By Craig Patterson
The historic commercial building at 238 Queen Street West in Toronto will see an overhaul that will include renovations and new tenants, as well as a rebranding that will have it re-named ‘Queen Street Eats’. The new multi-vendor food central concept will feature several new food and beverage tenants that will be positioned along an interior corridor.
Site plans show options for configurations that range between six and eight vendors, and listing brokerage Savills has put out a request for proposal for restaurant tenants seeking space in the area. Savills recently expanded into Canada under the direction of seasoned broker Jordan Karp (and his team, see below), who is now the Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Service for the Canadian operations of the UK-based brokerage.
Queen Street Eats is marketing itself as ‘the next great food destination on Queen Street West’, and its location is exceptional. Directly across the street is the iconic Much Music Building which houses CTV Studios, and the immediate area boasts a daytime population well in excess of 200,000, consisting of area residents, workers, tourists and daily shoppers.
The space is being designed to address both the customer experience and the operational needs. Communal seating, shared washrooms and an overall ambiance is expected to attract customers, and tenants will benefit from properly placed and sized back of house areas, including cold and dry storage. Queen Street Eats will be open in the daytime and well into the evening, serving an area that is busy almost 24/7.
Included is a heritage facade built in 1912, which was designated a heritage site by the City of Toronto in 1975. The building has considerable character and is a landmark on the street.
Queen Street Eats provides an opportunity for QSR operators that might not otherwise be able to open in the area -- rents often exceed $100 per square foot net on Queen Street West, and older buildings are often a challenge to repurpose. Operators will have the opportunity to be 'centre stage' both day-and-night in the building that will have communal seating -- something new to the building. Curated food concepts will draw people into the unique physical environment that includes back-of-house operations that will be on the lower level.
Landlords are embracing food and beverage tenants because they bring people in — after all, most people eat and drink with greater frequency than they do purchasing goods such as fashion. In the case of 238 Queen Street West, the entire property is being positioned as something that isn’t quite a food hall, nor a food court, but an intimate collection of vendors that will serve the area.
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Executive Vice President