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NEWS: Seven storeys proposed for Davenport/Dupont (Dec. 2020)

December 21st, 2020 · No Comments

Plans for a futuristic condo at 361 Davenport unsettled

The trapezoidal-shaped lot here on Davenport is a challenge to
squeeze density into. BRIAN BURCHELL/GLEANER NEWS

By Tanya Ielyseieva

A unique 7-storey mixed-used building from the developer Bianca Pollak is set to rise for 361 Davenport Rd., near Dupont. 

If approved, this development will rise above an existing trapezoidal-shaped paved parking lot at Dupont and Davenport and include 16 residential suites. The development proposes a mix of six one-bedroom units, nine two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit ranging in size from 538 to 1,571 square feet. A commercial office is planned for the 60 square metre ground floor. The total gross floor area will be 1569 square meters. 

“The proposed building would be constructed with a variety of materials and textures which shall not only help in breaking up the perception of building mass but also provide a standard of aesthetic which can be appreciated in the given aspirational value of the neighbouring context. The 3-storey high base building facade on Davenport shall be primarily composed of aluminum brise-soleil while the facade above shall be a combination of sky-grey stone finished solid walls and transparent glazing for openings,” stated the application by KFA Architects and Planners in September 2020.

The proposed height of the building is 24.7 metres, and the mechanical penthouse will rise another 5.4 metres above the roof of the 7th floor for a total height of 30 metres. 

“Due to the smaller size of the lot and limited footprint, a unique form has been proposed for the building allowing it to respond in scale to the context, especially on the western side of the property adjoining the neighbourhoods,” stated the application.

Vehicles would enter the one-level automatic underground parking garage through the private one-way lane on the North side. This double-stacked parking system will house 13 parking spaces, 12 resident and one visitor. The rear entrance around the centre will have space for 20 bicycles, 16 long term and four short term.

This building will not require a loading and garbage pickup space as it will only include 16 residential units. 

The current proposal is a result of cooperation and revisions between the Annex Resident’s Association (ARA) and the developers.

“I can say that we put a lot of effort to accommodate not only our client but the entire community too,” said Stefano Pujatti, founder of architecture firm ELASTICOSPA+3, in an email to the Gleaner.

According to Gillian Bartlett, ARA’s Communication Director and a member of ARA’s planning and development committee, the company originally wanted to build a 9-storey building and the project was considerably reduced in scale during the consultation process. Nonetheless, Bartlett believes that the application was “sloppily prepared, in a hurry.”

“They have understood that everybody said this nine-story thing just doesn’t fit in. It’s like trying to shoehorn an elephant into a mouse hole, kind of work. They could not come back to us with this seven-story one, instead, they went straight ahead and went into the application process. We haven’t had a chance to talk with them about that. They obviously listened to the fact that there’s no way to get their nine-story done. However, they haven’t come to chat about the seven-story,” said Bartlett.

In 2011, the City of Toronto approved two development proposals for three net-zero townhouses and then in 2017 they approved another development, for three freehold townhouses. However, according to Bartlett, the past developers chose not to build but to sell the land at a higher value. 

The land was sold for $1,700,000 in 2012, then for $2,180,000 in 2017, and finally it was bought by Pollack designs in 2019 at $3,200,000.

“Truth to tell, we’d have loved to see three townhouses on the site, but as it gets flipped for increasingly high amounts, a real plague, in my personal estimation, in this city, developers naturally want to squeeze every penny they can from the lot without any larger, publicly informed sentiment. Trust me – if I won the lottery, I’d buy that land and turn it into a forested park. But obviously, that’s not gonna happen!” said Bartlett in a letter to the Gleaner.

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