A former Cresford Developments property has officially hit the market, representing an "unprecedented opportunity" for a purchaser to construct a city-defining mixed-use development.
Located at 33 Yorkville Avenue, the zoning and site plan have already been approved by the City to construct approximately 912,700 sq. ft. of residential and retail components that will be spread across two connected high-rise towers.
"A potential developer can take advantage of the in-place approvals and below-grade shoring progress to immediately resume construction," reads a document released by CBRE Limited and RBC Capital Markets Realty Inc., who together are the brokers, assisting with the development and execution of the Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) and related marketing strategy.
The approved development, which was designed by architectsAlliance, will see two high-rise towers, standing 142.5 metres and 214.8 metres, rising 45 and 69 storeys on top of an eight-storey podium.
The residential component would span 845,200 sq. ft. and house 1,079 suites, ranging in size from 370 to 1,619 sq. ft., while the commercial/retail component would take over the first two levels of the towers and span 67,500 sq. ft.
The development has already received site plan approval, below-grade permits, and shoring work is currently underway, all of which provide "enhanced planning certainty and will expedite timelines to project completion."
The project, which was previously owned by Cresford Developments, one of Toronto’s luxury condo developers, entered into receivership on March 27, according to documents filed by the receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.
33 Yorkville is one of three Cresford Developments buildings to enter into receivership, in addition to The Clover on Yonge (593 Yonge Street) and Halo Residences (480 Yonge Street).
All three buildings were under construction and were set to account for over 1,600 residential units to be added to Toronto's housing stock.
Court documents posted by PwC include allegations of separate ledgers kept by the developer where one set was shown to lenders and another set included additional costs. However, these allegations have not yet been proven in court.
The applicants for receivership cited defaults by Cresford on lending agreements, according to court documents. These include an overdue interest payment and liens on the properties, as well as projected cost overruns.
In court filings, the applicants claim the developer owes payments on a $164 million mortgage, according to the Toronto Star.
In the court documents, it is claimed that Cresford took in $212 million from unit purchasers in the three buildings. The Star adds that Otera and bcIMC claim in the documents that they are owed about $100 million in credit by Cresford, and Cresford’s senior secured creditors claimed they were owed a total of $421.4 million. All the figures are subject to revision, according to the receiver.
Cresford lawyer Steven Graff told the Star the company had tried to stabilize the business through court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act but had not been successful, leading to the developments going into receivership.
However, this isn't the only legal issue the developer has faced so far this year.
On January 21, Maria Athanasoulis, Cresford’s former president, filed a 33-page wrongful dismissal claim that alleged Cresford has a “crash crisis.”
As per a Globe and Mail article at the time, in her claim, Athanasoulis alleges Cresford needs close to $150-million to finish these projects. She is seeking close to $50-million in compensation, saying she is owed 20% from the uncompleted condominium projects.
According to the Globe and Mail, Cresford’s chairman, Daniel Casey, has since made a counterclaim, which alleges that Athanasoulis “exaggerated the size and urgency of Cresford’s payables and cost overruns,” and is seeking millions in damages for her alleged mismanagement.
None of those allegations have been tested in court.
With files from Christina Varga