A large portion of “one of the few remaining developable sites in downtown Toronto” is selling for $180 million, say the property’s current owners.

RioCan, Allied and Diamondcorp announced today plans to sell most of the future residential elements of The Well — a major mixed-use community proposed for a 7.67-acre parcel of land at Front Street West and Spadina Avenue — to Tridel and Woodbourne.

The site’s development plans, which the City is still currently reviewing, include 1.43 million square feet of proposed residential space spread across both condos and rental apartments. In all, it will feature 3,000,000 square feet of mixed-use development with offices and retail units as well.

RioCan is set to keep a 50-per-cent stake in a purpose-built rental tower encompassing 400,000 square feet of residential space, according to a news release posted this morning. The current owners, operating as The Well JV, bought the 7.67 acres of land for $170 million in late 2012 and early 2013.

Construction at The Well is slated to begin in early 2017. The deal will close after work is finished on the planned underground parking site and building podiums and land severances — the process by which a single parcel of land is divided up — are complete. The current landowners predict this will happen early in 2020.


RioCan and Allied, though they are involved with residential development, primarily focus on commercial aspects, while Diamondcorp, which does build condos such as 210 Simcoe, does not have a portfolio as large as Tridel, one of the country’s largest residential builders.

Edward Sonshine, RioCan’s CEO, noted how the project will benefit from the addition of Tridel and Woodbourne, an investment firm with a residential real estate focus.

“We are very pleased to partner with Tridel and Woodbourne. They bring with them to The Well a tremendous amount of experience and expertise developing high-rise residential,” says Sonshine in a statement.

The development won’t be built in separate phases, a common practice for projects of this scale. With Tridel and Woodbourne on board, the idea is to now move forward on the project “during one continuous construction period,” also according to the news release.

The site is currently home to The Globe and Mail’s aging headquarters at 440 Front Street, but the national newspaper will be moving into The Globe and Mail Centre, a new 17-storey office tower at 351 King Street East from First Gulf, in the fall.

While the City has already approved an Official Plan amendment for The Well site, it is still looking at the project’s zoning by-law amendment application, says Dan Nicholson, a senior planner who has been assigned to the file.

“We felt it was important to get the broad principles of the development approved along with the City’s expectations for what the project will deliver,” he says in an email explaining the approval process.

Nicholson expects to bring the results of the review to council this fall, he tells BuzzBuzzHome News.

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