There goes another chunk of the ‘hood. The ground is all chewed up, the renta-fence is in place, and Queen West’s on-street parking just got a little bit worse. The cars have been kicked off the corner lot at Queen and Portland streets, ready for the construction crews to move in. The neighbourhood is a big step closer to getting ninety more condo suites, anchored by a big-box Home Depot. May, 2010, is the projected date for occupancy.
According to the Toronto Star, the units will start at $329,000 for 676 square feet, rising to $692,000 for 1,269 square feet. The development is to be crowned by a 20,000 square-foot rooftop park. (That’s for residents only. You won’t even be able to see it from the street. But if you’re walking by and feel as if someone’s looking down on you, you may be right.
Who, other than Home Depot, will be in the two floors of retail space below the apartments? That’s anyone’s guess right now. But the way rents are going, it’ll be high rather than low end. Duke’s Cycle? Maybe not. Speaking of which, just up the block, one of the fence panels around the scene of the disastrous February fire that destroyed Duke’s and several other well-established businesses has fallen down. There’s not a lot of site clearance going on there: it remains choked with debris, and, eight months later, you can still faintly smell burning. The least the city could do, if only until a better prospect comes along, is turn it into a parking lot; the block certainly needs it now. The new condo building will have parking but only for the larger apartments—and only if the occupant is willing to pony up an additional forty grand for a space.
Photos by Bill Taylor