The future is unclear for the few remaining residents of 2400 Bathurst St.
The city planning division has received an application to demolish the existing structure and replace it with a 20-storey condominium.
The building, on the west side of Bathurst Street just north of Eglinton Avenue West, has 30 rental units, most of which are currently vacant.
“I understand that under the current owner, when people have left, they have left the apartment vacant,” said Ward 21 councillor Joe Mihevc. “But there are still about 10 tenants that live there.”
Upper Forest Hill Suites II currently owns the property. Real estate development company Cadan has retained agent Walker, Nott, Dragicevic Associates Limited to prepare studies and reports as part of the development application process.
The current units fall under the mid-range rent classification. The new building would see 28 rental units and 169 condominium units for a total of 197 dwellings. The new rental units would be similar in price. There would also be four levels of below-grade parking with 222 vehicle spaces and 148 bicycle spaces.
At a developer-hosted open house on Nov. 22, Mihevc said several residents expressed concern about the height of the building.
“Some of the local residents understand that there will be more development there, but what I’m hearing from residents is that it’s too intense for that site,” he said.
Although Mihevc says some residents are concerned about the height, the proposal abides by the city’s official plan and the province’s Greater Golden Horseshoe plan.
The apartment building is currently served by the 7 Bathurst bus and is located roughly 500 metres, or about a 10 minute walk, from the proposed Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue West Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line.
A housing issue report on 2400 Bathurst St. mentions a tenant relocation and assistance plan. It states tenants will be asked to leave only after city council approves the development proposal.
The document also states, “The landlord shall maintain the occupancy of the rental buildings during the application review period.”
Tenant Danny Noujin said his family was informed by the property managers that they might have to leave eventually.
“The only thing I know is that they didn’t question us or ask us anything,” he said. “They basically just said they’re changing into a condo and eventually we’ll have to move.”
Noujin said his family is not thinking too far into the future and is most concerned with making sure they have a roof over their head during the winter season.
“They’re just looking for other places to rent really,” he said. “That’s all they can do.”
Although tenants would not comment on the state of rental units, severe vandalism could be seen on the ground level. Several windows were smashed to the point where the utility room was accessible to anyone.
Property manager Sterling Karamar could not be reached for comment by press time.
The next step for the proposal is for the city to complete a preliminary staff report, which is expected in the first quarter of 2012.
Following the staff report, a formal public community meeting will be held. The proposal would then go for approval at Toronto East York Community Council and then finally full city council.
Mihevc said it’s important to consider the project carefully because it could set a precedent for the surrounding neighbourhood.
“The question that the city and local residents have to answer, is do we see Bathurst as a 20-storey corridor?” he said. “And of course what happens there, is what we would then see happening all over Bathurst.”
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