24 January 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Would you be okay with a bar in your condo building?

If you are a condo owner or are thinking about living in a condo I have a question for you.

What sort of commercial/retail/office use would you feel is okay for units at the base of the condo you would or already live in?

Many of the condos being built today are adding commercial space options at ground level and often tout them as added benefits to future residents. Wouldn’t it be great to have a bank, dry cleaners, convenience store or small grocery right downstairs the well thought out marketing brochure will say. This will increase the future value of the building and your unit!

In Toronto’s east end neighbourhood at 625 Queen Street East sits Edge lofts which was built by Streetcar Developments. A small to mid size building with 66 units and ground floor commercial/retail space, that Streetcar Developments have been incorporating in to its buildings in the area.

There has been a recent uproar from residents in the building about the Real Jerk restaurant operating out of the ground level and a majority of residents are opposing this establishments application for a liquor license. (I should note I had clients looking at this development in pre-construction and was told it would be a grocery store by their sales reps).

In other Streetcar Developments not far away they have put in car dealerships…yes car dealerships at the ground floor level. The ironic thing is that Streetcar Developments used to advertise that they create buildings around transit (hence their name) in the inner-city.

I personally have liked what Streetcar has done to revitalize the downtown east end and have purchased both for myself and clients many of their units in the Corktown area. But their choices of which commercial establishments go in their buildings are less than desirable in my opinion, and at least neutrally, I don’t feel add value to the residents or the building.

Other developments scattered throughout the city I have seen: Community social housing office-drop in center, high end furniture stores, coffee shops, dentist offices, banks, retail stores and more. Almost anything in my opinion is better than a restaurant with a liquor license. Except maybe a car dealership.

What do you think?

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