New plaza in Downsview owned and operated by City of Toronto

News Nov 23, 2017 by David Nickle North York Mirror

It's official: Toronto has gotten into the commercial real estate business.

On Nov. 23, Build Toronto – the city-owned agency charged with monetizing Toronto's real estate holdings – officially opened 75 Billy Bishop Way, a 4.5 acre retail shopping centre, next to the Wilson Subway Station on Line 1.

The shopping centre is built on what was once a TTC commuter parking lot, between the station and a larger big box retail shopping centre, and has tenants like Starbucks, the Beer Store and A&W. 

It is the first commercial property that Build Toronto has redeveloped and operated on its own.

“This one would have been hard to sell as a piece of land – you wouldn't be able to accrue the value from it,” said Build Toronto Chair and Willowdale Coun. David Shiner. “So the decision was not just to make a development plan, but to construct it, tenant it and sell it for additional revenue.”

The shopping centre has, according to Build Toronto, generated nearly $1.3 million from development charges and fees, and will add $800,000 in new annual property taxes to the city's coffers.

It is a part of a larger redevelopment of the Downsview area, built in part on other lands sold off by Build Toronto. It is in a designated regeneration area at Wilson Avenue and Dufferin Street, and at the December meeting of Toronto Council, the nearby Murray Road site will likewise be designated.

“The whole area's being redeveloped,” said local councillor Maria Augimeri. “We're hoping to make it into a subcentre. A lot of units are going up, condominiums on the east side of Dufferin Street south of Wilson, and we'll be opening another retail arm with restaurants (which will be privately owned).”

The plaza has been designed with short- and long-term bike parking and wider than typical sidewalks to make it accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and cars. And it directly connects to the subway.

For now, Build Toronto is the landlord, but Bill Bryck, President and CEO, said that won't be for long: the site is up for sale.

He said the model for this site isn't necessarily one for the development of other city-owned sites.

“This was a unique set of circumstances,” he said. “We will look at all opportunities. If there's an opportunity to create better value by taking it through the development process, we will. But on balance our activities will be limited to creating the development opportunity.”

This development has generated 91 person years of employment through construction, and is expected to create 130 new jobs in the retail centre.

The tenants include Carter's babies and kids / OshKosh B'gosh, Moores Clothing for Men, Classic Creations, Snuggle Bugz, Starbucks, A&W, Nail Gallery, Ren's Pets Depot, The Beer Store and Vivo Pizza Pasta.

New plaza in Downsview owned and operated by City of Toronto

First commercial property Build Toronto has redeveloped and operated on its own

News Nov 23, 2017 by David Nickle North York Mirror

It's official: Toronto has gotten into the commercial real estate business.

On Nov. 23, Build Toronto – the city-owned agency charged with monetizing Toronto's real estate holdings – officially opened 75 Billy Bishop Way, a 4.5 acre retail shopping centre, next to the Wilson Subway Station on Line 1.

The shopping centre is built on what was once a TTC commuter parking lot, between the station and a larger big box retail shopping centre, and has tenants like Starbucks, the Beer Store and A&W. 

It is the first commercial property that Build Toronto has redeveloped and operated on its own.

“This one would have been hard to sell as a piece of land – you wouldn't be able to accrue the value from it,” said Build Toronto Chair and Willowdale Coun. David Shiner. “So the decision was not just to make a development plan, but to construct it, tenant it and sell it for additional revenue.”

The shopping centre has, according to Build Toronto, generated nearly $1.3 million from development charges and fees, and will add $800,000 in new annual property taxes to the city's coffers.

It is a part of a larger redevelopment of the Downsview area, built in part on other lands sold off by Build Toronto. It is in a designated regeneration area at Wilson Avenue and Dufferin Street, and at the December meeting of Toronto Council, the nearby Murray Road site will likewise be designated.

“The whole area's being redeveloped,” said local councillor Maria Augimeri. “We're hoping to make it into a subcentre. A lot of units are going up, condominiums on the east side of Dufferin Street south of Wilson, and we'll be opening another retail arm with restaurants (which will be privately owned).”

The plaza has been designed with short- and long-term bike parking and wider than typical sidewalks to make it accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and cars. And it directly connects to the subway.

For now, Build Toronto is the landlord, but Bill Bryck, President and CEO, said that won't be for long: the site is up for sale.

He said the model for this site isn't necessarily one for the development of other city-owned sites.

“This was a unique set of circumstances,” he said. “We will look at all opportunities. If there's an opportunity to create better value by taking it through the development process, we will. But on balance our activities will be limited to creating the development opportunity.”

This development has generated 91 person years of employment through construction, and is expected to create 130 new jobs in the retail centre.

The tenants include Carter's babies and kids / OshKosh B'gosh, Moores Clothing for Men, Classic Creations, Snuggle Bugz, Starbucks, A&W, Nail Gallery, Ren's Pets Depot, The Beer Store and Vivo Pizza Pasta.

New plaza in Downsview owned and operated by City of Toronto

First commercial property Build Toronto has redeveloped and operated on its own

News Nov 23, 2017 by David Nickle North York Mirror

It's official: Toronto has gotten into the commercial real estate business.

On Nov. 23, Build Toronto – the city-owned agency charged with monetizing Toronto's real estate holdings – officially opened 75 Billy Bishop Way, a 4.5 acre retail shopping centre, next to the Wilson Subway Station on Line 1.

The shopping centre is built on what was once a TTC commuter parking lot, between the station and a larger big box retail shopping centre, and has tenants like Starbucks, the Beer Store and A&W. 

It is the first commercial property that Build Toronto has redeveloped and operated on its own.

“This one would have been hard to sell as a piece of land – you wouldn't be able to accrue the value from it,” said Build Toronto Chair and Willowdale Coun. David Shiner. “So the decision was not just to make a development plan, but to construct it, tenant it and sell it for additional revenue.”

The shopping centre has, according to Build Toronto, generated nearly $1.3 million from development charges and fees, and will add $800,000 in new annual property taxes to the city's coffers.

It is a part of a larger redevelopment of the Downsview area, built in part on other lands sold off by Build Toronto. It is in a designated regeneration area at Wilson Avenue and Dufferin Street, and at the December meeting of Toronto Council, the nearby Murray Road site will likewise be designated.

“The whole area's being redeveloped,” said local councillor Maria Augimeri. “We're hoping to make it into a subcentre. A lot of units are going up, condominiums on the east side of Dufferin Street south of Wilson, and we'll be opening another retail arm with restaurants (which will be privately owned).”

The plaza has been designed with short- and long-term bike parking and wider than typical sidewalks to make it accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and cars. And it directly connects to the subway.

For now, Build Toronto is the landlord, but Bill Bryck, President and CEO, said that won't be for long: the site is up for sale.

He said the model for this site isn't necessarily one for the development of other city-owned sites.

“This was a unique set of circumstances,” he said. “We will look at all opportunities. If there's an opportunity to create better value by taking it through the development process, we will. But on balance our activities will be limited to creating the development opportunity.”

This development has generated 91 person years of employment through construction, and is expected to create 130 new jobs in the retail centre.

The tenants include Carter's babies and kids / OshKosh B'gosh, Moores Clothing for Men, Classic Creations, Snuggle Bugz, Starbucks, A&W, Nail Gallery, Ren's Pets Depot, The Beer Store and Vivo Pizza Pasta.