By Craig Patterson
The 100 Bloor Street West retail podium in Toronto’s Yorkville area acts as a significant anchor to the city’s ‘Mink Mile’ luxury strip. The iconic complex, owned by ASG Equities, is in the process of seeing a significant transition that has seen the addition of two luxury retailers, and there are more opportunities for retailers to join them as tenants turn over and space becomes available at one of Canada’s best retail addresses.
The 100 Bloor complex was built in 1999 by noted developer Tridel, and consists of the retail podium at the base of the luxury 10 Bellair Street condominium building. The building was acquired by New York City-based ASG Equities in 2003. The location at northwest corner of Bellair Street and Bloor Street West is remarkable— Harry Rosen’s flagship is located directly to the east across Bellair Street, and the Village of Yorkville Park is located directly north.
Arlin Markowitz, Senior Vice President of CBRE, is handling the leasing of 100 Bloor Street West. He explained how the location is one of the most significant in Toronto, being across Bellair Street from Harry Rosen’s flagship and across Bloor Street from notable retailers such as Cartier, Prada, and a future Dior flagship. The Village of Yorkville Park is located on the north side of 100 Bloor Street West, providing exposure to busy Cumberland Street.
100 Bloor features the architecturally significant heritage-designated facade of the former University Theatre which once occupied the site, giving the complex its unique look that includes a massive 57-foot high sweeping facade. Another heritage facade for a building which once occupied the site, including two doors and an oval-shaped window, is now part of the lobby entrance to the 10 Bellair condominium tower facing Village of Yorkville Park on Critchley Lane.
The University Theatre opened in 1949 and with 1,300 seats, it was the largest movie house in Canada when it shuttered in 1986. The site sat vacant for several years and several developers had ideas for the site — ultimately Tridel acquired the nearly 40,000 square foot plot of land. The first retail tenants included four retailers facing onto Bloor Street, west-to-east: Pottery Barn/Pottery Barn Kids, Williams Sonoma, The Body Shop, and Roots, the latter which occupied a two-level flagship space at the corner of Bellair Street. At the back of the building are two retail spaces — in 2002, one became home to the first Toronto location for multi-brand luxury women’s retailer Milli, which operated in a 2,500 square foot luxury store facing Cumberland Street until 2016.
Apple was rumoured to have been in discussions several years ago for a flagship space at 100 Bloor, though it ended up securing space nearby.
After its lease expired, Roots vacated its massive corner flagship in 2014, as did The Body Shop next to it when its lease expired that year. That provided the landlord the opportunity to embark on a repositioning that took 100 Bloor’s tenancy to the next level. After a renovation in September of 2014, Holt Renfrew unveiled an impressive standalone men’s store, spanning about 16,500 square feet over two levels, marking the first luxury retailer to move into 100 Bloor Street West with an actual Bloor Street frontage.
Williams Sonoma closed its 100 Bloor Street location in January of 2017 and Pottery Barn followed, allowing for a repositioning of the podium for a fresh grouping of flagship retail tenants. Luxury brand Hermes leased about 13,000 square feet of space over two levels and in November of 2017, it unveiled an impressive brick-clad flagship store, taking over the facade formerly occupied by Williams Sonoma.
The adjacent retail space west of Hermes will soon see the opening of Toronto’s first Ermenegildo Zegna flagship. The 2,500 square foot store (with an additional 750 square foot mezzanine), run in partnership with Harry Rosen, will become the second Canadian Zegna location when it opens this fall. CBRE’s Arlin Markowitz negotiated both the Zegna and Hermes deals.
The former Milli space at 100 Bloor Street West, which faces northward towards Cumberland Street, is being joined with some upstairs space and this fall, Canada’s second Barry’s Bootcamp location will be opening with views over Village of Yorkville Park (Arlin Markowitz represents Barry's Bootcamp in Canada).
As well, next to Barry’s Bootcamp and facing northward towards Cumberland Street will be a healthy vegan food concept called ‘Kupfert and Kim’. The 1,000 square foot + 500 square foot mezzanine restaurant, along with Barry’s, will create an ideal and well-curated tenant mix at the north side of the 100 Bloor complex that also faces onto the vibrant and attractive Village of Yorkville Park. Arlin Markowitz negotiated the deal with Jonathan Wygodny of City Commercial Realty Group acting on behalf of Kumfert and Kim.
Part of 100 Bloor’s former Pottery Barn space is still available for lease. The two-level 15,800 square foot space can be configured in various ways for one or more tenants, providing tremendous opportunities for luxury and big brand retailers seeking a prestigious Bloor Street West address.
Mr. Markowitz and 100 Bloor’s landlord noted that they’re in LOI discussions with several international, first-to-Canada brands that are looking to open a flagship store on the Mink Mile. Due to confidentiality and ongoing talks, potential tenants weren’t disclosed.
It’s unlikely that the remaining retail spaces at 100 Bloor Street West will remain vacant for long — the ‘Mink Mile’ is considered to be Canada’s most prestigious retail address, housing major brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. Christian Dior will be opening its largest store in North America in several months across the street from 100 Bloor Street West at ‘The Colonnade’.
The ‘luxury run’ of the Mink Mile spans roughly 300 metres, or 1,000 feet between, Bay Street and Avenue Road. The 100 Bloor podium spans about 70 metres or about 230 feet along the street which is known for its high-quality dark granite sidewalks. Furthermore, 100 Bloor is on the north side of the street which some refer to as being the “right side”, given that its south-facing storefronts are flooded with daytime sunlight.
The area is also one of the country’s wealthiest, with Yorkville having the distinction of not only being affluent and dense, but also growing rapidly. The population is expected to double over the next several years as luxury condominium towers in the area are constructed and occupied. Some towers sold at an average of more than $1,500 per square foot and the nearby 50 Scollard tower will shatter records with units priced from $4-million to well over $20-million, averaging well over $2,500 per square foot. Nearby are iconic neighbourhoods such as Rosedale, South Hill, The Annex, Moore Park and Forest Hill, all considered to be important residential enclaves housing some of the wealthiest and most well-known Canadian households.
We’ll update this article as new tenant are secured for the retail component at 100 Bloor Street West.
For more information on 100 Bloor St. W: www.100bloorwestretail.com