POSSIBLE NEW DOWNTOWN TORONTO MALL: UPDATE

Proposed mall/tower in yellow. Image: Ryerson Master Plan

In May we reported that a large and possibly substantial mall could be built up the street from the Toronto Eaton Centre. We've got an update - a prominent building on the same block has been purchased as part of a land assembly.

The Yonge Street Mission, located at 381 Yonge Street, has been sold to a private equity real estate company. The sale's closing date will be some time in September 2016, allowing the Mission to move and reorganise its operations. The Yonge Street building is adjacent to other buildings already owned by investors Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board.




In April of 2013, Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board purchased several adjacent properties from Primaris Real Estate Investment Trust. Sources tell us that there could be a proposal for a substantial shopping mall on the site, possibly connected to Ryerson University and also possibly including a large anchor retailer. We're not sure what exactly is proposed for the site, though the Ryerson University Master Plan might give some clues. The rendering at the top of this article shows a proposed commercial podium topped by a taller tower.

The immediate area has seen extensive development including an expanding Ryerson University, Canada's tallest residential building (Aura at College Park) as well as the newly-branded Eaton Chelsea Hotel (formerly known as the Delta Chelsea Hotel). The area is enjoying a growth in popularity as well as a substantial increase in its residential population as Toronto continues its condo boom.


381 Yonge Street [Image Source]

We'll continue to keep you updated on this topic, as it could lead to a substantial retail development that could house a Downtown Toronto Target, Walmart, or even La Maison Simons.

Link to our previous article breaking news on the potential Yonge Street shopping centre.

[Source: Yonge Street Mission press release]

YET ANOTHER DOWNTOWN TORONTO RETAIL MALL?

A large retail complex could be built just north of the Toronto Eaton Centre. We received word from a source saying that we should be paying attention to the east side of Yonge Street between Gerrard and Gould Streets. 
Primus (red) and Ryerson (yellow) owned properties in the potential mall area [Source]
For some time, Primaris REIT had been quietly purchasing properties on the Yonge Street block, adjacent to Ryerson University. Ryerson owns the southern portion of the site which was formerly home to Sam The Record Man.  


[Source]
Based on the above, Primaris appeared to be considering redeveloping the block and notes that it is open to further land assembly (acquiring adjacent properties for amalgamation).

On April 4, 2013, Kingsett Capital and the Canada Pension Board purchased Primaris' Yonge Street properties. We are awaiting to hear back from Kingsett as to their intentions for the block. 
Ryerson Student Centre, currently under construction at the south-end of the site [Image Source]
Ryerson University has also noted that it could consider redevelopment of its portion of the block, along with lands immediately north. This has been set out in the Ryerson University Master Plan. It should also be noted, however, that the Ryerson Student Centre is currently under construction on the Ryerson-owned site. We're not sure if there is a possibility that it could become integrated into a joint retail project.


Source: Ryerson University Master Plan
All of the above is currently speculation and we have little further information at this time. If such a project did go ahead, it could provide retail space for multiple retailers plus one or more large retailers seeking Downtown Toronto space including Nordstrom, La Maison Simons and Target. A source tells us, however, that they expect Target could secure space in the neighbouring Atrium On Bay building which is also undergoing redevelopment. 

Ryerson University has previously entered into joint ventures with retail developers, including the Ted Rogers School of Management building adjacent to the Toronto Eaton Centre. 

We extend thanks to Gil Meslin, urban planner at DIALOG for directing us to the Ryerson University master plan and related information and to his coworker, David Fitzpatrick, for directing us to the Primaris information. David has an excellent urban planning blog called Reurbanist and we follow his twitter daily.