?
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Old November 10th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #534
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Hume: Tower renewal a tall order for Toronto
November 08, 2010
Toronto Star
Christopher Hume

Just when things were finally starting to look up for Toronto’s apartment towers, along comes mayor-elect Rob Ford to knock them back down.

Concrete-slab towers built between the 1950s and 1980s have been a growing issue in recent years because they offer poor quality of life, are often physically isolated and waste huge amounts of energy.

In 2008, the city published a ground-breaking study called The Mayor’s Tower Renewal Opportunities Book. It set out in some detail how the city’s ubiquitous highrise apartment buildings could be rehabilitated to meet contemporary environmental and social standards. Given that Toronto has almost 1,200 such structures, that was good news.

Then last Friday,Nick Kouvalis, Ford’s deputy campaign manager and now his chief of staff, decided it was a good time to weigh in on the program. At a campaign post-mortem, the voluble Kouvalis let it drop that as far as he and his boss are concerned, Tower Renewal is just another lefty program that Toronto cannot afford.

“I was getting briefed yesterday,” Kouvalis said, “and … I was like … the Tower Renewal Program — what is that? We’re subsidizing (installation of low-flow) toilets … Guys, you know that stuff’s gotta stop. The priority is the taxpayer, to stop the gravy train, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Apart from his appalling ignorance, Kouvalis’ words indicate the new regime’s hostility to anything that might be the least bit progressive or intelligent.

Fortunately, the province is now interested in the program, and a second report addressing highrise apartments throughout the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe is expected later this month.

An estimated million people live in such towers, representing 13 percent of all households in the region.

The original Tower Renewal study examined various ways to rehabilitate buildings designed and constructed at a time when modernism reigned supreme and no one thought twice about energy efficiency — or the inhabitants, for that matter.

Since then, however, architecture and planning have moved beyond such a limited perspective. More important, perhaps, the cost of energy has increased to the point where it cannot be ignored. At the same time, global warming has become the most pressing crisis of our times.

Though there was initial talk of four pilot projects, nothing has materialized. Because most of these towers are privately owned, some resistance is expected. On the other hand, post-renewal energy costs would be a fraction of what they are now.

“If it’s not Rob Ford’s top priority, it’s not that big of a deal,” insists architect and report co-author Graeme Stewart. “I don’t think it will suddenly disappear. It’s something that’s already embedded in the city and, in a way, decoupled from the mayor’s office. The amount of interest that the province has, in some ways, trumps the city.”

As Stewart also points out, though Ford could stall the funding, too much work has been done to make killing the program practical. Besides, there’s considerable interest from other cities, including Hamilton and Mississauga, as well as the province.

In fact, the city’s economic involvement was unlikely to involve much more than low-interest loans.

More to the point, the program proposes specific techniques that will allow landlords and tenants to save millions of dollars in the future. It also points the way to healthier and happier living conditions in buildings that house many low-income Ontarians and recent immigrants. Indeed, 77 percent of these towers are in areas of high social need.

The gravy train doesn’t stop here any more, if it ever did.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/...er-for-toronto
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Old November 11th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #535
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Quote:
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This skyline rendering depicts Theatre Park taller than it will be, I think. Isn't it in the 550' range? In the rendering, it's at least 650'.
Oh forget about it, I just realized it's almost the same height as Scotia in this sketch.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #536
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Theatre Park. Approved at 47 storeys.







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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #537
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Thanks for more of your great updates, CanadianSkyScraper!!
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Old November 11th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #538
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From urbantoronto.ca, I noticed Theatre Park was rejected by council. Is this a revised design?

http://urbantoronto.ca/content.php?2...e-aA-Rejection
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Old November 12th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #539
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It's in 'sales'. I imagine this latest design has now been approved. It's a few floors shorter than the original. I believe it was 164 m initially, and now it's 157 m.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #540
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Chinese stoke Toronto's condo boom
As price and availability align, investors, both foreign and domestic, like what they see
12 November 2010
The Globe and Mail

They have cash aplenty; they are in it for the long term, and they have taken the GTA real estate market by storm.

Chinese buyers have become by far the dominant force in the new condo market in the GTA.

Estimates of their impact suggest overseas Chinese investors, the 100,000-strong local community and the 20,000 to 25,000 Chinese citizens who are students resident in the Toronto area now account for anywhere from 25 per cent to 40 per cent of all new condos purchased here.

In high-end suburbs in Markham and Richmond Hill, Chinese buyers are snapping up $1-million plus homes in both the new and resale markets. In some prime downtown Toronto projects they account for 65 per cent of the sales during the first few crucial launch weeks when prices are lowest. “Their impact is huge,” says Stephen Wong, president and founder of Living Realty Inc. in Markham.

His company's 500 agents handle about 4,000 resales a year plus 2.500 new homes. “Our view is that today Chinese investors account for 40- to 45 per cent of all new condo sales,” says Mr. Wong.

“The fact is, they love Toronto. They see a stable, steadily growing residential market in a country with a stable economy and political structure. As long as we can create projects in great locations at reasonable prices, they will keep buying in great numbers.”

Their clout has even reached into luxury new and resale homes in areas where there is a concentration of Chinese residents, says T.C. Chan, president of Tradeworld Realty Inc. His company has 200 agents and a strong focus on Asian investors.

“Where I live in Richmond Hill and in parts of Markham, 60 per cent of luxury resales – homes selling for $1.3-million plus – are going to Chinese,” he says. “We have homes where buyers use them just twice a year when they visit Canada, yet they maintain gardeners, cleaning staff year round.

“I have seen launch days at projects like Angus Glen when they release a new series of luxury homes and expect maybe three or four people to buy over the weekend but instead 20 Chinese families snap them up.”

The importance of Chinese investors is shown in the fact that there are six major brokerages now specializing in the trade and about 10 Chinese publications in the GTA dedicated to the real estate market, says Mr. Wong.

There is even a professional organization: The Chinese Real Estate Professional Society of Ontario.

The extraordinary interest from Chinese buyers begs a number of questions. Where are they coming from? Why are they buying in Toronto? And is the surge of investor-owned condos a good thing?

Last question first: While many people who buy a condo for their own use might feel uncomfortable living in a building where a large number of suites are occupied by short-term renters, without investor-owned suites the GTA would have virtually no rental stock available.

Experts like Barry Lyon of N. Barry Lyon Consulting Ltd. point out that, because of rent controls, about 98 per cent of new rental suites have come from investor-owned condos. Just two years ago when prices for new suites reached the stage where they made little economic sense as a rental unit, investors fled the market.

The concern then was that the GTA would face a shortage of rental suites and rents for what was available would shoot up as vacancy rates dropped. This fall, however, builders managed to cut selling prices at newly launched projects simply by reducing the size of suites.

The cost per square foot remained the same, but the price per suite was down by about 10 per cent. Once again investors could plunk 20 per cent down and see enough in rent to cover mortgage and maintenance payments with a reasonable return.

“Smart Chinese investors can get 4 per cent a year return on a rental plus a significant return on built-up equity and the natural rise in real estate prices when they sell down the line,” says Mr. Wong.

“They are mainly long-term investors. Some will flip at higher post-construction prices, but in the main they like to buy and hold.”

Where are they coming from? Since 2000 there has been steadily growing interest from mainland China, but buyers are also based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia – indeed any place where there is a prosperous overseas Chinese community, says Tony Ma, a broker with HomeLife Landmark Realty Inc. in Markham.

“Almost all of them have a relative or close friend in the GTA,” adds Mr. Wong. “That relative or friend buys and tells them about the opportunity and they invest here as well or buy for their children attending school or in the hope that they will eventually move here themselves.”

All three men say Chinese are not the only ethnic buyers driving the new condo market. East Asians, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Koreans all have sizeable representation. Indeed local investors are in the minority.

Mainland Chinese investment has been spurred by Chinese government policy, they explain. Before the middle of this decade, there were no restrictions on Chinese investing in residential real estate in their home country.

“In the old days you would see people buying 10 suites in a new project in cities like Shanghai and Beijing,” says Mr. Ma.

Today, however, rules say Chinese must put 30 per cent down on their first residential purchase and 50 per cent down if they want to buy a second and hope to get mortgage financing. After that, residential purchases are all cash transactions.

The size of new suites in China – on average, about 350 square feet – is a factor as well. Nor are there any longer restrictions on taking money out of China. The days of a $20,000 cap disappeared as China began its move towards a market economy. Fortunes were being made in China and overseas investment was seen as a smart economic move.

“Here they can buy suites double that size and up and as many as they like as long as they can meet bank financing requirements,” says Mr. Chan. The only caveat is that most builders will not sell any one investor more than two suites in a single building.

Granted, Chinese investment enthusiasm does not extend to all projects and to all areas of the GTA. Their primary focus is new launches in areas served by the subway or in pockets with a high renter concentration.

That means downtown Toronto, the Yonge Street strip or along the stretch of Sheppard Avenue West served by the subway.

The three most important factors for them are location, price and design, says Mr. Chan. Design has to follow the principles of feng shui.

“They don't like odd corners; they like high ceilings and lots of light and are concerned about placement of doors,” says Mr. Chan. “They often avoid resales because they want to make sure nobody died in the home,” adds Mr. Ma.

Within that flood tide of investors are specific sub-groups. While for many price is the determining factors – the lower the better – which means a preference for one bedroom suite and one bedroom and den suites. There are also those whose focus is on two-bedroom units.

Again, however, the smaller the better because size determines price.

“We have a large number of clients who want family suites,” says Mr. Wong. “That means small two-bedroom units and we are seeing junior two-bedrooms now at 700 square feet or so.

Square footage only comes into play when determining price. They want to be able to rent two-bedroom family suites and when you advertise them you say two-bedroom, not how big they are.”

Finally is the surge likely to continue? All three experts say yes – if immigration to the GTA continues at the 100,000 a year mark and if builders can continue to supply affordable product in neighbourhoods of high rental demand.

“Chinese investors are leery of the stock market but they do understand real estate,” says Mr. Wong.

“And as long as we can continue to provide product they will want to buy here either as investments or for their family use.”
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