Why is it taking so long to build that building?
Peter Kuitenbrouwer – National Post
Question: Why do some buildings take so long to complete? My commute takes me past the Cube condos on College and the Templar Hotel on Adelaide, both modest in size and still unfinished after two or three years. In the same period much larger projects like the Ritz Carlton were begun and finished.
Answer: 1) The project at 799 College St., between Shaw Street and Roxton Road, began life four years ago as N-Blox, with eight condo units. Developers Jim and John Neilas then bought the next site west, and rebaptized the project “Cube Lofts,” with 22 units and 21 parking spots. A sign on the site said, “Cube: Move in fall 2009.”
The challenge became shoe-horning the six-storey building next to Grappa restaurant, with six property owners behind. The builders use the parking lane of College for trucks and cranes; streetcars and a stream of bikes squeeze by. A source has counted 30 accidents involving bicycles, pedestrians, streetcars and trucks in front of the site.
The next challenge: cash.
“The economics of these small sites are very difficult,” says Richard Witt of Raw Design, the architect. “Constraints of the site, no rear access … it is taking a long time. I definitely wish it was finished.
“You might think a big project might take a lot of time, but that’s not true, because once it’s out of the ground, it’s just repetition. You can build a floor every four days. That’s not the case for this building. Every floor is different.”
Good news: this past weekend crews were to remove the crane from the roof — closing College and rerouting streetcars. But that’s not a cheap process, once all of the related fees and permits are paid to the various agencies involved such as the TTC, police, Toronto Hydro etc. ” Everyone has their hand out,” said the source. “It costs $250,000 just to take out the crane.”
Mr. Witt promised: “It should be done in a few months. In the spring.”
2) The Templar Hotel, a 27-room hotel at 348 Adelaide Street West, just west of the corner of Peter Street, is “opening within a few weeks,” said Andrew van Buskirk, general manager. When did the project begin? “It’s been a bunch of years since they [Rhed Design, a Toronto firm] came up with the concept.”
Choosing, sourcing and perfecting every detail, from pillows to Poliform bookshelves (built in Italy) has taken time; the hotel also waited for city approval to increase its height, to eight stories.
“This building is completely bespoke,” Mr. van Buskirk added. “It’s an organic process. From the furniture to the spoon, it’s all thought out.”
“When you are in the pool you are suspended 24 feet in the air looking down [through the pool's glass floor] at everybody in the lounge below, realizing that they can look up at you,” he added.
The front door, a huge slab of glass, lacks a handle. “It’s being anodized right now,” Mr. van Buskirk explained.
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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