RioCan, Allied JV to Develop M-U Neighborhood in Downtown Toronto

RioCan REIT, Allied Properties and Diamond Corp. are on board to develop a new walkable neighborhood project called "The Well" composed of residential, retail and office space within seven mixed-use buildings in downtown Toronto.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Well

A new walkable neighborhood comprising residential, retail and office space within seven mixed-use buildings will rise in downtown Toronto.

Known as “The Well,” the project is being developed by a joint venture between RioCan REIT, Allied Properties REIT and Diamond Corp.

According to The Star, the City of Toronto is currently reviewing the ambitious development proposal, which calls for the construction of more than 1 million square feet of residential space and another 1 million square feet of office space. The project is expected to break ground in 2016.

Plans also include underground parking, a strip of green space connecting Clarence Square to Victoria Square, an open-air plaza facing onto Wellington Street and a pedestrian walkway that would connect to Draper Street.

The three joint venture partners have acquired the site of the new development, a 7.7-acre parcel at the corner of Front St. W. and Spadina Ave. A portion of the property includes an approximately 250,000-square-foot office building, which is slated for demolition. The structure is currently occupied by the Globe & Mail. The newspaper expects to relocate to the top floors of a 17-story office tower under construction at 351 King St. E. by late 2016.

The Well’s residential component would bring both condominiums and townhomes of an average size of approximately 750 square feet.

According to Stephen Diamond, president & CEO of Diamond Corp., the project is expected to generate more than 5,000 retail and office jobs.

“We’ve developed a plan that is somewhat unusual, and in some ways unparalleled in the city,” he told the newspaper. “We’re building a true mixed-use community of office, retail and residential development.”

RioCan is Canada’s largest real estate investment trust exclusively focused on retail real estate. The company owns and manages interests in a portfolio containing an aggregate of more than 83 million square feet. The properties are located in Canada and the United States.

Allied Properties REIT is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban office environments in Canada’s major cities. The company is based in the Province of Ontario and its portfolio is located in the urban areas of Ville de Québec, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.

Diamond is a Toronto-based land development company that focuses on the construction of high-quality residential and mixed-use projects. The company manages both the Whitecastle New Urban Fund and the Whitecastle New Urban Fund 2 in Toronto.