Lanterra Developments has a short-term development pipeline of about 4,000 housing units and recently celebrated the construction kickoff for one of those projects, the 47-storey Natasha The Residences.
About three-quarters of Natasha The Residences’ 438 units are sold, Lanterra chairman Mark Mandelbaum told RENX.
The site at 263 Adelaide St. W., at the southeast corner of John Street, was acquired in November 2020 for $69 million in what was at the time a very high-profile transaction. The development will include several amenities and maintain the original heritage façade of the existing Purman building, which was erected in 1915, as its base five floors.
“It did have a few tenants living in the building and we were required, because of the zoning procedures, to have rental replacement components to deal with the tenants — which we have,” said Mandelbaum.
“We are now getting our final permits. We started work inside the building and we're going to be starting construction.”
Mandelbaum expects construction of the BDP Quadrangle-designed building to take about three-and-a-half years to complete.
Natasha The Residences is inspired by NKPR founder Natasha Koifman, who opened her public relations and communications firm near the site 20 years ago and is still located in the neighbourhood. Lanterra is a longtime NKPR client.
Mandelbaum’s views on the condo market
Toronto-based Lanterra was founded in 1999 by Mandelbaum and Barry Fenton, the company’s president and chief executive officer.
It developed more than 16,000 homes and grew to more than 130 employees in its first 20 years.
Lanterra’s operations include land acquisition, development, design, construction, marketing, rental management and support services.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation and interest rates in recent years, Mandelbaum thinks the Canadian economy is resilient and he remains a strong believer in home ownership.
While cautioning consumers against purchasing something they may have trouble paying for and becoming over-extended, he said it’s a better buyer’s market now than 18 months ago and may be a good time to invest before prices start rising again.
Mandelbaum said good buildings in good locations will hold their value and quality rental apartments are hard to come by for a decent rate, so he’s confident about the success of the condos Lanterra is developing.
While Mandelbaum thinks Lanterra is well-positioned in the Greater Toronto Area market, and it’s doing plenty of building despite high costs and interest rates, the company is being careful to avoid over-extending itself.
“If you don't have to go to market with a project right now, it’s probably better to keep the powder dry,” Mandelbaum said.
“It's important for us to deliver what we promised people we would deliver and we'll take advantage of opportunities as they become available.”
Lanterra’s other Toronto developments
Mandelbaum's company continues to see opportunity with more than a half-dozen significant projects at various stages of the development process.
Construction of the 32-storey, 425-unit Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed Rodeo Drive Condominiums at CF Shops at Don Mills is nearing completion.
Excavation has begun on the IBI Group-designed Notting Hill Condominiums, a master-planned community featuring four residential towers rising from two podiums with a combined 1,320 suites at 4000 Eglinton Ave. W. near Royal York Road.
The first building is essentially sold out and the second building is about 80 per cent sold. Construction is expected to continue for another three years.
Construction is above grade at the Foster + Partners-designed 50 Scollard in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighbourhood. About 20 of the 41-storey building’s 112 suites are still available and occupancy is expected in about a year-and-a-half.
Construction is also above grade at the IBI Group-designed Glenhill Condominiums, in the Bathurst Street and Glencairn Avenue area of North York, where just over 60 per cent of the 94 units are sold.
Occupancy is expected in early 2025.
About 90 per cent of the 428 units are sold at the Arquitectonica and IBI Group-designed No. 31 Condominiums at 31 Parliament St. near The Distillery Historic District.
Excavation is expected to start within a month and the 41-storey building should take about three-and-a-half years to complete.
It’s hoped the 502 units at the 29-storey Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed Spirits Condominiums at CF Shops at Don Mills, at 169 The Donway W., will go on sale in early 2024.
It will include a small ground-floor recreation centre to serve the community, according to Mandelbaum.
Lanterra is also looking to launch sales for Westwing Condos at 600 The East Mall, near Highway 427 and Rathburn Road in Etobicoke, early in 2024.
The project will feature multiple buildings and approximately 900 units.