An­nex de­vel­op­ment draws com­mu­nity ire

De­vel­oper’s ini­tial pro­posal for 17 storeys was op­posed, and the new plan calls for 29

Annex Post - - NEWS - by Chris Suppa

A high­rise condo de­vel­op­ment in the An­nex from a Burling­ton de­vel­oper has ran­kled both City of Toronto staff and area res­i­dents alike.

Adi De­vel­op­ment Group is propos­ing a 29-storey de­vel­op­ment at 64 Prince Arthur Ave., de­spite plans ini­tially call­ing for a 17-storey build­ing.

“It’s a general thumb­ing of the nose to the lo­cal plan­ning de­part­ment and the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” said Ward 20 Trin­ity-Spad­ina coun­cil­lor Joe Cressy.

An­nex res­i­dents voiced their con­cerns at an open house held in Fe­bru­ary, and the over­whelm­ing sen­ti­ment there was that the de­vel­op­ment would not be suit­able for the neigh­bour­hood.

“It be­longs in Dubai, not in the An­nex,” said Ed­ward Le­man, of the An­nex Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ARA). “To me, it was de­signed through Google Earth: find a site, look at it, put a build­ing down, and that’s it.”

“With any new de­vel­op­ment, there is al­ways go­ing to be re­sis­tance to change,” said Re­becca Eyres, spokesper­son for Adi De­vel­op­ment. “We will con­tinue to lis­ten and for­mu­late a so­lu­tion that en­hances and adds value to the neigh­bor­hood.”

The po­si­tion of both the city and the ARA is that, at 29 storeys, the height of the pro­posed tower would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate and would dwarf neigh­bour­ing build­ings. Ad­di­tion­ally, they iden­tify sig­nif­i­cant set­back and ad­ja­cency is­sues with town­houses in the ar­eas.

“We told the de­vel­op­ers when they pro­posed 17 storeys that we’d be pre­pared to work with them,” Cressy said. “They chose to ig­nore us.”

In 2016, Adi met with city of­fi­cials and the ARA about its ini­tial pro­posal. The con­sen­sus was that, with a few tweaks, it was an ap­pro­pri­ate start­ing point, and Adi was en­cour­aged to hold a pub­lic meet­ing.

In­stead, Adi ap­plied for a 29-storey pro­posal in Au­gust of 2017 and quickly filed an ap­peal to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal with no prior pub­lic meet­ing.

“This is fun­da­men­tally ir­re­spon­si­ble,” said Coun. Cressy. “It’s not how you en­gage with peo­ple [and] it’s ex­actly how not to do de­vel­op­ment.”

“De­spite the fact that we feel ter­ri­bly wronged by them,” Le­man said, “we are still will­ing to work with them to bring the height down and the mass­ing to scale for the An­nex, if they’re will­ing to do so.”

In the mean­time, Coun. Cressy will di­rect his City of Toronto Plan­ning team to op­pose the ap­pli­ca­tion in its cur­rent form and would only con­sider it if sub­stan­tial re­vi­sions were made.

“At the mo­ment, this pro­ject is dead on ar­rival.”

Eyres added that Adi has not yet up­dated the pro­posal, but that it “con­tin­ues to ex­plore and an­a­lyze the de­vel­op­ment within the con­text of the com­mu­nity.”

A ren­der­ing of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment

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