Pinnacle International, a Vancouver-based developer, plans to build the largest hotel and condominium project in Toronto, the Canadian financial capital with the most highrises under construction in North America.
Pinnacle’s proposal calls for six highrises, including an 88-story condominium that would be the tallest residential tower in Canada; a 70-story highrise with hotel, and an office tower near the Toronto Star newspaper headquarters on Yonge Street, according to plans submitted to the city. If built, the combined 6.4 million square feet of space would be the largest residential mixed-use project in the country, according to real estate research firm RealNet Canada Inc.
The proposed buildings would add to the 158 condominiums already under construction in Canada’s largest city, says real estate researcher BuzzBuzzHome. That’s sparked concern that prices may tumble as new units come on the market later this year and in 2014. There will be 14,000 new condo unit sales this year in Toronto, according to Brad Lamb, president of closely-held developer Brad J. Lamb Realty Inc. That compares with 17,997 new condominium sales last year, according to Toronto-based researcher Urbanation Inc.
“Condo prices won’t go up this year,” Lamb said in an interview at the Bloomberg office in Toronto. “All the high rise buildings you see around here are all being built in the next three to four years.”
New condo proposals reached 253,768 units at the end of the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from a year earlier, Urbanation said. There were 5,759 low-rise and condo sales in the city in February, down 15 percent from last year. The average sale price rose 2.1 percent, according to data from the Toronto Real Esate Board.
Pinnacle’s proposed project would add 4,137 units in a complex that spans two city blocks at 1 Yonge St. and 7 Yonge St., the base of the longest street in the world. The area currently houses a parking lot and the Toronto Star building, where a 10-story office extension is proposed. Pinnacle bought the two blocks of land for C$250 million ($245.9 million) in July from Osmington Properties, RealNet said.
“It’s a vibrant neighborhood and we want to continue growing our waterfront presence,” Anson Kwok, vice president of sales and marketing at Pinnacle said in a phone interview from Toronto. “Being at the foot of the longest street in North America is quite attractive. Location is a big one -- we’re opening up the gateway to the waterfront.”
The firm has developed four towers and about 2,000 residential units in Toronto so far, he said. This proposal will take two years to be approved, according to Kwok.
The proposal, submitted to Toronto on March 6, is being examined by city staff and the community before a preliminary report is produced. Staff will look at the potential impact of the development on traffic, parking, and infrastructure, said Allison Meistrich, senior planner the Toronto and East York districts, in a phone interview last week. The process for approval of a development in Toronto usually takes about a year, Meistrich said.