Condo plans received quietly

Mid-rise development to replace former post office

Plans to redevelop the former Leaside post office lands with a mid-rise condominium are off to a congenial start, despite some early objections from the community that the proposal is too large.

The highly anticipated blueprints for the former Postal Station R site at Millwood and Malcolm roads were revealed earlier this year when property owners Knightstone Capital Management filed a rezoning application for a seven-storey, 98-unit condominium.

Since then, Knightstone has held an open house in the now-vacant post office, inviting the community to take a look at design plans, and there have been other informal meetings held in the community.

While many agree a residential structure is best suited for the property, some neighbours say the building’s size is out of character with the area.

“The height of it and the density of it is a bit … intense for the Leaside neighbourhood in comparison with other developments that have happened in terms of residential,” said Deni Papetti, a resident on Malcolm Road.

The design features units fronting onto both Malcolm and Millwood, and a three-level underground parking garage to hold a maximum of 114 cars. The residential streets immediately surrounding the site are mostly single-family homes.

Despite concerns, Papetti and his neighbours on Malcolm Road and Krawchuk Lane are keeping an open mind, he says.

“My approach is not to stop the development at all. It’s just to engage the developer and the councillor and get a building that is more in keeping with the neighbourhood.”

David Lehberg, president of Knightstone, disagrees the structure is out of context. He says, unlike the similarly sized Leaside Gate, a five-storey condominium just down the road on Millwood.

“That building is right up against the houses that are next to it,” he says. “We’ve done a very good job in our design of integrating the building into the neighbourhood.”

However, plans are not carved in stone, and he too is anxious to have an open dialogue with the community, Lehberg says.

“If it means altering the building, changing the building, we’re open to it absolutely,” he says. “That’s part of the process.”

Councillor John Parker echoed Papetti’s concerns, but said a residential facility would be a nice addition to the neighbourhood.

“Of course, it’s far too large and far too high and we’ll have a discussion around that,” he said. “But the general approach that they are bringing is one that I think is a suitable one for the location.”

Knightstone purchased the property last fall after Canada Post put the site on the market and moved operations to a new Canada Post site on Wynford Drive.

Staff are to report on the proposal at North York Community Council on May 15.

About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: May 1 2012 6:55 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto