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Mizrahi’s 1 Bloor West Plan: Canada’s First $1B Condo Tower

Sam Mizrahi sparked big buzz when he bought Stollerys at 1 Bloor W then wasted no time demolishing the building that’d stood at Yonge and Bloor for over a century. But he tells us his Foster + Partners-designed project, Canada’s first $1B condo tower, will do this landmark address justice.

Over 11 months starting in December 2013, Mizrahi Developments’ CEO (snapped on site earlier this week) pieced together an off-market assembly that comprises Stollerys, properties to the west of it (including 11 Bloor West), and land to its south, down to 770 Yonge (currently Le Chateau). He spent over $200M on the entire assembly and dealt with seven owners. More than 30 developers tried to buy the 114-year-old Stollerys building, Sam points out. What made him its successful suitor? The Stollerys family wanted someone who’d “champion the property” and “build something their father and grandfather would have been proud of.”

The building is still in the design stage (hence no slick renderings to show you) but Sam says Norman Foster, working with local firm Core Architects, has conceived of an iconic tower that'll put Toronto on the "world map” for architecture. Dubbed “The One,” the 26k SF project, which could top out at 80 storeys, will be Canada’s first $1B condo building, according to Sam. There will be seven levels of retail at the base, and PATH connections to Yonge-Bloor subway station, plus underground parking with visitor spots and valet service for the retail, slated to open by 2017.

The One will be the second monumental tower to rise at once architecturally uninspired Yonge and Bloor. Across the road, Great Gulf Homes' One Bloor East is hurtling toward its ultimate height of 75 storeys, with 732 condos and 100k SF of retail on three levels. The arrival of these super-talls will transform the city’s crossroads into something truly special. As will the retailers Sam says he's bringing to his development, global brands not yet in TO that will be building their flagship international outlets here. (Deals are in place, but Sam can’t dish about them yet due to confidentiality agreements.) 

This mega-project marks a new chapter for Mizrahi Developments, which started off doing custom homes and transitioned into high-end boutique condos in Yorkville: 133 Hazelton (above) and 181 Davenport (both sold out). The One, the largest project Mizrahi’s done to date, represents a “natural evolution for us,” Sam says. “We want to take the customization we’ve done for homeowners and apply it to the retail landscape,” giving commercial clients the opportunity to control the design of their spaces — a big draw for high-end international retailers to The One.

Sam was criticized for moving so quickly to demolish Stollerys last month after receiving a permit to do so. Some believed the Edwardian-era building deserved to be preserved. Sam disagrees. “If I felt that any aspect of it had historical architectural significance or heritage value, I’d be the first person to champion not only incorporating that design into the new building but saving it.” In its place, he promises a “significant structure” worthy of of its AAA location. “This is really a gift back to the city.”