Steven McLean, Residential, Real Estate News Exchange

China-based international developer Greenland Group expanded into Canada five years ago, and today its projects are a major component of Toronto’s rapidly transforming East Bayfront area.

IMAGE: The Lake Suite condos will be constructed by Greenland Group at Toronto's East Bayfront area. (Courtesy Greenland Group)

The Lake Suite condos will be constructed by Greenland Group at Toronto’s East Bayfront area. (Courtesy Greenland Group)

 

“East Bayfront is our long-term focus,” Greenland Group deputy director of construction and contract Liwen Deng told RENX. The company is about to break ground on Phase 1 of the project, which will ultimately consist of seven buildings.

“With all of the development in The Port Lands and East Bayfront, we want to ensure that this vibrant community continues to emulate the best of urban waterfront living and that it has an active part in bridging city and lake.”

Lakeside Residences is a 3.34-acre master-planned community at 215 Lake Shore Blvd. E., just west of Lower Sherbourne Street, which was formerly occupied by FedEx Corporation. It will include more than 1,800 residential units and more than 25,000 square feet of retail.

The 14-storey City Suites Building was the first to launch with an estimated June 2021 occupancy, followed by the 49-storey Park and Sky Building with an estimated July 2022 occupancy.

Greenland Group’s Lake Suites

Park and Sky is being followed by a 39-storey, 374-suite condo tower called Lake Suites.

Lake Suites will include one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom-plus-den and three-bedroom designs. Prices start in the $700,000s.

Sales started earlier this year, with occupancy estimated for March of 2023.

Hoarding is about to go up and Phase I demolition and construction will start this fall.

Deng said July was a very busy sales month. Greenland Group just closed its presentation centre on Lake Shore and moved sales to an office at 493 Davenport Rd.

Lake Suites’ fourth-floor exterior amenities will include a putting green, a fireside lounge with seating, an outdoor barbecue and a dining area. Park and Sky will include an outdoor infinity pool with lounge and terrace areas atop its adjacent podium.

Hariri Pontarini Architects designed the buildings at Lakeside Residences. Landscape designer Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc.’s courtyard and other exterior spaces will highlight the development’s walkability, surrounding parkland and opportunities for leisure, cafes and retail experiences nearby.

East Bayfront

“The master-plan for the East Bayfront neighbourhood includes a network of pedestrian connections and pathways merging the city with the waterfront, and it is also a short streetcar ride to Toronto’s financial district,” said Deng.

“The area will become a true extension of the downtown core and this community will be part of what links the city to the water. The landscape will provide residents with a unique four-season environment woven into the master-planned design.”

Waterfront Toronto is overseeing the transformation of the East Bayfront area with investment from all levels of government and the private sector. Just a block away from Lakeside Residences, Canada’s first “smart cities” neighbourhood is being planned by Google sister company Sidewalk Labs.

Deng believes the smart cities neighbourhood will be good for the area.

“The future neighbourhood brings an aspect of modern living to Toronto that will help maintain Toronto’s trajectory as a leader in tech. Its impact on living and evolving better infrastructure will be a model for future development and we’re excited to see it become part of the community.

“We’re watching as consultations proceed to see how this will change East Bayfront.”

The next phase of Lakeside Residences is still in the planning stages.

Among other completed or under construction buildings nearby are:

Corus Quay, which houses Corus Entertainment and a George Brown College campus;

* the mixed-use Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts;

Great Gulf’s Monde Condominiums;

Hines and Tridel‘s Aqualina at BaysideAquabella at Bayside and Aquavista at Bayside condos;

Waterfront Innovation Centre, a partnership between Menkes Developments and Alcion Ventures, in collaboration with Waterfront Toronto;

* and Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Condominiums.

Greenland Group’s King Blue

Greenland Group entered the Canadian market in 2014 when it bought King Blue, a mixed-use development at the historic Westinghouse site on Toronto’s King Street West at Blue Jays Way.

Towers of 48 and 44 storeys are nearing completion and will feature more than 900 condo suites, with occupancy to begin this fall. King Blue will also feature a theatre museum and Qube Hotel, which is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2020.

China-based Greenland Group is a company owned in part by the state, its employees and investors. It was founded in Shanghai in 1992. Greenland is one of the few developers in the world that’s part of the Global Fortune 500, with projects in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

“We are recognized worldwide for creating iconic landmark communities and vibrant neighbourhoods,” said Deng. “We take pride in our attention to detail, our use of only the best materials and choosing the best and most prime locations in every city.”

Paul Barker, Special to Postmedia Nework, Toronto Sun

Broccolini’s River & Fifth features a Baja-style pool (with lounge-style seating in the shallow end) and sun tanning deck with South Beach-inspired cabanas.

 

The condominium amenity upgrade movement is heating up as both developer and designers realize the need to provide an assortment of unique features and services is as important as the quality of the units themselves.

Perspective condo buyers today don’t want the gym that consists of three or four treadmills and an exercise bike or a patio and pool area that is sub-par at best, they want more, far more.

Two multi-storey projects currently under construction that reflect what is possible and what could soon become mainstream in terms of amenities are Montreal-based developer Broccolini’s River & Fifth and the Lake Suites, a Greenland Group (Canada) project, both of which are located in the city’s Downtown East district.

Dan Menchions, a partner at II by IV Design, the interior design firm at Lakeside, says he has seen a “considerable trend in the residential market that is giving more emphasis on incorporating features into condominium interiors.

“The East Bayfront neighbourhood where Lakeside is located, is poised to become a key live/work/play district in downtown Toronto. It will offer a mix of sustainable residential communities, state-of-the-art workplaces and renewed connections to the water and parklands, creating tranquility in a busy city. Everyone – people of all different ages and stages, including families will want to live here. The area is being planned to become a true extension of the downtown core.”

While interior amenities include a party room with dining, kitchenette, lounge, fireplace and games area, theatre and lounge space, fitness room and yoga/personal training studio, it’s the outdoor amenities that really reflect a changing trend.

Once built, there will be a rooftop swimming pool, putting green, outdoor dining and barbeque entertaining spaces and a fireside lounge.
“The rooftop putting green and pool are very different and unique in terms of amenities to complement downtown living,” says Menchions. “Being so close to the water provides an opportunity for residents to enjoy an outdoor recreational culture of the waterfront from the comfort of their own home.”

The importance of having unique amenities, he adds, can’t be overlooked.

“In the current market, expectations are so much higher than what they used to be. People want authenticity and quality. For Lakeside, we focused on using materials with natural qualities, inspired by the cityscape and surrounding waterscape. Colours derived from nature, such as warm woods, cool blues and accents of grey throughout, evoking the reflection of clouds on water.

“We are not designing for a particular trend here but for quality and longevity of the finished space and product. The aesthetic feels modern, but with classic detailing, which will uphold their style and remain visually significant for many, many years.”

There is, says Menchions, “always innovation happening in the design industry, and our job is to identify the best option for a particular project and client.”

Meanwhile, the 580-unit River & Fifth project being built by Montreal-based Broccolini, will contain upwards 25,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor amenity space, key among them being adjacent parkland on the southside of the development and a pedestrian connection to Bayview Ave. that leads to Corktown Commons and a co-working area.

There will also be a children’s game room and lounge, large fitness area with ballet bar and boxing gym and Baja-style pool.

“River and Fifth is on a unique site,” says Enzo Corazza, principal at Graziani + Corazza Architects. “You are slightly removed from the downtown core, on a quiet street that backs on to the Don River and Trail. This sparked the idea to bring a sense of the outdoors inside the building and integrate a natural park feel into the amenity spaces.”

Anthony Broccolini, COO of a development firm that built Montreal’s two tallest residential towers, says having common areas is a “great way” to build a sense of community

“You want people to be happy with their home and there is far more beyond the physical space of the condo unit itself. From a design point-of-view we want to give a community the opportunity to grow. There are certain ingredients that allow that to happen.

“When it comes to condo living, some units are big, some are small, but to have spaces throughout that you consider to be part of your home, you gain additional living space.”

An example of that is the co-working area, which he says, will be there to give residents an option. Instead of working at the kitchen table they can choose a more dynamic working environment that will also allow them to interact with others who live in the building.