Sutton Place was built in 1967 and was known as a prime destination for celebrities visiting Toronto for many years. It even enjoyed a stint as the primary hotel of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Lanterra acquired the 33-storey building at the corner of Bay and Wellesley Streets from a Hong Kong-based ownership group in 2012 with the intention of converting it into a condo. Sutton Place ceased operations that summer.
It took several years to make deals to get tenants renting 161 units on the upper floors (many of whom didn’t want to leave) out of the building, come up with a design, and obtain financing and City of Toronto approvals before redevelopment could begin.
“Because of various land-use issues, we had to provide 82 or 83 rental replacement units,” Lanterra chairman Mark Mandelbaum told RENX.
Sutton Place becomes The Britt
When construction began, the spine of Sutton Place was maintained along with a below-grade parking lot, which has been refurbished. The rest of the building was essentially gutted and rebuilt.
An eight-storey podium anchors The Britt. Nine floors were added on top of the existing tower to increase the height to 42 storeys. Balconies now wrap around the building and glass cladding covers the structure.
The Britt has 649 suites, ranging from 334-square-foot studios to 1,292-square-foot, three-bedroom suites. Prices ranged from $275,900 to $1.25 million when units first went on sale.
The Britt is now occupied up to the eighth floor, according to Mandelbaum. He expects the sold-out condo to be completely filled as work finishes during the next six months.
Amenities include: multi-purpose party rooms with kitchen facilities; a theatre room; indoor and outdoor lounge areas; a boardroom; a storage room; a fitness centre with washrooms and changing facilities; a yoga/aerobics studio; spa facilities with a hot tub and sauna; an outdoor pool; a pet spa; individual storage and bicycle lockers; and a 24-hour concierge.
The ground floor includes a Shoppers Drug Mart on the Wellesley Street side and a commercial space which Mandelbaum expects to be leased shortly to a café/restaurant or professional office.
The Britt’s design
The Britt was designed by Toronto-based IBI Group, which Lanterra has employed for several other projects.
“We thought it would be a very good candidate for a complex building,” Mandelbaum said of IBI. “They’re very good at the kind of architecture we were looking for.”
The exterior architecture, lobby and amenities are cohesive in design and the British themes that can be found throughout The Britt, according to Mandelbaum.
“Given the historical use of the building as a hotel, we decided to embrace a classical British hotel design and architectural modellng,” he said.
Lanterra’s other Toronto condo developments
While The Britt is probably Lanterra’s highest-profile current development, it has a number of other Toronto condos at various stages of construction and pre-development:
* Construction of the Italian-inspired, IBI Group-designed Treviso III is nearing completion. It’s the third condo to be constructed on the property at the northeast corner of Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue. The nearly 10-acre site will feature three condos with 1,393 suites, 60,000 square feet of retail space and a one-acre park;
* Construction has begun on the Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed Artists’ Alley at 234 Simcoe St. The master-planned, mixed-use community includes 39-, 36- and 17-storey residential buildings as well as office and retail space;
* Construction is nearing completion at the KPMB Architects and IBI Group-designed 11 Wellesley. The 740 suites in the 60-storey condo between Bay and Yonge streets are sold out. It includes Yonge & Wellesley Offices On The Park, with 46,074 square feet of office condos on the second and third floors;
* The 41-storey, Foster + Partners-designed 50 Scollard in Yorkville will feature just 77 suites. Mandelbaum said final site plan issues are being ironed out and construction should start shortly. It will be “the ultra-luxury building in the city,” he added;
* Sales will be launched in June for the IBI Group-designed Notting Hill Condominiums. The master-planned community features four residential buildings with 1,320 suites at 4000 Eglinton Ave. W. near Royal York Road.