What is Developer Fane’s Track Record in Toronto?
Sunday, October 07, 2018
After two years in Providence, Fane’s proposed $300 million project to be located on 195 land is still trapped in Providence politics. In Toronto, his project is just one of the dozens and dozens of residential condo skyscrapers.
In Providence, Fane's proposed tower would be the largest private investment in Providence since the Providence Place Mall was built 20 years ago.
In late September, GoLocal visited the Fane property in Toronto — and there are a number of key learnings. Some facets of the Toronto project are transferable to the Providence project. And, in other ways, Providence has little in common with the economically booming Toronto.
Toronto is Like Chicago and Not Providence
Fane's 47-story gleaming glass building was completed and occupied in August 2015 and today is functionally fully occupied — as are almost all of Toronto's residential towers.
Toronto, a huge sprawling city about the same metro population of Chicago — is growing up and out. The population of Toronto is 2.89 million versus Chicago’s is 2.7 million.
Providence is a just 170,000 and has been stagnant for decades.
Why did New York developer Fane build in Toronto?
“Because Toronto and especially this area is one of the best places to live in the entire world. The Economist magazine ranked in the top five for being easy to live and this neighborhood has everything within easy walking distance from Canada's best university (University of Toronto), to its best hospitals and medical care, the top financial district, the intersection of the two main subway lines (just a 3 minute walk away), outstanding shopping, parks, the leading museums, the Provincial legislature and offices, excellent restaurants,fane and so much more,” Fane told GoLocal, of why he built there.
In addition, he said he built in Toronto because he owned the land which he had purchased in 1997 and because he said he enjoys the city.
While Providence fancies itself booming with three to four cranes now working on construction projects in the city, Toronto has hundreds. Existing buildings are being torn down and developers are building taller and taller buildings.
Recent research unveils that Toronto is growing more segregated by wealth and race and it grows. “High-income neighborhoods… makeup 23 percent of Toronto’s census tracts, with average individual incomes of $102,000 before tax. Fully 73 percent of residents in these neighborhoods are white, far higher than their share of the city’s population. The rest are visible minorities, of whom only 3 percent are Black,” reports the Toronto Star.
Process in Toronto versus Providence
While the Providence process has dragged on, for two years plus now, and is yet to clear any significant procedural milestone, the Toronto process was far simpler. Toronto encourages vertical development in order to preserve historic buildings and create more density to meet the growth in the city and try to limit sprawl.
“[It took] about a year. High rise condo towers are quite common in central Toronto and it is provincial and city policy to encourage them as they provide urgently needed housing for the growing economy and population, “ said Fane.
“At 47 floors, it does not stand out in the neighborhood and is, in fact, the fourth tallest building on the block,” Fane added.
The Fane project named Chaz Yorkville is 495 feet tall and includes 526 units — overall slightly smaller in units and overall height than Fane’s proposed tower envisioned for Providence.
“Chaz-Yorkville has 526 condos. 513 of them were sold by completion and I intentionally kept 13 for use by relatives and myself and also for investment. Mostly, those are on the top two floors of the building and have the best views. So far as I know, the occupancy is about 100%. Both the rental and resale market are very strong despite rapidly rising condo prices. People just love living in new condos in the sky,” said Fane.
Fane’s Toronto tower is on the border of two distinct neighborhood — one cool and in transition and the other — Yorkville upscale with premium shopping.
New Toronto Condo Prices Rise Over 21%
"The price of a new condo is up bigly. The Home Price Index reached $774,759 in August, up 1.25% from the month before. This represents a 21.8% increase compared to the same month last year. Despite the steep climbs, there’s less sales and more supply than last year,” reported Betterdwelling.com in September.
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