A prime Toronto multiresidential development site at the corner of Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West is for sale again.
TAS had proposed a 27-storey condominium tower for 1540-1550 Bloor St. W. in 2007 and had been selling units, but the City of Toronto and the Ontario Municipal Board ruled at that time that it was too large for the site and inappropriate for the area.
The site has been rezoned and is subject to a site plan approval application submitted in April 2022 that contemplated a 27-storey, 354-unit building with a 7,100-square-foot retail component at grade, underground parking for 93 vehicles and space for 364 bicycles.
Timbertrin’s decision to sell
“I can't speak to the previous ownership groups and what their strategy and experience was,” Hazelview managing partner and head of real estate Michael Tsourounis told RENX when asked why development has yet to proceed at such a desirable location.
“By the time we had our approvals in place, there was a slowdown in the condo market. We saw demand really start to slide towards the middle of Q2 2022 and we went through a continuous period of rising interest rates.
“That stopped a lot of development activity and really slowed down supply. So from a timing perspective, that was the key contributor to delaying getting into the ground.
“However, we feel that the fundamentals around housing remain exceptionally strong in Canada and especially in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). It's really about getting as much supply to the market as you can because we know the demand is there.”
Tsourounis said Hazelview’s near-term focus in the area is its two-tower development with approximately 900 rental units two subway stops to the east, at Bloor and Dufferin streets.
“With this one here, we felt we could hopefully sell it to another provider who could bring it onstream to help with housing supply in that sub-market much quicker,” he said. “We're optimistic and we think it's a great site for housing over the long term.”
Tsourounis is expecting interest in the site from a range of groups that could develop either a purpose-built rental apartment or a condo.
Excellent public transit location
The site, which has been occupied for years by an empty two-storey commercial building, is immediately south of the Toronto Transit Commission’s Dundas West subway, streetcar and bus station.
“I think having an asset that is very well-located on transit is probably the property’s biggest attribute,” Tsourounis said. “This is a very unique opportunity as this property effectively sits right on top of the subway station.”
The purchaser will have an opportunity to try to add further density as intensification in major transit station areas has accelerated since height and density provisions were previously received.
High Park is 600 metres to the west and there are a variety of stores and restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Residential intensification in the neighbourhood
The area is in the early stages of residential intensification.
JLL has been exclusively retained to seek proposals to acquire the Timbertrin-owned property, which is being offered free and clear of existing debt.
No bid deadline has been set.
“What typically could take two to four years to get approvals for has already been completed,” Tsourounis said. “Now someone can take that project into the ground on a pretty short timeline.”