This is great news for the downtown core it is booming down here. I also heard that there will be a big project announce in the next couple weeks.
Park Lane Hotel to be reborn as condo project
Wed, November 23, 2005
By HANK DANISZEWSKI, FREE PRESS BUSINESS REPORTER
Jeffrey Roher, left, and Joel Kwinter of the Rose Corp. are converting the Park Lane Hotel on King Street into condominiums. (DEREK RUTTAN, The London Free Press)
Two Toronto developers think it's time for a downtown London building with a checkered past to be reborn as a hip, downtown condo project.
Joel Kwinter and Jeffrey Roher are spearheading a plan to create time Condominiums with a $12 million to $15 million renovation of the former Park Lane Hotel at 186 King St.
The developers say downtown London is on an upswing and ready for the kind of urban condo conversion that has swept larger centres such as Toronto.
"London's time has come . . . We want London youth to stay in London by offering them a hip place to hang their hat and call home," Kwinter said.
The units will vary in size from 330 square feet to 800 square feet and range in price from $69,990 for a studio to $159,000 for a two-bedroom or large one- bedroom.
Kwinter and Roher are partners with the Rose Corp., a Toronto-based real estate investment company that bought the building last year.
Kwinter said the building will have a "South Beach -- New York City" feel, both inside and out and will be aimed at the 18- to 35-year-old market.
The sales office and a model suite should be open in a few months, but the renovations will not start until a minimum number of units are pre-sold, he said.
If the sales campaign is successful, the new condo owners should be able to move in by the end of 2007.
Kwinter said the main floor will stay commercial and the developers will be looking for a high-end lounge/restaurant to locate there.
Other amenities will include exercise facilities, a private lounge, a study and two screening rooms with large-screen televisions.
The developers are planning a major marketing campaign and have a website -- www.timecondos.com
-- where potential buyers can register.
If the project is a success, it will be a turnaroud for a building that has suffered a lot of bad luck since construction began in 1961. The building has changed hands several times due to lawsuits and financial failures and was empty for a couple of years in the 1990's.
"I know there's a bit of history involved in this building but we think it's time for a big change. This building has great bones and a great location and that's what were working with," said Kwinter.
Last night Kwinter and Roher received a Downtown Champion award at the Mainstreet London annual general meeting in recognition of the initiative.
Mainstreet manager Janette MacDonald said the time Condo project is exactly what downtown needs. She said the affordable prices makes the condos attractive to young professionals.
"If we can these young people into the real estate market in London, it will be a tougher for them to leave," she said.
HISTORY OF 186 KING
1961: Construction begins, but financial problems delay the opening for three years.
1964: The 10-storey building opens as the Jack Tar Motor Hotel.
1966: The building is sold and renamed the Kingsley Building, the result of a lawsuit.
1973: It is converted into the Park Lane Motel.
1988: The Park Lane is converted into a Ramada Inn.
1992: The Ramada Inn closes after prolonged financial troubles and the building sits vacant for two years.
1994: A plan to turn the building into a private student residence called King's Inn falls apart, leaving 130 people locked out.
1995: London realtor Paul Mitchell steps in, revives the project and opens the student residence.
2002: The building is sold to Dutch entrepreneur Willem Fijneer, who reopens it as the Park Lane Hotel.
2004: The building is sold to Toronto-based real estate developer the Rose Corp., which plans to turn it into condos.