Sneak Peek: Yonge Park Plaza Brings Office Condos And A Hotel To North York
Office condo sales are underway at Yonge Park Plaza, The Gupta Group’s mixed-used project atop York Mills subway station that includes North York's first new hotel in years. Developer Steve Gupta gives us a preview.
We snapped Steve at the presentation centre for Yonge Park Plaza, a 500k SF, seven-storey project on a 3.2-acre property at 4050 Yonge St, currently a TTC commuter parking lot. (Gupta Group acquired the site from Build Toronto in 2014 for $25M.) The complex will have a 248-room full-service Hilton and ground-floor retail. There will be 250k SF of office condos. Steve’s firm will be moving its HQ to the top floor (43k SF) and the company’s name will adorn the tower (seen below). And he says deals are coming together for the rest of the space. “Almost half the building is spoken for.”
Steve tells us Yonge Park Plaza is seeing interest from local businesses, law firms and medical professionals who recognize the virtues of its transit-oriented location. “You can’t buy this kind of real estate downtown on the subway.” Owning office space in high-end Hoggs Hollow promises tremendous price appreciation, he notes, and at today’s interest rates, carrying costs for an office condo are “really no different than leasing.” Plus, owning means no fear of evictions or rent hikes. (At the office Steve’s firm occupies in Markham, “we've been bumped three times because someone bigger needed our space.”)
Seen above is Yonge Park Plaza’s seven-storey atrium, which will connect to the subway. Office occupants get access to the Hilton’s services and amenities: boardrooms, meeting rooms and a slick rooftop bar-lounge overlooking Don Valley Golf Course (rendered below). The hotel will have a Starbucks, and there will be 20k SF of additional ground-floor retail at the plaza, including an upscale restaurant serving office and hotel crowds. All of it will bring new life to the intersection. “This corner has been dead,” says Steve. “I’ve lived in the area 30 years, so I know.” The Hilton is a boon for North York, which “badly needs a new hotel.”
Construction on Yonge Park Plaza will start later this year and the complex will open by the end of 2018. Meantime, Gupta Group’s development slate is chock-full. Demolition of the Hilton Garden Inn at Dundas and Jarvis has begun, clearing the way for Dundas Square Gardens, TO's top-selling condo of 2014. Steve also hopes to be out of the ground by year’s end with Rosedale on Bloor, a condo (below) that’ll include Canada's first Canopy by Hilton. He tells us he’s got another project in the works for the Yorkdale area, a 1M SF development with condos, a hotel and retail.
Steve's firm owns 15 hotels in the GTA and has five under development. Last year it introduced Canada’s first hotel featuring two brands in one building. And it acquired Westin Bristol Place at the airport from Blackstone and is in the midst of renovating all its guest rooms. Gupta Group is redeveloping the Holiday Inn next door, bought from FelCor Lodging Trust, including adding a Ruth’s Chris Steak House to the property. “We’ve done in five months what the previous owners of these hotels didn’t do in 10 years,” Steve notes. “So Starwood and IHG are happy as (heck).”
Update (April 11): Steve tells us Gupta Group just purchased Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport, a 204-room property. The company is also planning to develop a new 144-room Element hotel.