Do you live, work or play in King West? If so, you’ll be as intrigued and excited as we are about this new development by Allied REIT and RioCan. The community consultation meeting happened earlier this week and the proposal will drastically change the landscape of King Street between Portland and Bathurst.
Originally, this site was launched(a few years ago) as a 200+ unit condo building by Context Developments but met with little success. After a lacklustre few months of sales activity, the piece of land was sold and Allied has swooped in with a new design.
In their traditional ‘Allied REIT‘ format, they will be maintaining the existing facade and character of the building currently on the site (likely with the intention of drawing exceptional commercial tenants) while incorporating a series of Woonerfs (pronounced ‘voon-erf’) that will draw new pedestrian foot traffic in and around the laneways of the buildings. The 12 storey commercial office building fronting on King Street will entice pedestrian foot traffic down the east and west side of the building with new shops, cafes and restaurants. The paved brick lane and wall will be an inviting and calming change from the hustle and vehicular traffic of King Street. A green roof/patio on 602 King Street (the Scholastic building) will connect to 620 King Street via a pedestrian tunnel (as seen from the photos in the video) provided the city and neighbourhood associations approve of the concept and design.
The 14 storey rental building will front onto Adelaide Street. This building will likely have some sort of ground floor retail component that will inject much needed ‘life’ on Adelaide street. The prospect of walking north on Portland street and connecting into this hub of activity via the laneway appeals to us on multiple levels.
On so many levels, this development demonstrates the ‘coming of age’ of King West. With the addition of new buildings, hotels and commercial establishments, King West is shedding it’s unilateral association with nightclubs and condos and becoming a multi-dimensional neighbourhood that can be enjoyed at any time of day throughout the entire year.