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Fitzrovia buys T.O.’s 260 King St. E. for 2-tower redevelopment

Fitzrovia has acquired a full city block at 260 King St. E. in Toronto where it plans to develop...

IMAGE An artist's rendering of a proposed two-tower development along a Toronto city block at 260 King Street East. The property has been acquired by Fitzrovia and an institutional partner. (Courtesy Fitzrovia)

An artist’s rendering of a proposed two-tower development along a Toronto city block at 260 King St. E. The property has been acquired by Fitzrovia and an institutional partner. (Courtesy Fitzrovia)

Fitzrovia has acquired a full city block at 260 King St. E. in Toronto where it plans to develop a two-tower mixed-use project with approximately 850 residential rental suites.

Toronto-headquartered Fitzrovia and an unnamed institutional partner acquired the property from a longtime private owner for an undisclosed price in an off-market deal which took about two years to complete from the time interest was first expressed.

“It gives us exposure to the burgeoning downtown east office node,” Fitzrovia chief executive officer Adrian Rocca told RENX in an interview this week. “You have the Globe and Mail site across the street. You have George Brown (College) to the south. You have the Coke bottling headquarters.

“And with that size and scale, we can do something exceptional from a place-making standpoint. We have heritage. There’s a commercial component. There’s a large public park that will be conveyed to the city and there are some really interesting programming ideas that we have around that.

“And there are two 40-storey towers. It allows us a lot of latitude to really create some amazing amenity space for our future residents.”

Next steps for 260 King St. East

Fitzrovia filed a site plan application with the city late last year and is moving through the approvals process. Rocca expects to receive demolition permits this summer.

The 260 King St. E. site is occupied by low-rise office buildings and surface parking. Three technology and film industry tenants will remain in their current locations until October.

There are four heritage structures on the site, including three- and five-storey red-brick buildings constructed in the 1800s that face King Street and will retain their existing look as part of the development.

“The buildings will be restored and refurbished on the inside to create brick-and-beam office space that we think will be well-suited for the neighbourhood,” said Fitzrovia senior director of investments Corey Pacht.

Demolition work on the property should begin in Q4 2022 once Fitzrovia receives vacant possession. Shoring and excavation are expected to begin next February or March.

Rocca anticipates construction taking 38 months to complete.

The Grainger and The Sanderson

The two Turner Fleischer-designed towers will be named The Grainger and The Sanderson. They’ll include:

– approximately 850 residential rental suites;

– approximately 50,000 square feet of restored and refurbished brick-and-beam office space;

– approximately 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space that will likely include food and beverage uses;

– and a new 5,000-square-foot public park.

The buildings will feature a range of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

Rocca said the average size of one-bedroom units will be approximately 575 square feet, while two-bedroom units will average approximately 850 square feet and three-bedroom units will be more than 1,000 square feet.

While the location should appeal to young professionals working in the area, one building will be largely geared to young families and older down-sizers, so it will have a bias toward two- and three-bedroom units.

“I think the downtown east submarket is in desperate need, especially with the burgeoning office story down there, of exceptional quality rental units,” said Rocca. “The amenity package that we’re currently working through is going to be the best in class in the market.”

The site will have easy access to the Toronto Transit Commission’s King Street streetcar and Sherbourne Street bus routes. The future Ontario Line subway’s Corktown station is expected to be built one block to the east.

There won’t be an affordable housing component in The Grainger or The Sanderson, but Rocca said it’s planned for other upcoming developments.

“We are actively looking to include affordable rental development in certain projects going forward and are looking to set up a dedicated vehicle for affordable rental development that we’d like to launch at some point later on this year.”

Other Fitzrovia developments in Toronto

Fitzrovia is a vertically integrated developer and asset manager of rental communities across the Greater Toronto Area, with approximately $4.6 billion of assets under management. It partners with public institutions, pension plans and high-net-worth investors interested in long-term, cash-flow-generating assets.

Fitzrovia’s other current and planned developments in Toronto include:

– a mixed-use project at Bloor and Dufferin Streets in partnership with Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCO) and Hazelview Investments. It will include approximately 2,100 residential suites, retail and office space, a community hub and daycare centre, a public park, and public and private roads;

The Elm and The Ledbury, comprised of 28- and 29-storey towers on the north side of Queen Street East between Dalhousie and Mutual Streets, encompassing 510,000 square feet and 542 rental units;

412 Church, a 39-storey, 278,183-square-foot mixed-use building that will include 319 rental units and retail at grade, while incorporating a heritage building;

6 Dawes, comprised of 29-, 39- and 37-storey towers encompassing 937,000 square feet and 1,095 rental units in Danforth Village; and

The Sloane and The Trafford, another Hazelview and AIMCO partnership comprised of 28- and 30-storey towers across from Yorkdale Shopping Centre that will encompass 509,208 square feet and 527 rental units.

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