Menkes’ LCBO Lands Redevelopment Will Extend South Core East
“We see this as the expansion of South Core to the east,” says Peter, president of Menkes' commercial-industrial division. His family’s firm pioneered South Core a decade ago with 25 York St, followed by One York St (opening soon) and Waterfront Innovation Centre, just down the road from the LCBO site. Phase 1 is a 24-storey, 600k SF office tower at 100 Queens Quay E, a block east of Yonge Street. It will be anchored by LCBO's 200k SF HQ, and there will be a 25k SF LCBO flagship on the ground floor, replacing the current outlet. Menkes is JVing on the project with Greystone Managed Investments and Triovest Realty Advisors.
Peter tells us the site, four city blocks, will include a two-acre public park on the north side of Queens Quay, between Freeland and Cooper streets. The park’s northern edge will be lined with retail, along a future extension of Harbour Street, which currently terminates at Yonge (it’ll eventually bisect Pinnacle International's 1 Yonge development next door, run through Menkes' project and end at Jarvis Street, where Daniels Corp is building its Waterfront community). “We're creating a full connection to Downtown East and East Bayfront,” says Peter, pointing to communities under construction farther east by Great Gulf and Tridel / Hines.
Menkes' project will have residential on the blocks north of Harbour Street in future phases. The community will be along an expanded Queens Quay LRT, and a stroll from Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common, built in earlier phases of the Waterfront Toronto revitalization. It will ultimately be connected to PATH, which is being extended south to the 1 Yonge site. The LCBO lands went up for sale in 2014, and Menkes purchased the property from the province (netting Ontario $260M, earmarked for infrastructure) after a competitive bid process.
Construction on the LCBO office tower starts next fall, pending city approvals, and Peter says it will be completed by Q1 2021. Designed by B+H Architects, the building, at the southeast corner of the site, is targeting LEED Platinum and will house up to 4,500 employees. The tower has 400k SF of available office space and 65k SF remaining for retail. In all, the community will have 300k SF of commercial retail, the bulk of it coming along with the residential buildings, says Peter. “This is the missing piece that will bring the waterfront redevelopment together."
The project is one of several delivering Class-A office on the waterfront. Daniels' City of the Arts will have 325k SF; Hines/Tridel’s Bayside will have 400k SF; and Menkes’ Innovation Centre is 350k SF. But Peter’s confident demand for quality downtown space is “strong and growing.” He points to the 2M SF Menkes has leased at 25 York and at One York, where only one floor of the 35-storey tower remains for the taking. “It’s a testament to the success of this location and the quality product we’re creating here,” Peter says. “We’re building offices tenants want to be in.”