Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAPREIT) has proposed a phased seven-tower redevelopment of its Tangreen Court property near Yonge Street and Steeles Avenue West in Toronto.
The 5.9-acre property immediately west of Centerpoint Mall was acquired by CAPREIT (CAR-UN-T) in 2012 and is home to two purpose-built rental apartments at 5 and 15 Tangreen Ct. that were constructed in 1969.
The intensification of the site would provide:
- 3,325 new residential units;
- close to 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities;
- a 20,000-square-foot-plus public park;
- a 9,200-square-foot retail component fronting Steeles;
- underground parking for 617 motorized vehicles;
- 2,497 bicycle storage spaces;
- a children’s play area; and
- landscaped spaces designed by Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc. and pedestrian paths.
This would be developed over 10 to 15 years.
Julian Schonfeldt became CAPREIT’s chief investment officer last summer, joining the trust after serving as managing director of RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group.
One of his priorities has been to comb through the portfolio to find where land values can be maximized and housing can be added because it’s in desperately short supply in the Greater Toronto Area.
“We identified a number of sites, but we thought that this site in particular was very attractive so we moved quickly on getting a development application in place,” Schonfeldt told RENX.
“Given the amount of land that we own there, and the planned subway extension, we thought that this one was the site that should move to the top of the priority list.”
CentreCourt is development manager
CentreCourt Developments is being paid a fee as the development manager for the IBI Group-designed project and will team up with CAPREIT through the entitlement process.
The real estate investment trust will maintain the flexibility to move forward as it wishes after that.
“CentreCourt was selected based on its deep expertise across the entire development cycle and its track record of delivering successful projects that enhance communities across the GTA,” Schonfeldt said.
“CentreCourt will be working jointly with CAPREIT on the municipal approvals process and CAPREIT is going to continue operating the existing buildings on the site.”
The proposal is in the early stages of seeking a go-ahead for official plan and zoning bylaw amendments as well as site plan approval.
The development will offer both rental and condominium units, with the majority currently proposed to be condos.
Schonfeldt said the final determination on the rental and condo mix, as well as for the unit mix and size range, will be based on market demand.
There are plans, however, for 30 townhouse-style units and for three-bedroom units to comprise about 10 per cent of the total.
The 18-storey, 214-unit apartment at 15 Tangreen would be retained, while the 18-storey apartment at 5 Tangreen would be demolished and 214 replacement units for existing tenants would be incorporated into one of the new buildings on the site.
Development to be done in four phases
Four phases are planned for the ambitious project. The first would include 55- and 40-storey towers atop eight-storey podiums as well as a large portion of an east-west public road.
Phase 2 would include two 25-storey towers sharing a six-storey podium, one of which would house relocated tenants from 5 Tangreen before it’s demolished.
“The proposal purposely contemplates a phased approach to minimize disruption to the residents at both 5 and 15 Tangreen,” Schonfeldt said.
“We feel pretty excited to be offering eligible tenants at 5 Tangreen new housing stock in the master-planned development with very limited disruption to their day-to-day.
“They don't need to move off-site during the construction period or prior to completion of the rental replacement units. When Phase 2 is complete, our hope is that the residents will be able to move one time into another unit on-site.
"To the best of our knowledge, that's unprecedented to be done at any meaningful scale. The typical scenario is that these folks are moved off-site and it's disruptive to their lives.
"They have to potentially change schools for their children and they end up having to do two moves. While that may end up being economically favourable for developers, we're an apartment provider first and development is more of an ancillary business.
“We really wanted to have the treatment of our residents be at the forefront of our decision and that's what we did here. We feel very proud about that.”
Additional market rental units are being contemplated for the tower with the replacement units.
The third phase would include: the demolition of 5 Tangreen; the construction of 55-, 45- and 35-storey towers on eight-storey podiums; and the conveyance of the park to the City of Toronto.
The final phase would see the east-west road completed and connected to a road on the eastern border and the Centerpoint Mall site.
Many other proposed developments in area
The Newtonbrook West area should see plenty of new multiresidential construction in addition to CAPREIT's proposal, in large part due to Metrolinx's plan to extend the Toronto Transit Commission’s Line 1 subway northward and include a new station at Yonge and Steeles.
Morguard-owned Revenue Properties Company Ltd.’s planned mixed-use redevelopment of the 1960s-built, 594,655-square-foot, enclosed Centerpoint Mall would see the construction of 22 new buildings with 8,325 residential units and a large public park.
Osmington Gerofsky Development Corporation has proposed a 50-storey mixed-use tower at 6355 Yonge St., a site currently occupied by a Starbucks restaurant and surface parking.
There are also redevelopment proposals for low-density properties immediately north of Steeles in Vaughan and Markham.
Schonfeldt compared this area to what’s already taking place farther south at Yonge and Eglinton Avenue, with the forthcoming arrival of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
“There's a lot of development activity along Steeles in anticipation of the planned subway station there, which we think will unlock some pretty material benefits to our residents in the community,” Schonfeldt said.