Altree buys properties and plaza, ready to launch T.O. condos

IMAGE: Highland Commons is a 539-unit condominium project which will be built in Scarborough by Altree Developments. (Courtesy Altree)

Highland Commons is a 539-unit condominium project which will be built in Scarborough by Altree Developments. (Courtesy Altree)

After spending three years acquiring the properties on which to build Highland Commons, Altree Developments is preparing to start construction of the 539-unit condominium in Scarborough.

Sales begin this month for Phase 1 of the two-building development.

Highland Commons will be comprised of two eight-storey buildings at the corner of Military Trail and Old Kingston Road, within easy walking distance of the growing University of Toronto Scarborough campus, community amenities, parks, a ravine system and trail networks.

Altree assembled three properties from different vendors for approximately $20 million to create the Highland Commons site, company founder and CEO Zev Mandelbaum said in a conference call with Altree vice-president Jordan DeBrincat Mintzas and RENX.

Altree also acquired Highland Creek Plaza, a short walk from the Highland Commons site, for about $12.6 million in 2020. It renamed it Shops at Highland Creek, spruced it up and brought in some new tenants so it’s now completely leased and a thriving retail hub.

“The community has character and different things that we can build upon, and that’s what drives Altree developments,” said DeBrincat Mintzas, who added she knew nothing about the Highland Creek neighbourhood before Altree became involved with it, and has now fallen in love with it.

“We can help unlock value in the community.”

What Highland Commons offers

There are a range of demographic groups in the area, including older people living in large homes who may be looking to downsize, families with children and university students. The goal is for Highland Commons to appeal to all of them with a variety of unit sizes, floor plans, prices and amenities, as well as interior design by DesignAgency.

The Kohn Partnership Architects-designed buildings will have studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-and-den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom-and-den and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 300 to 1,100 square feet and priced from the mid-$300,000s to $900,000-plus.

Large balconies and terraces will provide views of the ravine, Colonel Danforth Park and Lake Ontario.

DeBrincat Mintzas said more people are now seeking units that offer a separate space to make it easier to work from home, as opposed to open concept layouts.

Highland Commons amenities will include co-working spaces, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, a party room, a basketball court, ping pong table, a billiards room, a life-size chess game, a squash court and rooftop and rear lounge spaces overlooking the ravine.

Condos in Highland Commons’ first building go on sale this month, with the second one to follow early next year. Altree aims to start construction in the summer of fall of 2022 and is targeting first occupancy in the spring of 2025.

Other Altree developments

Altree likes to find Toronto neighbourhoods that are a bit under the radar and create value in them with its developments.

The company also puts a major focus on mid-rise buildings, which Mandelbaum believes offer more intimacy than high-rises. He thinks Toronto needs more of them as the city continues to grow, and said Altree wants to play a big role in providing these options.

One of those mid-rise buildings is Forest Hill Private Residences, which has been under construction since August.

The nine-storey building at 2 Forest Hill Rd. will have a mix of townhomes and condo suites that went on sale last year ranging in size from 750 to 2,400 square feet and priced from $1.8 million to more than $6 million.

There were originally going to be 94 suites, but that number dropped when some purchasers bought multiples and combined them.

Altree, which Mandelbaum founded in late 2018 after leaving Marlin Spring, is going higher with Thirty Six Zorra. It’s a 35-storey tower anchored by a seven-storey podium just south of The Queensway and east of Kipling Avenue in Etobicoke.

It’s also under construction and 80 per cent of the total of more than 400 units are spoken for. The rest have not yet been put on the market.

“We have numerous projects in Toronto at various stages of construction, development, sales and planning,” said Mandelbaum. “We have 3,000 units in the works in Scarborough alone.”

Mandelbaum said Altree is always on the lookout for more Toronto sites to acquire where it can build condos, which he sees as also adding to the city’s rental stock since many units are purchased by investors who rent them out.



Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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