Sneak Peek: 35 McCaul St's Eye-Catching New Addition
Adaptive reuse ace Clayton Smith is at it again, adding three floors (25,500 SF) of office space to 35 McCaul St, augmenting an old brick-and-beam building and making a funky contribution to the city’s most creative node.
We snapped Clayton, left, president of The Commercial Realty Group, on-site with Cushman & Wakefield VP Derek Woodburn, the project's rep. Clayton, owner of the Flatiron Building and essentially a one-man show, previously redeveloped 140 Yonge St (Dineen Building) and 2 Temperance St, among others. “It’s what I do,” he tells Bisnow. “I love historical architecture, so I buy older buildings and rebuild them into something we can use now.” Redevelopment of 35 McCaul was spurred by an existing tenant looking to expand, Clayton notes (also by the fact the building’s atrium is leaky and needs replacing).
Atop a new atrium, 35 McCaul’s three-storey glass addition (floors about 8,500 SF each) will blend its original industrial aesthetic (real salt-and-pepper brick walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed ductwork) with modern features, including new HVAC, washrooms, elevators and bike storage. The existing four-storey building is fully tenanted, primarily by groups working in film production. Derek tells us he’s already drafting paper for a party interested in the new space. “Tech is burgeoning,” he says, and firms that were in 2k SF now need 10k SF. “And Downtown West is where they want to be.”
The revamp of 35 McCaul is well-timed, Derek points out. It’s extremely tough to find large blocks of office space in the downtown fringe right now, and projects that will deliver significant new product to Downtown West (such as Allied Properties REIT / RioCan’s REIT’s The Well and King-Portland Centre) won’t be built for years. Meanwhile, 35 McCaul’s new addition is slated for Q2 2017 occupancy. The project will include two retail spaces at the ground floor, which Clayton says are ideally suited for a coffee shop (a la the Dineen Building, above) or a restaurant in the Terroni/Mercatto vein.
McCaul Street is already pretty funky, highlighted by OCAD U's building on stilts and Frank Gehry’s AGO intervention just north of Clayton’s project. Derek points out OCAD has two more buildings under development that will be “totally out there” design-wise (think wavy curtain walls), and Tridel's Form Condos will bring more eye-catching architecture to the street. So a spruced-up 35 McCaul, 60k SF with its new addition, should be a worthy complement. “Five years from now this is going to be one of the most architecturally interesting streets in Downtown West."