‘Turned a lemon into lemonade’: Condo tower to be built on dormant city-owned property

The City of Toronto is getting into the condo business, so to speak, as an investor in a proposed 75-storey tower on a triangular parcel of land just steps from Lake Ontario.

The “partnership” between construction giant Tridel and Build Toronto, the arm’s-length real estate corporation wholly owned by the city, is the first of many, proponents hope, as the agency seeks to “unlock” the value in surplus properties that are sitting dormant across the city.

The 0.63 acre lot at 10 York St. used to be a car impound lot. This new arrangement will generate more than $40-million over four years for the city, officials said, which is eight to 10 times the value of the land. Build Toronto sold about 80% of the land to Tridel and kept the remaining stake for itself as an investment.

Councillor Doug Ford, vice chair of the Build Toronto board of directors, hailed the deal as the kind he wants to see more often.

“They turned a lemon into lemonade,” Mr. Ford said of a parcel that “no one thought could be built on” at the building’s official unveiling Tuesday.

Leo DelZotto, president of Tridel, said the true profit will only be known once residents have moved in and written their cheques. The project may be complete in six years.

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