Even with nightclubs, restaurants and bars shuttered or restricted to takeout for most of the last 14 months, Toronto’s Entertainment District continues to evolve as a hub for new residential towers.
Now another high-rise tower with ample residential and office space is looking to bring more contemporary architecture to the downtown neighbourhood.
In late April, a Zoning By-law Amendment and Official Planning Amendment application was submitted to city planners to construct a 69-storey, mixed-use building with 560 residential units at 310-330 Front Street West.
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The developer, H&R REIT (H&R Real Estate Investment Trust), confirmed to Livabl that the building would house 560 units, which are intended to be purpose-built rentals, though condo tenure is still being explored.
“At this point, our intention is purpose-built rentals,” Matthew Kingston, Vice President of Development and Construction at H&R REIT, told Livabl.
“But there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, so we can’t say definitively, but we are a REIT and we are interested in managing real estate long-term. We believe in the long-term outlook of Toronto, and nothing has changed in that for us, but right this second, to predict this particular building we can’t 100 percent, but our intention at this moment is for it to be purpose-built rentals,” he added.
Of the total 560 units proposed, the breakdown would include 30 studio suites, 272 one-bedroom, 198 two-bedroom and 60 three-bedroom units.
The development site in question is located on the north side of Front Street West, and spans an entire block between Blue Jays Way to the west and Windsor Street to the east. The square lot is roughly 87,338 square feet in size, and is occupied by a three-level underground parking garage and an office complex with three buildings that range from eight to 16 storeys in height. A multi-level atrium links the three towers together in the centre. Some of the buildings include ground-level retail space, and a childcare centre is located on the ground floor of the tallest building (Building C), explains the planning rationale by Bousfields Inc.
The proposal seeks to replace the existing eight-storey building in the southeast corner of the site (Building A) with a 69-storey building, which would feature a 10-storey base with a 59-storey tower portion above. New retail, residential and office space would be included for a total of 583,802 square feet in gross floor area.
The existing atrium would be replaced with a publicly-accessible landscaped plaza finished with landscaping, planters and large shade canopies.
“The landscaped plaza area will function as a focal point and a forecourt for the development, and will be a potential location for public art or a design feature providing weather protection,” says the planning rationale.
The new tower’s 10-storey base building would generally utilize the current Building A footprint and progress upwards to the west on an angle to create a sloped design. The ground floor would house nine elevators, with six reserved for residential use, plus lobby entrances and 2,303 square feet of retail space along Front Street West. Floors two to 10 would be dedicated for office use, approximately 118,123 square feet.
Floors 11 to 12 would act as transition levels between the base and tower portions of the building, incorporating amenity space. An outdoor corner amenity terrace would be built on the 11th floor, along with 6,146 square metres of indoor amenity space that would be shared between office and residential tenants. Floor 12 would house 6,070 square feet of indoor amenity space, also shared between both groups of tenants. A total of 15,984 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space is slated for the tower.
Above the 12th floor, the building would continue to slope incrementally, with residential units occupying floors 13 to 69.