One of the highest-profile, high-density development sites in the City of Toronto is back on the sale block. The Don Valley Hotel and Suites property is being marketed three years after it was acquired for $102 million by Fengate Asset Management and Freed Developments Ltd.
CBRE's Land Services Group, which brokered the January 2020 transaction from longtime owner Allied Hotel Properties Inc., is again marketing the property through a public process.
There is one significant difference in this instance, however. The 5.42-acre site is now zoned for a large-scale, multi-tower development after Fengate and Freed took the property through that process with the city and the Ontario Land Tribunal.
"On behalf of our institutional investors and in line with our group’s land entitlement strategy, Fengate partnered with Freed Developments to acquire 175 Wynford Dr. in 2020," a Fengate/Freed spokesperson wrote in an email exchange with RENX.
"Since acquisition, we have successfully up-zoned the site and unlocked density through the entitlement process, to allow for more much-needed new homes to be built in this prime, transit-oriented midtown location."
The existing redevelopment plan
Redevelopment plans call for four towers, connected by two podiums and ranging from 49 to 54 storeys.
The redevelopment could comprise up to 1.84 million square feet, of which up to 1.64 million square feet could be allotted to residential uses.
The current proposal calls for about 2,497 residential units – potentially a mix of for-sale and purpose-built rentals.
There is also the possibility of a hotel of up to 125 rooms – which would replace the existing six-storey, 353-room structure.
The current Don Valley Hotel facility includes a convention centre, a restaurant and bar/bistro, swimming pools, a whirlpool and other amenities which would provide holding income.
The redevelopment plan also includes a day care in one of the podiums and four levels of underground parking to service residents and all other users, including a potential retail component.
"Dispositions are a common part of the real estate investment process," the Fengate/Freed spokesperson wrote.
"Outside the sale of the 175 Wynford Dr. site, Fengate Real Estate will continue to grow our development portfolio while simultaneously maximizing the value of our existing 15,000-unit multifamily and five-million-square-foot industrial pipeline.
"This completes yet another successful entitlement for Freed, totalling approximately seven million square feet of successfully approved density over the past five years and in line with our group’s land entitlement strategy."
The spokesperson revealed to RENX the bid submission date has been set for Nov. 30.
Location along Eglinton Crosstown LRT
In its marketing brochure, CBRE notes no formal site plan application has been submitted, allowing a buyer to adapt the existing plans to their own preferences.
The property is located at the junction of Eglinton Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway, just a block east of Don Mills Road.
“The location of the site is truly unmatched along the Crosstown LRT line at Wynford Station and adjacent to the Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Avenue East interchange, providing multi-transit optionality to the rest of the city,” CBRE states in its marketing brochure.
Once operational, the Crosstown LRT along Eglinton will link the property to the rest of the city's extensive rapid transit system.
The area's transit and transportation connectivity is leading to a wave of high-density development interest as Toronto’s population continues to grow due to high immigration levels.
CBRE reports that, since 2021 there have been five high-density condominium launches in the neighbourhood and only about 130 of the 1,200 units to be delivered by those projects “remain in inventory.”
Mike Czestochowski, vice chairman, and Lauren White, executive vice-president of CBRE Land Services Group, are heading the bid process.