A vacant half-acre lot formerly occupied by a gas station and car wash at 875 The Queensway in Toronto will be the site of the proposed 150-unit Vicinity Condos.
Equiton, a Burlington-headquartered private equity firm and real estate developer, acquired the property from Format Queensway Inc. for $12.75 million on Aug. 29. It was marketed by Colliers executive vice-president Ryan Thomson.
“We like the area and like that there's a lot of activity in the area already with lots of infill development,” Equiton vice-president of development Alan Dillabough told RENX. “It fits well with our program in terms of it's in the City of Toronto, which we like, but it's not a core downtown site.
"We like that it's a mid-rise site, which fits well with our program, and we also liked that we were able to buy an approved site.”
Approvals process had already begun
The previous owner had achieved a zoning bylaw amendment (ZBA) and was in for site plan approval for more than a year. Equiton must still remove the closing conditions from the ZBA and finalize the site plan approval.
“It's largely laid out already in the ZBA in terms of the massing and the envelope,” Dillabough explained. “We were happy with the design, which isn't always necessarily the case when you're trying to purchase something that's already been submitted to the city.”
The average unit size for the 11-storey Vicinity Condos will be approximately 735 square feet.
Vicinity Condos will have 2,500 square feet of commercial space at grade. It will have indoor and outdoor common areas and amenities, including a gym and party room.
Equiton plans to launch sales for Vicinity Condos in six to eight months. It’s anticipated the KFA Architects and Planners-designed building will be ready for occupancy in about 40 months.
Other Equiton developments
Equiton has three other Ontario developments at various stages of planning and construction.
“Development is definitely becoming a bigger part of who we are and what we do,” marketing and communications vice-president Kathy Gjamovska said.
An initial ZBA submission has been made and a second is expected to be submitted by next week.
It’s anticipated Sandstones’ units will go on sale late next year. Occupancy is expected to begin in late 2027.
Marquis Modern Towns is a partnership with Reid’s Heritage Properties for 96 stacked townhomes across four buildings at the rear of the property and a new 6,800-square-foot The Beer Store at the front of the 3.5-acre site at 710 Woolwich St. in Guelph.
A previous The Beer Store on the site is being demolished and the new outlet is operating. The first of two phases of townhome construction is expected to begin within the next month.
The first release of townhomes sold out and sales are underway for the second phase.
Riverain District in Ottawa
Riverain District is a planned three-phase purpose-built rental development in partnership with Main and Main on a 4.2-acre site at 29 Selkirk St. and 2 Montreal Rd. in Ottawa. It sits at the foot of the Cummings Bridge on the east bank of the Rideau River in Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood.
Riverain District will offer river views on three sides as well as views of the Parliament buildings and Gatineau Hills. The site is a 10-minute drive from the downtown core and five minutes from the ByWard Market, one of Ottawa’s major destinations for shopping, dining, arts and entertainment.
There will be more than 1,000 apartment units property managed by Equiton Living in the community upon completion.
Construction is up to the 12th floor of the 22-storey first building. Construction of the second building should begin next year, with the third starting about two years after that.
A new office and Equiton's future plans
The company has also just announced a new downtown Toronto office to expand on the services of its Burlington headquarters. Located at 333 Bay St., Equiton will position staff in a range of specialized areas at the site, including sales, institutional and national accounts, acquisitions, construction and development.
Equiton is focused on identifying and pursuing future development opportunities with the potential for investor returns similar to those of the Vicinity Condos development.
“Our acquisition and development focus is on condo development,” Dillabough noted. “The opportunity for Riverain was presented to us as a rental and it was a market that we wanted to be in.”
Dillabough would like to acquire another condo development site in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) before the end of the year.
“We think that the macro-economic conditions overall will provide support for residential development in the GTA, Ontario and Canada,” Dillabough said.
“The housing supply shortage is a generational issue and we’re vastly undersupplied,” Gjamovska added. “Supply scarcity definitely is in our favour.”