Devron has acquired its latest condominium development site in Toronto’s gentrifying Weston Village neighbourhood.
The newest addition to Devron’s property portfolio is a 0.95-acre site at the corner of John and South Station Streets in the former city of York. It’s occupied by a few small single-storey commercial units and a parking lot.
It was acquired for $16.5 million in a JLL Capital Markets-brokered deal with the family which had owned it for three generations.
Devron president Pouyan Safapour told RENX the historical and cultural elements of the neighbourhood and its intensification via immigration combined to make the property appealing.
“We’ve been looking for a location where there are those fundamental building blocks of character, even if that character comes with some grit, along with the ability for people to get around the city for work or other reasons,” said Safapour, who believes the development will be attainable for first-time homebuyers and young families.
Devron’s plans for new site
Toronto-based and family-owned Devron specializes in developing mid-rise and high-rise multiresidential in the Greater Toronto Area. Its low-rise division, Ron Custom Homes, designs and builds luxury single-family homes in the area.
Devron’s goal is to build condo units that are long-term housing solutions for people at a price that’s more accessible to a larger portion of the population than some of its other developments.
“We have a lot of projects that are in very central locations and some of them are in high-end locations,” said Safapour. “Building high-quality homes in those types of locations is a little bit easier, but the price points are accessible to fewer people.”
The deal for the property closed less than a month ago and Safapour said it’s too early to talk about specific plans for the development, but he would like to build a condo of “30-something” storeys. Zoning isn’t yet in place.
“We want to build something interesting and fun that represents what this neighbourhood is on the cusp of becoming,” said Safapour. “We’re going to explore what type of community-additive uses we can integrate into the building.”
Other Devron developments
The company is also active in several other areas.
The 213 residential units at The Vanguard, a 27-storey condo at 7089 Yonge St. in Thornhill, are fully occupied. Commercial units in the building’s podium are still available.
It has three other projects at various stages of development.
The Winslow, a boutique nine-storey, 67-unit, high-end condo at 2781 Yonge St., between Blythwood Road and Lawrence Avenue, has a handful of unsold units remaining and is targeting occupancy for June 2023.
Devron and Constantine Enterprises Inc. want to build a multi-storey condo at 1140 Yonge St. that Safapour said is “rooted in the heritage” of the Pierce-Arrow automobile showroom built on the site in 1930.
The vision is for the building to have larger units that will work well for downsizers from surrounding upscale neighbourhoods.
“We’re making progress with stakeholders on the zoning side and we hope to be in a place where we have more concrete updates in the next month,” said Safapour.
Devron and Great Gulf have also applied to build a 39-storey condo at 101 Spadina Ave. in Toronto’s Entertainment District.
“After quite some time in discussions and in collaboration with the city and CreateTO, we’ve put in our first application for zoning and we have our first community consultation coming up shortly,” said Safapour.
“We’ve already spent quite some time consulting with stakeholders on that site.”
While the aim is to add one project a year to the pipeline, that depends on the market and what’s available, Safapour said. The size of projects also impacts how many sites Devron acquires.
“We don’t have a very specific number of units or acquisitions as a goal,” said Safapour. “What we care about is that each project is tangibly moving our purpose forward, and that is to change the perception of density and condominium living for the better.”
Since 1140 Yonge and 101 Spadina have similar development timelines, Devron is building out its departments and growing its team to accommodate the projects. The company currently has 25 employees and expects to be up to 35 by the end of the year.