Someone wants to build a huge condo in the Port Lands
Condos might be coming to the Port Lands sooner than you think. A two hectare site along Cherry St. south of Villiers St. is the subject of two development applications with the city, which propose a series of buildings including 26 and 52 storey condo towers.
The project is attributed to 203405 Ontario Limited, which both Urban Toronto and BuzzBuzzHome identify as Castlepoint Numa, one of the city's major players in upcoming neighbourhoods like the Junction Triangle and along the eastern waterfront with the massive 3C project.
The first proposal for the site at 309 Cherry St. was filed all the way back in 2012, but was held in abeyance by the developer and the city while further study was conducted on the future of the Port Lands as a whole.
Fast forward a couple of years and patience on the part of the developer was starting to wear thin. A letter to Toronto and East York Community council in February 2015 cites frustration that the city had yet to consider the application.
Just prior to that, city staff recommended that council approve a request to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to delay any hearing about the site on the basis that the application was premature until the Port Lands Planning Framework and Villiers Island Precinct Plan were complete.
Now, while the first phase of the project sits in limbo, the developer has doubled down by submitting a second re-zoning application for 309 Cherry St. involving the southern portion of the site. It calls for an 11 storey mid-rise building and a 52-storey condo.
The reasoning behind the second proposal is made fairly clear in the planning rationale submitted with the application: they want to speed up the development of the Port Lands.
"The Planning Rationale sets out the planning approvals which would support the comprehensive development of the site, in advance of the balance of the Port Lands, in a manner which would not prejudice any overall plans for the broader area, but which accelerate its development," reads a report prepared by Bousfields Inc.
How exactly this plays out will be intriguing to keep tabs on. The city wants to wait until master planning has been done for the area, while the developer claims that its project won't have a detrimental impact on the broader plans for the Port Lands.
One of the key factors is the flood plain protection that's been deemed necessary for certain areas of the Port Lands before they can be developed. The city would like to see flood management polices for the area, some of which are under appeal, resolved before this application can be reviewed.
For its part, the developer has proposed that a "holding" status be attached to the re-zoning application until the flood management issues are resolved. In other words, the eagerness here is to get the site re-zoned for over 1,000 residential units rather than to break ground on construction.
There's a lot at stake here. Just how the Port Lands will be redeveloped will have a decisive effect on the city as a whole. Thus far, the environmental studies and master planning for the area have been a drawn out affair, but a proposal like this one increases the pressure to accelerate development in the area.
The condos are certainly coming. It's just a matter of when.
City of Toronto development application
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