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BAZIS buys midtown Toronto property, plans 41-storey tower

1366 Yonge St., in Toronto has been acquired by BAZIS. (Google Street View)
1366 Yonge St., in Toronto has been acquired by BAZIS. (Google Street View)

BAZIS has closed on the acquisition of a Yonge Street site in midtown Toronto where it has already submitted an application to construct a 41-storey mixed-use development.

The Vaughan-based developer acquired the Balmoral Medical Arts Facility at 1366 Yonge St. in the Deer Park neighbourhood for $31.925 million from Joseph Dermastja, who had purchased the property in the early 1990s when it was a gas station.

Dermastja developed the building and has owned and managed it since it was built in 1992.

The off-market deal closed on Oct. 6 and was brokered by Lennard Commercial Realty senior vice-president Vincent King, who represented BAZIS and said he started working on it months ago.

“It’s a great area and an interesting proposed development,” King told RENX. 

King said Dermastja decided the time was right to sell and BAZIS made an offer that was to his liking.

Building provides good holding income

The four-storey Balmoral Medical Arts Facility is almost fully tenanted and occupied by Capocaccia Trattoria and a Pharmasave store at street level, with a mix of medical professionals in the office space above.

King said BAZIS submitted its development application to the City of Toronto in mid-September, before the property’s sale officially closed, to avoid having to deal with inclusionary zoning requirements that came into play on Sept. 18.

“It’s a really good asset as it is,” said King. “It’s a good holding property. 

“They’re obviously going to do everything they can to push zoning along, but it has great income and a great tenant mix in a great neighbourhood. They’re satisfied with it from that point of view as well as on the development side of things.”

What BAZIS is proposing

BAZIS has submitted applications for official plan amendment, zoning bylaw amendment and site-plan approval for a building that would have a 33-storey tower above an eight-storey podium which steps back at the fifth floor.

BAZIS has proposed to build a 489-unit mixed-use condo designed by Rosario Varacalli on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Balmoral Avenue.

The developer is proposing a mix of 176 studios, 78 one-bedroom units, 162 two-bedroom units and 73 three-bedroom units supported by a variety of amenities on the second through sixth floors.

The MBTW Group is the landscape architect and GBCA Architects is the heritage architect for the proposed development. 

The proposal includes approximately 1,100 square feet of retail space across three units at grade.

BAZIS is also proposing just two vehicle parking spaces, which would be reserved for car-share purposes, along with 500 bicycle spaces – 489 for residents and 11 for visitors.

Other BAZIS developments

BAZIS has previously developed Crystal Blu, eCondos (with Metropia), 1 Yorkville (with Plaza), and Exhibit Residences and Emerald Park (both with Metropia and Plaza) in Toronto.

The firm is currently developing 8 Wellesley, which is under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2025, with CentreCourt in Toronto. 

Other proposed Toronto high-rise condo developments BAZIS is involved with, which are in the pre-construction stage, include 750 Mount Pleasant, 2350 Yonge St., 100 Bond St., and Queen Church and Bayview and Finch (the last two with Tridel). 

“BAZIS has many projects on the go and, as I understand it, this development is something they will move along through the rezoning process and reassess things once successful,” said King.  

Yonge and St. Clair a popular area

The area around Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue has been of great interest to investors and developers in recent years, with multiresidential and mixed-use developments underway and planned.

The neighbourhood offers easy access to public transit, retail, restaurants, offices and parkland.

Slate Asset Management’s Studio Gang-designed, 44-storey, 293-unit One Delisle condominium is under construction just north of the intersection at 1 Delisle Ave. 

Slate Asset Management has also applied to build a Gensler-designed 49-storey mixed-use building at 1 St. Clair Ave. W. that would incorporate and revitalize the existing 12-storey office building with ground-level retail space currently on the site. The proposal is to add 340 residential units and two floors of amenities. 

Wittington Properties Limited received approval this summer for its proposed St. Clair Place development at the northeast corner of Yonge and St. Clair that would encompass an entire block.

The proposal is for 27-, 39-, 44- and 13-storey Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed mixed-use condo buildings with 1,361 residential units and approximately 220,000 square feet of commercial space. 

Manulife Investment Management has proposed to redevelop 45 St. Clair Ave. W. by replacing a 14-storey office building with a 50-storey Sweeny & Co Architects-designed mixed-use tower featuring 629 residential units, approximately 65,700 square feet of office space and approximately 6,100 square feet of retail space at grade.

Great Gulf and Terracap have proposed a Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed, 34-storey, 242-unit condo called The Clair Residences at 1421 Yonge St.

Aspen Ridge Homes has applied to redevelop the four-storey former headquarters of Cineplex Entertainment at 1303 Yonge St. and a neighbouring property with a proposed 11-storey, 102-unit mixed-use condo designed by BDP Quadrangle. The proposal is to also include approximately 41,800 square feet of office space and approximately 2,400 square feet of retail space.

“It’s inevitable that this node will only continue to grow and change for the better,” said King. “I believe that no matter what is going on in the market, areas like Rosedale will always be a wise place to invest in this city.” 

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