Gairloch Developments has made its reputation building mid-rise condominiums, but a proposed 34-storey tower in Toronto’s Mount Dennis area will be its first solo high-rise.
“It’s part of our core business strategy to be diversifying the product offering and doing more forms of high-density development,” Gairloch senior vice-president Andrew Woods told RENX. “It’s not much different from many of the sites we have been looking at over the years. It’s only the first one that we’ve transacted on.
“Part of our whole acquisition strategy is that we tend to see a ton of volume with opportunities and we’re very critical with what we proceed with based on a long set of parameters that these sites need to meet. This was one that we did decide to proceed on.”
“Mount Dennis looks like it’s going to be one of the most dynamic and up-and-coming neighbourhoods in the city, primarily driven by development that’s chasing sites near transit,” said Woods. “We’ve already seen quite a bit of that along the Eglinton LRT.”
The proposed 365-unit development is going through the entitlement process with the City of Toronto. architectsAlliance, which designed Gairloch and Centrestone Urban Developments Inc.’s completed 383 Sorauren and Gairloch’s Junction Point projects, is leading the project team.
Woods hopes to launch sales in late 2022 or early 2023 and to break ground in mid-2023.
Dundas West and Junction developments
Junction Point is an eight-storey, 111-unit condo development at 2625 Dundas St. W. in Toronto. The amount of unsold inventory is small, a crane will be erected shortly and occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2023 is being targeted.
“At the time of acquisition, it wasn’t necessarily an area where people were banging down the door to acquire sites to redevelop, but over the last three or four years things have really improved,” said Woods.
“The approach that we take with a lot of these acquisitions, and what has led to a lot of opportunities, is that we’re so involved and hands-on with the management of our projects.
“When you’re ingrained in the community and you’re doing community engagement and you’re talking to stakeholders, a lot of opportunities seem to surface. We have seen a lot of other opportunities in The Junction that have come up as a result of that, the other being 3200 Dundas, just on the other side of Keele.”
Gairloch has been working through the entitlement process since the middle of last year on 3200 Dundas, going back and forth with the city. It has proposed an eight-storey condo with 89 units designed by BDP Quadrangle.
The Toronto-based developer has also assembled a site at 3239 and 3251 Dundas St. W., but hasn’t yet submitted any development applications to the city.
“Assemblies always take a long time,” said Woods. “You’re looking at a minimum of a year from when you start talking to some of those folks to the point where you close.”
1650 Dupont Street Condos
Gairloch developments have primarily used reinforced concrete, but the company has been interested in doing cross-laminated timber construction and will use it for the six-storey, 30-unit, Gabriel Fain Architects-designed 1650 Dupont Street Condos.
“This product falls in line with our overall corporate objective of delivering needed missing-middle product to the market more quickly, in addition to diversifying our product offering,” said Woods.
“It’s something that can be repeated across the city, and be done so in a very efficient manner. It’s something that can be entitled a lot quicker, built a lot quicker and brought to market in an expedited fashion.”
The plan is to launch sales early in Q2 2022, break ground during the summer and be ready for occupancy a year later.
Other Gairloch developments
Gairloch is well into sales for 1414 Bayview after launching in the early part of the pandemic. Excavation is starting for the eight-storey, 44-unit, architectsAlliance-designed condo, which will also have 13 rental replacement units. Occupancy is being targeted for Q4 2023.
“Some of the local downsizers have seen this project as really appealing,” said Woods. “They’ve really resonated with the design of it and the fact that it’s a mid-rise boutique building.”
Leaside Common is a nine-storey, 198-unit, BDP Quadrangle-designed condo and townhouse project at 1720 Bayview Ave. that Gairloch is partnering on with Harlo Capital. It will offer easy access to the future Leaside stop on the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line.
Woods said Leaside has plenty of appealing aspects, but is mostly comprised of single-family homes — with few condos built and not many in the pipeline.
“We had to pull together a lot of properties and for a while weren’t so confident that it was going to come together,” Woods said about assembling the development site.
About 2,000 people have registered for the project and Gairloch is setting up appointments for early in the new year, when the Leaside Common sales centre is scheduled to open.
Woods said there will likely be updates next year as the approvals process for the Giannone Petricone Associates-designed building is completed for the site just east of Yonge Street and south of St. Clair Avenue East.
Looking further ahead
“We’re typically very strategic and methodical when it comes to new acquisitions and how we manage our pipeline,” said Woods. “Presently the corporate focus is on very calculated execution of the projects that we do have.”
Building purpose-built rental apartments is part of Gairloch’s long-term vision and another way of diversifying its product. Woods said the company is exploring opportunities.
So far, however, none of the prospective sites have met Gairloch’s criteria to proceed.