The City of Toronto is trying to buy up thousands of apartments in the downtown core to make way for a high-rise hotel, a tower and retail, among other development.
The proposal would allow for up to a million square feet of new construction and the acquisition of more than half of all of the city’s new apartment buildings, the city said Monday.
The sale would not require any new approvals, and it would require a minimum of 50 per cent approval from the province.
Developers, who have spent billions on projects in the neighbourhood over the past decade, are calling the sale a game-changer for Toronto.
It’s the first major real estate transaction to occur in the City of Canada since 2008.
The deal would allow developers to take over up to 25 per cent of all new apartments in Toronto, including about 5,000 condos.
It also would provide an alternative for some of the more than 400,000 people who have lived in Toronto apartments since 2006.
The city said it was seeking bids from buyers for the remaining apartments and would announce the winners in the next couple of weeks.
The government has said it will consider other options to buy all or part of the condo market, including a possible tax increase.
It has been seeking $100 million to buy the entire market, with a 10 per cent share.
But the province’s top tax official has said there’s little to no evidence that Toronto has the money to fund a large-scale condo tax hike.
The province says there is a surplus of $1.4 billion and would need to find $6 billion more to offset a $1 billion deficit from a new provincial sales tax.
But some councillors, who say they’ll vote to increase the tax on luxury condominiums, said they were skeptical about the proposed sale of apartments.
Doug Ford, a former mayor who represents Ward 2, said the deal could lead to a condo tax spike and a condo shortage.
“I think it would be an enormous mistake for the city to sell any of their properties,” he said.
“They’re worth millions of dollars.
We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of units. “
It is the worst of all worlds.
We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of units.
And I think we’re all in agreement that we’re going to do something about it.”
Joe Mihevc, who represents Scarborough-Agincourt, said he thinks the sale would bring back jobs.
“The city has been asking for this kind of thing for a long time,” he told CBC News.
The province will pay $1 per square foot, which would increase to $2 per square feet if the developers also sell more than 50 per 50 per square-foot units. “
When they walk in, they’ll see what’s going on with the city.”
The province will pay $1 per square foot, which would increase to $2 per square feet if the developers also sell more than 50 per 50 per square-foot units.
The developers say they’re still seeking bids, but there’s no timeline.
They’re also seeking a $10,000 deposit and a five-year commitment to the development.