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Midtown Lofts | ?m | 6 fl | U/C
(06-13-2017, 12:54 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I don't think the developer ever gave any reasoning for subsequently eliminating the ground floor retail.

I'm pretty sure they switched ground floor to residential as they thought there would be more demand for residential condo units than for retail condo units.
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Is that just an assumption? If so, I think it's a safe one, but I don't think the developer stated it anywhere in such terms (not that he's required to justify his decisions to WRC or anyone else).
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Yes, it's an assumption, no insider knowledge here. But a developer will always try to optimize the mix of units (bedrooms, dens, retail, parking) so as to maximize demand unless constraints (legal, regulatory, environmental etc) dictate otherwise.
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It also changes the insurance aspects of a building like that. Much cheaper for strictly residential than mixed.
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I think this was also the case for 100 Victoria. I do wish there was some stick that could be used to make this more difficult for developers. There might be more demand for residential, but it makes for a worse place for everyone.
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It's unfortunate that it's missing ground floor retail, but things can change.
With permissive zoning, I could see the ground floor converting into professional offices to start.

Large swaths of older cities (i.e. Toronto) are composed of street retail that has been built into former single-use housing.
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Until we get more permissive zoning, it's still possible, but if I understand correctly, the entire ground floor would have to be made commercial, not just part.

If that is relaxed, there's still the fact of the challenges of a multi-use building for the condo board to run. I can see reasons why a condo board representing 130 or so residential unit owners might want to convert some to commercial, and I can see definite reasons why the owners of those specific units would want to. But it adds complexity, and there's a lot of reasons why many of the unit owners might object.

But, anyway, you're right both when you say that it's unfortunate, but also that "things can change." Maybe one day.
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I can imagine that ground or second floor commercial can be a tough sell (didn't one of the Sage buildings reduce the planned commercial on one of its buildings?) There are always people who need to live some where, but not always the same for commercial. Witness the Uptown Waterloo changeover from retail to food/bars. On the other hand, I could see a market for small start-up office commercial for groups that graduate from an incubator but who aren't yet ready for a huge space.
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I heard from someone that the building technique they are using to construct this is the first time it has been implemented in Canada. Might explain why floor 1 to 2 took a very long time. They seem to flying now but there is no way they are getting occupancy by fall.
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