EWR will continue to offer reference material for those interested in following and reviewing the due diligence process regarding the potential acquisition of 9 Madison Ave by the 4 Orgs.
In the second instalment of EWR’s review of the due diligence process surrounding 9 Madison Ave., we focus on recent activities and areas of focus of local councillors and the Annex Residents Association (ARA).
We noted in Part 1 of our review that a paper published in November 2016 by the City of Toronto titled the “Bloor Corridor/ Annex Block Planning Study, Official Plan Amendment – Final Report” outlined much of what was sought for the future of the Annex. One of the key sites reviewed in that process was a development project proposed at 316 Bloor Ave West. Initially 316 Bloor West was intended to be a towering complex at 42 storeys that would have dramatically changed the pedestrian and vehicular densities in the immediate area of Bloor St West, Spadina Rd and Madison Ave. The City, the ARA and other parties came together in working sessions to devise strategies and areas of cooperation with site developers in order to mitigate, among other concerns, traffic flows expected on Madison Ave caused by new condominium residents and clients of commercial offices in the new tower as well as the competition for parking areas.
State Building Group, the developers of 316 Bloor, began an appeal process through the Ontario Municipal Board to seek approval for 42 levels of mixed use commercial and residential units. In opposition, the “Block Study” working group used the heights and density models of neighbouring buildings in order to argue that the proposed 42 storey height would be atypical of the area and would significantly change the character, aesthetics and views for long-time area residents. “Block Study” supporters sought to limit the height of the 316 Bloor development to 20 storeys.
After months of study, negotiation and diligence, the parties, including the developer, seemed to have reached a compromise which will permit the building at 316 Bloor St West, basically at the foot of Madison Ave across from Tartu College, to build to 29 storeys. While a sizeable portion of the proposed building has been eliminated, 316 Bloor may present some interesting challenges to those seeking access to the proposed new Estonian cultural facility. The 4 organizations or “Pillars” currently performing due diligence in regard to 9 and 11 Madison Ave will have to accommodate not only the long term effects of another 29 storey neighbour but, now that State Group seems to have gained local support and will want to move forward expeditiously, the 4 Pillars will undoubtedly have to measure the impact of the construction process and timetable State Group will have for 316 Bloor St. How much could the construction schedule of 316 Bloor conflict with the timetable envisioned for redevelopment behind Tartu College? Competing excavators, cement trucks, other machinery and trades in a narrow street and condensed area overall could make the 9 and 11 Madison site almost impassable over the next 2 to 4 years.
For an understanding of the arrangement reached with State Building Group and its 316 Bloor St West project, EWR has provided a copy of the notice released by the participants of the working group dated May 18, 2017, below.
Related: Toronto Eesti Maja Tulevik
Madison Project “Due Diligence” Part 2 (2)