The suburbs are changing dramatically, and sustainable growth is not only possible, but happening relatively quickly and on a large scale. In fact, 1.5 million square foot projects can be more sustainable than smaller ones.
The current landscape at 7171 Yonge Street, future site of the World on Yonge.
The streetscape view of the area bordering 7171 Yonge Street.
How is this possible? By replacing low density big box stores on greyfield sites with mixed-use developments that increase the vibrancy of street life and introduce pedestrian friendliness with public access parks, retail, and specially programmed plazas for community building. Read more about greyfields as a smart growth opportunity, in this 2002 article from Entrepreneur.
The World on Yonge is a prototype greyfield redevelopment. Located at 7171 Yonge Street, it will begin construction this week. The image above shows the site as it currently is, the one below is a rendering of what it will look like.
The development will include offices, hotel, retail space and residential towers. The retail tenants will be integrated into the podium of the residential buildings. Many retailers are now looking for tighter, smaller footprints in suburban locations – tenants like Loblaws, Whole Foods and Home Hardware. This creates the opportunity for a higher level of design and more sophisticated building forms.
The World on Yonge began construction last week.
Location is key. At Yonge just north of Steeles Avenue, it’s right where the subway and LRT are coming. It’s going for LEED silver status and will incorporate green roofs, a park right on the street front, (I’ll say more on the importance of landscaping and parks in a future post) and a public square that will be programmed, by the condo associations, with farmer’s markets, holiday events and more, for residents and the community.
The World on Yonge will deliver a vibrant, new street life to this strip of Yonge street and the rest will fill in around it. It’s a new urban centre, following all the smart growth principles that the province has been expounding.
We are delighted to announce that senior partner Clifford Korman will be speaking as part of a panel discussion titled “Collaborative Planning Strategies: Consensus Building and the Art of Negotiation” at Construct Canada on Thursday, December 2nd, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Construct Canada, Canada’s largest construction exposition and conference, takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from December 1 – 3, 2010.
The panelists – Cliff, with urban designer Moiz Behar, developer Niall Haggert from Daniels and Steve Upton from Tridel met for a preliminary meeting recently to discuss what new approaches they are taking in order to secure development approval at a time when policy changes require increasing levels of collaboration.
Their approaches are evolving. They discussed the development of negotiations for a number of recent large-scale projects including Hullmark Centre, the Cinema condos at Widmer and others, while answering to design review panels, city council staff, ratepayers associations and community members.
The City of Toronto has integrated Design Review panels into the development approvals process. As the City notes in this link, the panels “provide advice to City staff on matters such as preserving the uniqueness of place, maintaining vitality, ensuring comfort and safety, and making new development compatible with its surroundings.”
JOIN US at Construct Canada for an informal, highly informative look at the keys to successful negotiation that will outline how to implement the necessary requirements in order to maximize potential for success.
Collaboration and negotiation strategies can make or break a development.
For early, FREE registration, click here
Despite what many appear to think, Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford has got a sound program in mind for transit. He is not going to tear down our streetcars. He believes, as do I, that subways are the right approach.
From what’s been published, Ford’s interest is in low-grade accessible underground systems. Read about his plans to extend the Sheppard subway line to Scarborough Town Centre, where it would meet up with the Bloor-Danforth’s SRT extension.
But you can’t build subways all at once; I think if we built one stop each year, and continued this progress for 20 years, we’d have a connected system. To create an annual budget and build one station at a time can be done, over 20 years. And it would make this city great.
We know that above ground – like the St. Clair streetcar -wasn’t a success. And the Viva bus routes are great – until we get subways.
Whether Ford’s plan will be as expedient as he hopes remains to be seen, but meanwhile developers have been anticipating these coming transport nodes and are building around them. It’s integral that our clients be forward thinking and build where the public transport will be.
Ford is dependent on getting funds from the province.
Someone is going to have to fight for those funds, and it sounds like he could.