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Mirvish Introduces newest Design for the Condo Towers

Two Towers on King Street West

Saving Priness of Wales Theatre and Heritage Buildings


mirvish condos toronto 2 towersDavid Mirvish and Grank Gehry the world renowned architect have designed a new 2 tower concept for Toronto's King Street West Condo. The plan is to save the historical Princess of Wales theatre and all other heritage buildings on the block.

With more than 40 iterations the latest plan calls for just two towers compared to the original design of three. So far, the city of Toronto planners show enthusiasm towards the condos. Prior to this design the city's planners were concerned with density and the dramatic change to the King Street West Skyview as well as the destruction of the Princess of Wales theatre and a couple of historic deemed warehouses.

With the concessions to the city, Mr. Mirvish hopes to gain the support to smash through the height restrictions. One tower is expected to be 92 storeys, 6 more than first proposed and over 300 metres high 6 metres taller than First Cnadian Place, the country's tallest building outside the CN tOWER.

The project is controversial largely because of its height and density, and the demands it would place on local infrastructure. Planners took issue with the original design on details ranging from the amount of parking (the city wanted more) to the shadows that might be cast on downtown sidewalks.

With no resolution in sight, Adam Vaughan, then a city councillor, struck a 14-member working group to seek a compromise. About a month ago, Mr. Mirvish held a third meeting with the group, and decided that he would do two towers and preserve the theatre and warehouse space.

The latest iteration of the plans have received a nod from that group and planners, but needs the green light from Toronto-East York community council next month and Toronto city council in July.

Toronto’s head planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, said it is wrong to call the new plan a compromise. “It’s a new project that’s better than the project that existed before,” she said.

Ms. Keesmaat said planning staff are “absolutely thrilled” with the result. “Frank Gehry has been able to use his creativity to come up with a proposal that, quite frankly, exceeded my expectations about how you could have a tremendous amount of development on this site and at the same time be very true to its historical context.”

While the block would get a taller tower, Ms. Keesmaat said its slender profile would reduce shadows.

The two-tower design will be “sculpted almost like waterfalls flowing into a pool on one side, and on another aspect of it having a clay appearance,” Mr. Mirvish said.

“Frank is building me a jewel box,” Mr. Mirvish said. That “box” will be placed on top of the warehouse on the west end of the block, and will have 9,200 square feet of space to house art exhibitions. That’s a small fraction of the space in the original design to house Mr. Mirvish’s personal art collection. OCAD University will have a facility on the site as planned.

The two towers together will have about 2,000 units, down from more than 2,700. The second tower is planned at 82 storeys. Peter Kofman, president of Projectcore Inc., the developer and project manager, said the buildings have been designed in such a way that they could be rolled out in phases based on demand.

Mr. Vaughan, the area councillor until he resigned his seat to run in a federal by-election next month, predicts the project will transform the intersection of King and John streets into the cultural heart of the city with the gallery, OCAD University, theatres and TIFF Lightbox.

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Toronto's Newest Condo Project
King Street West
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David Mirvish and Nadine Robbins at the Mirvish/ Gehry luncheon discussing moving forward with the "Legacy and the Public Realm: Dreaming with Frank Gehry. David Mirvish in Conversation with Christopher Hume at The Empire Club on October 3rd, 2013.
The face of Toronto is about to change! Mirvish Productions and Projectcore Inc. are embarkng on a new and exciting project that will forever change the city skyline. David Mirvish and renowned architect Frank Gehry are about to transform Toronto's King Street arts and entertainment district with residential and business spaces.
The intitial design consists of two six-storey stepped podiums which will fit in with the existing buildings in the neighbourhood in relation to scale. These podiums will then be topped by three 80 to 85-storey condo buildings at King Street West and Simcoe Street with a total of 2600 units. These units will between 450 and 1100 square feet. The Princess of Wales Theatre will be demolished, as well as adjacent warehouses, and replaced with these three unique and individually designed condo buildings. The podiums will house two new museums showcasing David Mirvish's own Abstract Art Collection, free to the public and a 25,000 square foot campus for OCAD including a gallery displaying work from the university. Cultural and recreational facilities including gardens, terraces, upscale shops and restaurants will also be part of this project.
The Canada Walk of Fame located at King West and Simcoe Streets will be preserved and maintained. The plan for this transformation will encompass one entire block on the north side of King street east of John and continuing across half of the next block. As mentioned above each condo building will be of its own original design and built of different materials such as glass and terra cotta to stand out across the cities skyline. The project is forecasted to be completed in three phases over a decade.
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