Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust acquires former government-owned downtown Toronto development parcel to build two housing towers


GTA Construction Report staff writer

Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust says it has acquired a 50 per cent interest in an approximately .9 acre  property at 27 Grosvenor St./26 Grenville St., near the intersection of Yonge Street and College Streets.

The site was formerly owned by the Government of Ontario. In 2011, Infrastructure Ontario retained a team led by Urban Strategies Inc. to conduct an Optimal Use Study to explore development options for the site. The study examined the planning policy framework, heritage and market considerations, and issues related to urban design, and determined that two residential towers in the range of 40 to 50 storeys would be the most appropriate development scenario for the
site, yielding approximately 800-900 residential units.

Several years later, the former Liberal government put the site on the market, with the transaction finally closing, allowing for the rental housing development to proceed.
The property “is in an exceptional location that is within walking distance to College TTC subway station, the University of Toronto, the downtown hospital network and the financial core,” Choice says in a statement.

Choice Properties and Greenwin Inc. say they plan to deliver a two-tower, purpose-built rental community, 30 percent of which will be maintained as affordable rental housing for a period of 40 years.

“We are delighted to enter into a partnership with Greenwin to develop this well-located property and to create a significant number of affordable units,” said Choice Properties president and CEO Stephen Johnson. “Our intent is to create a landmark project that will make a positive contribution to the community.”

The site formerly included a two-story building used by the Provincial Coroner plus a three-storey parking garage.  In its new form, it will have 844 rental units, city planning application documents reveal. The two structures, named The G2, will be connected to each other through an 11-storey podium.  Sweeny & Co. Architects designed the development.

Plans call for about 395 sq. m. of retail and a 696 sq. m. daycare facility on the ground and third levels. There will be a three-storey underground garage with 215 parking spaces. As well there will be significant bicycle parking, with 194 spaces proposed on the ground floor and two bicycle storage rooms holding a total of 440 spaces on the second floor.

“Today is an important milestone in Toronto’s development history,” said Greenwin chairman Cary Green. “An investment in affordable housing is an investment in a brighter future for those who need it most. Together, with our partner Choice Properties, we are excited to bring sustainable, affordable housing in a mixed-income setting to the heart of the City of Toronto.”



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