Way back in 2006, the City of Toronto completed the Castlefield and Caledonia Design and Decor District planning study, which proposed the removal of heavy industrial and auto-related land use permissions that were considered incompatible with the emerging design and décor identity of this area.

The By-law established new regulations to further enhance street relationships and improve the pedestrian environment; consistent with the design guidelines developed for this area. 

That was at its very early stages..

EVOLUTION

For a number of years now, we have seen many changes in the Mid-Toronto Industrial Area (bordered by Hwy 401, Dufferin St, Castlefield Ave, and Caledonia Rd), where older industrial buildings are becoming something new, such as:

WAREHOUSE RETAIL or flex office/studio space and abundant with high-end retailers, thus demanding increase in net rental rates and higher valuations.

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1270 Caledonia Road – Credit: Cushman & Wakefield ULC

1270 CALEDONIA ROAD, TORONTO – PROJECT COMPLETED, NEW HOME OF HOME SOCIETE – OPENING APRIL 2019

Home Societe/Maison Corbeil will be opening their first showroom in Greater Toronto area in April of 2019. They offer a large selection of contemporary furniture, exciting home decor, accessories and exclusive furniture collections.

SELF STORAGE: Companies are opening few locations on Dufferin Street north of Highway #401 (Dymon), Bridgeland Avenue (Apple Self Storage) and Fairbanks Avenue (Peerage Storage).

Given the expected unprecedented increase in density and population in the area in the near future there is more demand for this asset class, which generates steady cash flow with low maintenance and management efforts once it is fully leased up.

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3621 Dufferin Street, Credit: Urban Toronto

3621 DUFFERIN STREET, TORONTO – PROJECT APPLICATION

DYMON SELF STORAGE

The 474,483 SF building, consists of storage lockers (226,494 SF), residential units (133,687 SF), office space (62,473 SF), and 38,567 SF of retail space. The retail units will be situated on the ground level, with the office component on level 2, with condominium suites wrapping around the west, south, and east sides of the storage lockers on the floors above. 

A total of 141 condominium suites are proposed, 10 studios, 98 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units, and 15 three-bedroom units. 

MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL development applications along Dufferin Street, including the redevelopment of the Yorkdale Mall and Holiday Inn Hotel site, will change the landscape of the area forever. 

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Artistic Representation – Yorkdale Mall – Dufferin Street Frontage

Redevelopment of the Yorkdale Mall site and mixed-use projects along Dufferin Street from Hwy 401 to Lawrence Avenue.

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Yorkdale Redevelopment Option 1, Credit: Urban Toronto

One of three redevelopment options proposes residential density at the north end of the site facing Yorkdale Road and Highway 401.

Seven residential buildings are proposed with a combined total of 1,496 units. The residential block at the north end of the site would be divided from the existing mall by a six low-rise office buildings, containing a combined gross floor area in excess of 600,000 SF (57,189 m²) with ground floor retail. Proposed heights range between 75 and 360 feet.

INDUSTRIAL IS THE NEW RETAIL”

And since “industrial is the new retail” and the “last mile is the hardest mile,” we are seeing an increased demand for industrial buildings closer to the urban core for the last mile parcel distribution facilities … 

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Not even colder weather could cool down the GTA industrial market in the fourth quarter of 2018. With nonstop demand from eCommerce and 3PL companies, new records were reached

In Q4 2018, the overall availability rate plunged to a rock-bottom 1.5%, pushing the rental rate up to $7.40 PSF – an 18% increase year-over-year a new record high.

As retail continues to evolve and online shopping takes greater hold, demand for well-located distribution and warehouse space will remain the story.

Tightening markets, robust leasing activity and limited supply, along with higher land prices and development charges will exert continuing upward pressure on the rental rates.

The availability rate is expected to fall even further, triggering more construction as developers scramble to keep up with intense demand.

And so, if you are able to find any industrial space at all, then it may be prudent to give it a look, introducing…

15 Leswyn Road, Toronto – Big Box Value-Add Opportunity in Urban Core 

From fitness recreational to a retail warehouse, self-storage, or last-mile delivery depot… you can have it alla rare and unique chance for an Investor or User to own a large block of space in Central Toronto.

Currently occupied by two tenants, this 79,882 square feet industrial building situated on 3.08-acres, comes with above average ceiling heights for this neighbourhood and MC (Industrial Commercial) zoning which permits a variety of different uses, including:

  • recreational,
  • retail,
  • warehouse and distribution, and
  • self-storage.
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The property located at 15 Leswyn Road is a single storey, multi-tenant, 79,882 SF building, situated on a lot size of 3.08 acres. 

The main features are :

  • User/Investor opportunity – potential for almost immediate occupancy of 30,324 SF,
  • Significant opportunity to increase the NOI,
  • MC zoning allows for 0.5 floor index (lot size) which would permit up to 67,082 SF of retail,
  • Uniquely high ceilings with ability to increase the GFA by 2 or 3 times, and
  • Historically low vacancy rates.
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LOCATION AND CONNECTIVITY

Being located in the heart of Castlefield and Caledonia Design District, 15 Leswyn Road property benefits from:

  • Superior access to major commuter routes (Highway 401, 400, Allen Road), it is
  • Located within close proximity to the Yorkdale Subway station and Lawrence West Subway station, as well as
  • Bus services on Dufferin Street (route 29, 329) and bus service on Caledonia Road (route 47) all within short distance.

The transit options provided in the immediate area bode well for both current and future tenancies as well as for potential redevelopment/change of use on-site.

THE OPPORTUNITY

15 Leswyn Road property offers potential purchasers, investors or users stable income with the ability to significantly enhance future value.

The existing cash flow will enable investors to capitalize on rising market rental rates through renewal, re-leasing upon expiry, or potentially repositioning to a different use.

Long term, this acre site is poised to benefit from continued land appreciation in a rapidly improving node. 

CONCLUSION

As core Toronto locations are facing increased scarcity and growing demand for high quality industrial opportunities, it is getting harder and harder to acquire almost any kind of real estate asset. 

The Castlefield and Caledonia design District is going through an unprecedented transformation. Industrial buildings are being converted to warehouse retail and modern high end self storage buildings.

This is a unique opportunity to acquire a stabilized, industrial asset in the highly sought after market offering investors or users cash flow with the ability to add value over time.

If you are a purchaser or investor looking for a top quality product, then please give us a call to discuss the opportunity. 

 

Goran Brelih and his team have been servicing Investors and Occupiers of Industrial properties in Toronto Central and Toronto North markets for the past 25 years.

Goran Brelih is a Senior Vice President for Cushman & Wakefield ULC in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Over the past 27 years, he has been involved in the lease or sale of approximately 25.7 million square feet of industrial space, valued in excess of $1.6 billion dollars while averaging between 40 and 50 transactions per year and achieving the highest level of sales, from the President’s Round Table to Top Ten in GTA and the National Top Ten.

Goran is currently serving as President of the SIOR ‐ Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, Central Canadian Chapter and on the Board of Directors of Muki Baum Accessibility Centre, a Toronto‐based NGO which provides support to children and adults with complex disabilities.

Specialties:

Industrial Real Estate Sales and Leasing, Investment Sales, Design Build and Land Development

About Cushman & Wakefield ULC.

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value by putting ideas into action for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with 48,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2017, the firm had revenue of $6.9 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, advisory, and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.

For more information on GTA Industrial Real Estate Market or to discuss how they can assist you with your real estate needs please contact Goran at 416-756-5456, email at goran.brelih@cushwake.com, or visit www.goranbrelih.com.

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