Posted: Nov 17, 2007, 5:29 PM
Join Date: May 2005
343m appears to be a misprint, but this ain't over yet:
Aura aims to be tallest condo tower in city
Will Tremain, National Post
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2007
An old-fashioned race to the skies may be under way in Toronto's condo tower market.
Condo developer Canderel Stoneridge Equity Group yesterday unveiled its Aura tower, which it plans to build next year at Yonge and Gerrard streets.
Aura, a slender knife-blade building, currently sits at 75 storeys and 243 metres in height. That would make it slightly short than Bazis International's planned condominium tower at One Bloor Street East, whose roof would sit at 248 metres. The Trump International Hotel and Tower on the southeast corner of Bay and Adelaide, which when first announced was described as Canada's tallest residential tower, was recently scaled back to about 274 metres.
But Michael La Brier, president of Canderel Stoneridge, said his company could add up to 10 more storeys -- provided the city blesses the plan. Aura would then be the city's highest condo building, at about 280 metres.
"When we had the building engineered, we had everything so we could add up to 10 more floors to the building," said Mr. La Brier. "So that's certainly part of the discussion we need to have ongoing with the city."
The new Aura skyscraper will boast at least 960 residential units, and more if the additional floors are added. Canderel Stoneridge says 5,000 people are on a waiting list to buy.
Mr. La Brier is clearly willing to barter with the city to win add the additional height for the new tower. "One of the the things we want to do is completely rebuild the [nearby] Barbara Ann Scott Park, and that's a price I'm certainly prepared to pay, especially in lieu of getting another 10 storeys of density on the building."
The local city councillor, Kyle Rae, said he's open to the possibility of 10 more storeys -- ''that would be something that would have to go through planning''-- but welcomes the new people drawn to the downtown core's "residential renaissance."
"I know there are people in the neighbourhood looking to move up," said Mr. Rae.
Riz Dhanji, vice-president of sales and marketing for Canderel Stoneridge, said the sale of Aura's units, starting next February or March, should be nothing like this week's sales for the Bazis tower.
Real estate agents lined up for eight days for the chance to buy a unit in the Bazis tower. On the morning the sale began, arguments broke out, and the base price on the units jumped by $200,000.
"We don't believe in that," Mr. Dhanji said.
"We want it to be more of a controlled process, and as easy a process as possible. But we can't control if people want to line up."
© National Post 2007