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How Daniels’ City of the Arts Will Jazz Up the Waterfront

The Daniels Corp made a big splash last week when it unveiled plans for Daniels WaterfrontCity of the Arts, a 1.3M SF mixed-use development being built on the former site of The Guvernment and Kool Haus nightclubs. Days before the public rollout, Bisnow got a sneak peak.

How Daniels’ City of the Arts Will Jazz Up the Waterfront

City of the Arts' focal point will be its Creative Industries Hub, a 150k SF facility housing a cluster of arts organizations, including Artscape Toronto. Atop the Hub will be 325k SF of office space in two towers, where Daniels will be relocating its head office, which "sends a great message” to prospective tenants, says Daniels SVP Tom Dutton (snapped on site). Office pre-leasing for 130 Queens Quay E is underway and tenant fixturing is slated for late 2017.

How Daniels’ City of the Arts Will Jazz Up the Waterfront

Daniels Waterfront will have two condo buildings—the first, Lighthouse Tower, launches this fall—with an arts-oriented post-secondary institution in the podium. The project is the latest in the firm’s portfolio of arts-focused developments, which includes TIFF Bell Lightbox/Festival Tower and Daniels Spectrum, a cultural facility playing an integral role in Regent Park's revitalization. “Having a significant component of our community dedicated to arts and culture is a huge value-add for the people working and living there,” Tom says.

How Daniels’ City of the Arts Will Jazz Up the Waterfront

City of the Arts will have 27k SF of retail, much of it in the form of shops and eateries lining a mid-block pedestrian laneway, dubbed The Yard. There will also be an extension of Sugar Beach north to the corner of Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis, with a landscaped promenade and restaurant and patio space. The goal, Tom says, is to make Daniels Waterfront—the first privately owned plot in the emerging East Bayfront precinct—a hive of activity day and night.

How Daniels’ City of the Arts Will Jazz Up the Waterfront

The commercial space at City of the Arts is particularly well-suited for businesses with connections to creative industries, boutique firms that can tap into the abundance of talent in the community. Office buildings will be LEED Gold, with operable windows, electric car charging stations, and six outside decks overlooking the waterfront. DTZ SVP Julian Brandon notes Daniels has already begun construction. “Our speed to market is better than anyone else. There’s no anchor tenant required here.” If tenants want to lease space today, “we’re ready to write paper.”