Proposed condo tower at Yonge and Eglinton raises concerns

But local interests encouraged after meeting with developers

Resident representatives, city planning staff and the local councillor, all concerned about a proposal for a 68-storey tower at 1 Eglinton Ave. East, came away from a private meeting with developers on March 3 saying they are encouraged by principals of One Eglinton East Inc. indicating “they’re willing to negotiate.”

The meeting, called by the developers of the Yonge and Eglinton property, was attended by South Eglinton Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association board members Jane Auster and Andy Gort, Yonge and Eglinton city planner Giulio Cescato and Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow. All had raised concerns about the project, saying that while they recognize the demand for development in the area, the developer needs to change details in the proposal, including height and use of space, before they will support it.

“I think we’re okay with a tall building on that corner [but] we just have concerns about the replacement of the commercial office space,” Cescato said after the meeting. “Certainly, in a centre like Yonge-Eglinton it’s important for us to keep and grow the employment uses as much as the residential use.”

The new development will replace the eight-storey commercial building on the southeast corner of Yonge and Eglinton. It calls for 672 residential units and 287 underground parking spaces.

Under the city’s Official Plan, development proposals for sites that contain at least 1,000 square metres of commercial space must include an equal amount of replacement commercial space. The existing building contains more than 10,000 square metres of commercial space.

The application submitted on behalf of two private developers in December by Woodbridge-based architects McNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson proposes 10,947 square metres of commercial space, including 1,642 square metres from 24 “live-work” units that Matlow called a “euphemism” for condominiums.

“I could call my home a live-work space,” Matlow said. “It’s a savvy way to get around having to replace commercial office space.”

Auster and Gort expressed concern with the proposal’s height. At 68 storeys, it would be significantly higher than both the 54-storey Minto Midtown north tower at 2191 Yonge St. and the 58-storey E Condos tower currently under construction at 8 Eglinton Ave. East.

However, Auster, Gort, Matlow and Cescato all said the developers appeared willing to negotiate. Gort and Auster proposed forming a consultation team, a tactic they say improved the E Condos development, and Matlow intends to schedule a community consultation meeting soon.

“I made it very clear that if they’re hoping for support from the community they need to work with us rather than at us,” Matlow said.

The developers, through their representative MHBC, declined to be interviewed.

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Posted: Mar 12 2015 12:38 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto