Cameron Stephens Equity Capital, Originate Developments and Westdale Properties have partnered on their third planned high-rise condominium in Toronto with the acquisition of a vacant property on Yonge Street south of St. Clair Avenue.
The site was acquired on July 10 from Toledo, Ohio-based real estate investment trust Welltower Inc., which invests with seniors housing operators, post-acute providers and health care systems in the United States, Canada and the U.K.
Welltower had planned to build a 17-storey long-term memory care facility on the site. However, those plans changed and an off-market deal with the three Toronto-based firms came together quickly, Stephens Equity Capital executive vice-president and managing director Sean Fleming told RENX.
The prime location, empty site and some previous groundwork having been laid in the zoning and approvals process made it attractive to the partners, each of which owns a one-third stake.
Originate will be the lead developer, with the two other companies providing support.
Plans for 1365-1375 Yonge St.
The developers are proposing a six-storey podium and 50-storey tower offering 655 residential units on the half-acre site at 1365-1375 Yonge St.
“We really just looked at extending the tower to match the height across the street that Metropia was approved for,” Fleming said, referencing a 39-storey, 406-unit development called The Hill at 1406 Yonge St. which is proposed by his former employer.
It’s still too early in the planning process to talk about amenities, suite mix, size or price ranges for the project, Fleming said.
A development proposal for 1365-1375 Yonge was submitted to City of Toronto officials in May and the partners received their first comments back on Aug. 16.
Fleming said the city has been supportive to this point and, while no delays are anticipated, it’s estimated it will still take about two-and-a-half years before all approvals are in place.
The partners project about six months for sales and four years for construction after that.
Faith in the Toronto condo market
It’s hoped the slump the Toronto condo market is in now will have reversed by the time the Yonge and St. Clair project is ready to launch.
“We're optimistic about our projects and the market in general,” said Steve Cameron, executive VP of Cameron Stephens Mortgage Capital, the parent company of Cameron Stephens Equity Capital.
“We're bullish on real estate and we’re bullish on Toronto.”
Eight to 12 pickleball courts will be installed on the site in September to add a temporary recreation element to the neighbourhood before construction begins.
“We really wanted to do something for the community that was fun and engaging and would bring everybody together, and we thought this is a good way to do it,” Cameron noted.
A smaller number of pickleball courts could be part of the building’s amenity package since the sport is rapidly growing in popularity, Cameron added.
Other Cameron Stephens Equity Capital projects
Cameron Stephens Mortgage Capital started Cameron Stephens Equity Capital in 2020 as a complement to its mortgage-lending business.
The firm recently moved into two floors of office space in The Permanent, an 18-storey building that was Canada’s tallest when it was built in 1931 at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets.
The three-year-old subsidiary has $78.5 million of committed equity capital with 2,116 residential units and 1.77 million square feet of area under development.
Cameron Stephens Equity Capital, Originate and Westdale first collaborated last year with proposals for 48- and 55-storey residential developments at 123 Wynford Dr. and the 58-storey, 690-unit, mixed-use Jarvis & Earl development on Jarvis Street between Wellesley Street East and Bloor Street East.
Both of those projects are in the rezoning phase.
Cameron Stephens Equity Capital partnered with Frontdoor Developments for The Towns of Lambton Mills at 175 and 185 Eileen Ave. in Toronto. Its 58 residences will go on sale this fall.
The company also has a 9.3-acre light industrial property at 280 Consumers Rd. in Toronto’s North York area near the junction of Highways 401 and 404.
Major renovations are being made to its existing 150,000-square-foot building and Cameron Stephens Equity Capital will be selling commercial condominium units ranging in size from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet.
Units can be combined for purchasers looking for something larger.
While there’s nothing else in the acquisition or development pipelines at this point, Fleming said the company is always on the lookout for new real estate opportunities that will be attractive to people looking to make a good return without having to make a huge investment.