Executives from the three companies replied to emailed questions from RENX.
“Windsor is focused on partnering with experienced developers principally in the GTA," Windsor managing partner Jordan Kupinsky said:
"Being able to work with both Greenwin and Intentional on a transit-oriented site in a vibrant community in Toronto was an opportunity that we could not pass up. The city needs more rental and affordable rental housing and we welcome the opportunity to do our part.”
The 1890-built, three-storey structure at 950 King St. W., at the corner of Strachan Avenue, had — since the 1970s and until recently — been used as a rooming house for primarily low-income, long-term tenants.
Palace Arms was purchased by Intentional in 2017 for $13.4 million from Strawking Holdings Inc. and Tishman Holdings Limited.
Greenwin joined forces with Intentional in 2021 to provide construction and development expertise for the site and Windsor came on board this year to provide additional capital to start construction.
Plans for Palace Arms
The new development will also be named Palace Arms and is expected to consist of a Sweeny&Co Architects-designed 14-storey tower with 219 rental units on a 15,000-square-foot lot.
There will be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units as well as live/work suites at grade and approximately 37 affordable studios that will be finished to the same quality and specifications as the market units.
“In August 2023, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow presented an aggressive mandate to build more affordable rental homes,” said Greenwin communications director Jessica Green.
“The Palace Arms project is an opportunity to support this important plan and address the critical need for both market and affordable rental housing in the area while celebrating the site’s rich history.”
Elevated interest rates and construction expenses had led to a pause in numerous purpose-built rental projects.
While Green said her group was always committed to proceeding with the Palace Arms project, she believes the federal government's September decision to remove the goods and services tax from rental apartment construction costs will stimulate development.
One-bedroom units will be 529 square feet, one-bedroom units with a den will be 573 square feet, two-bedroom units will be 746 square feet, two-bedroom units with a den will be 760 square feet, three-bedroom units will be 890 square feet and the live/work units will be 931 square feet.
Amenities will include: a commercial-quality fitness facility; co-working space; a social room; an automated parcel management system; bicycle lockers; a pet wash; a yoga studio; a multi-purpose room; and a rooftop patio with barbecues and children's play area.
Heritage elements will remain
The existing building’s principal facades — along with its brick masonry, window openings, roof lines and masonry chimneys — will be conserved and rehabilitated as part of the redevelopment.
“We are still working through the Heritage Conservation Plan with the city and we don’t view this as ‘forced,’ ” Kupinsky wrote.
“All of the partners are supportive of maintaining great architecture in their developments wherever possible, preserving the city’s heritage and leveraging the existing design elements for the residents and community at large.”
There’s a King streetcar stop in front of the building, which is within walking distance of Liberty Village, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Lake Ontario and the financial district.
The proposed development is going through the site plan approval process. It’s expected all approvals will be in place and construction will start in 2024.
Greenwin is one of Ontario's largest privately owned, full-service property management and development firms.
The Toronto-based company was founded in 1948 and manages more than $3.3 billion in real estate assets, including more than a million square feet of commercial space and nearly 22,000 residential units — more than 5,000 of which are affordable and non-profit housing units.
Greenwin is involved with several other multifamily buildings at various stages in the development cycle in the Greater Toronto Area, including: 228 Wilson Ave., 200 Chalkfarm Dr. and 1050 Sheppard Ave. W. in North York; 185 Balliol St. and 26 Grenville St. and 27 Grosvenor St. in downtown Toronto; and 1750 Ellesmere Rd. in Scarborough.
Greenwin and SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust are also partners in a proposed multi-building, mixed-use development on Bradford Street in Barrie, about 70 kilometres north of Toronto.
Intentional is a privately owned, Toronto-based real estate company that specializes in providing multiresidential buildings. It has more than $1 billion in gross development value.
Intentional’s other projects include: Geary Factory Lofts, a 40-unit commercial condominium on Geary Avenue near Dufferin and Dupont streets in Toronto; and a 29-storey, 379-unit multifamily building at 65 Agnes St. in Mississauga.
Intentional acquired a site occupied by a gas station, convenience store and Tim Hortons takeout counter across the street from Palace Arms at 952 King St. W. in August 2022. It’s proposing to develop a 16-storey, 213-unit multifamily building on the property.
The company also acquired 203 King St. S. in Waterloo, Ont., two years ago where it’s proposing to develop a 26-storey, 320-unit multifamily building.
Windsor Private Capital
Toronto-headquartered Windsor is an asset management firm primarily focused on real estate lending and equity investments.
Together with its affiliates, it advises and manages more than $3 billion on behalf of private and institutional investors, including the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.
Windsor offers investors: the Windsor Private Capital Fund; the Windsor II Fund; the WPC Real Estate Opportunity Fund; the WPC Infrastructure Fund; and the Windsor Multi-family Fund.