TAS provides updates on its Toronto developments

IMAGE: The proposed mixed-use development at 7 Labatt in Toronto. (Rendering courtesy TAS)

The proposed mixed-use development at 7 Labatt in Toronto. (Rendering courtesy TAS)

TAS is planning a half-million-square-foot, mixed-used development in downtown Toronto’s east side at the corner of Labatt Avenue and River Street.

TAS will develop a 1.3-acre site that’s zoned for an approximately 560,000-square-foot building with around 600 residential units (evenly split between rental and for-sale suites), two levels of commercial space and a 12,000-square-foot Salvation Army facility. No on-sale date has been confirmed for the condominiums.

“The current plan for 7 Labatt to have both rental and for-sale units is based on the needs of the neighbourhood, supporting revitalization efforts in downtown Toronto’s east side, as well as the project’s business objectives,” said TAS president and chief executive officer Mazyar Mortazavi. “TAS believes a mix of purpose-built rental and for-sale condominiums is a critical ingredient in the creation of resilient urban villages.”

The project is expected to cost approximately $80 million, with 20 per cent coming from TAS, 30 per cent from Tricon Capital Group Inc. and 50 per cent from an unnamed institutional partner. Construction is expected to start in mid-2020, with completion anticipated in late 2023.

“We’ve initiated the design process with our new design team led by HOK,” said Mortazavi. “Whatever we implement will complement TAS’ efforts in other projects to support the local economy and incorporate elements that honour the neighbourhood’s vibrancy, diversity and history.”

The building will be located immediately south of Regent Park and close to the Corktown neighbourhood, in close proximity to cultural, community and athletic amenities, restaurants, retail and historic landmarks. It offers access to three downtown streetcar lines and the Don Valley Parkway.

TAS’ growth strategy

Toronto-based TAS has more than 50 employees and has completed the Duke, M5V, Dia, Zed and Kingston & Co. condos since it moved out of the custom home business to focus on larger-scale projects. It has 16 properties, totalling more than five million square feet, in various stages of development.

TAS is focused on the Greater Toronto Area and acquiring urban, transit-oriented sites with potential for value-add and development.

“TAS is not simply pursuing growth for the sake of growth,” said Mortazavi. “We believe profit follows purpose.

“TAS is selective about the projects and investments we pursue in order to deliver returns that have a positive financial and social impact. Our success is rooted in collaborative partnerships that begin at the investment level. We have deep market relationships, allowing us to acquire assets on an off-market basis.

“We take an inclusive approach to development, engaging stakeholders at all phases, from the neighbourhoods where our sites are located to the city and our various programming partners.”

Sustainability is a priority for TAS

TAS is a Certified B Corporation, meaning it’s obligated to meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

TAS is also a founding member of the SVX investment platform for ventures, funds and investors seeking social and/or environmental impact alongside the potential for financial return.

“Livable cities must offer more than aesthetics,” said Mortazavi. “They need to make everyone feel good by prioritizing the physical, mental and social well-being of all residents.

“At TAS, we incorporate sustainability into our ambition of building resilient urban villages rooted in food, family and future.”

Other TAS developments

TAS’ most notable proposed development is a five-acre site it purchased in 2016 at 2 Tecumseth Ave. in the western part of Toronto’s downtown. The site formerly housed the Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse.

The company presented a plan last year for a mixed-use development with a blend of commercial, residential rental and condos, office space, and a large amount of indoor and outdoor public space.

“TAS has been working closely with the City of Toronto over the past several months to refine the development proposal,” said Mortazavi. “We will host a community meeting in early April to present the revised proposal and obtain valuable feedback from homeowners and local businesses.

“Our work is rooted in collaboration and open communication to ensure information is easily accessible and disruption is minimized.”

Elsewhere, construction is underway for a mid-rise, mixed-use building at 299 Campbell Ave. in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood. It will feature approximately 235 rental suites, retail space, a Toronto Public Library branch and a new public laneway on the south side of the site.

The Keeley 60 per cent pre-sold

Construction is scheduled to start on The Keeley, which borders Downsview Park at 3100 Keele St. in North York, this summer. More than 60 per cent of its condo suites have been sold.

Three new levels have been added to the south tower and there are two new floor configurations in the east tower to accommodate demand. Lake-facing suites were released for sale on Feb. 23.

TAS purchased 888 Dupont, a mixed-use commercial and residential development project at Dupont Street and Ossington Avenue in Toronto, more than a year ago. It’s home to 30 commercial tenants, photographers, fashion designers and jewellers.

“We were fortunate to have space available for Walnut Studios, who relocated 10 artists after a fire damaged their space last year,” said Mortazavi. “In terms of development, we are just beginning the engagement process with the City of Toronto.”

Mortazavi said there’s potential to add additional density through future development at 860 Richmond St., a repositioned brick-and-beam commercial building that TAS is leasing to Wealthsimple.

“Our office is a lab where passionate experts experiment with new ways of programming and building to solve our city’s most pressing needs,” Mortazavi concluded. “This ambition evolved from TAS’ 35-year history of delivering beautiful homes, offices and, ultimately, solid returns on investment.”

Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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