Behind The Deal: Cabbagetown Medical Property Sells For $5.9M
The Filipino Centre Toronto has sold 595-601 Parliament St. for $5.9M. Marcus & Millichap’s Amir Nourbakhsh, the deal broker, said better management of the aging two-storey office-retail property will unlock its true value.
The medical complex — developed in the 1970s to serve outpatients from area hospitals that have since closed, taking doctors and other healthcare professionals and support services with them — was purchased by a local investor who owns several other commercial sites, including medical buildings. “He looks for properties that aren’t being utilized to their true potential,” Nourbakhsh said, “as is the case on Parliament.” The Filipino Centre, a not-for-profit, bought the building a decade ago, but struggled to lease it out and generate adequate income. Many tenancies were month to month, and paying below-market rents.
The 26k SF mixed-use building has second-floor offices, ground-floor retail, 87 feet of frontage along Parliament, 14 rear parking spots, and a passenger elevator for wheelchair accessibility. Given the limited supply of available properties around Cabbagetown — home to one of North America’s largest collections of fully preserved Victorian homes — Nourbakhsh, who repped the sellers and procured the purchaser, said the listing generated significant interest and six offers. The deal closed Jan. 31, and the buyer bought the property at full asking price.
The deal wasn’t a simple one. The sellers wanted marketing of the property to be as discreet as possible, so as not to disturb its tenants. “They didn’t want people parading in and out, and they didn’t want signs on the building — no ads, no MLS listing, nothing,” Nourbakhsh said. His “surgical and tactical” approach to the sale entailed tapping Marcus & Millichap’s internal database of private investors and personally seeking out potential purchasers who could be good fits, based on their previous acquisitions. “It was time-consuming, but we wanted to respect the seller’s wish for privacy.”
The property is tired and in need of major renos, Nourbakhsh said, but it is well-positioned in a transitioning area. Tridel’s James Cooper Mansion and Alterra’s planned 159SW Condos are down the road at Wellesley and Sherbourne. Tridel just launched Via Bloor at Parliament and Bloor, where Lanterra Developments also has a major mixed-use project planned. “Toronto's east end is undergoing a similar transformation to what the west side went through a decade ago,” Nourbakhsh said. “A lot of smart money is coming into this area.”