That’s why his company’s new condo project, Garrison Point — just east of Liberty Village — has larger suites, ample green space and amenities that cater to kids.
“It’s designed for families,” says Crignano, president of Cityzen Development Group, which is building Garrison Point in partnership with Diamond Corp. and Fernbrook Homes.
Located on a pie-shaped, 7.6-acre site at Strachan and Ordnance Aves. — and bound by railway tracks on two sides — Garrison Point ultimately will include five condo towers and a 4.5-acre public park.
The first tower for sale has 300 suites ranging from 496-square-foot, one-bedroom units to 1,307-square-foot two-bedroom-plus-dens, with an average size of 800 square feet. (Buyers have the option to combine smaller suites to create larger spaces.)
At the base of the 29-storey tower will be nine townhouses overlooking the park, some as big as 2,250 square feet. (The first phase will also include a 35-storey tower with additional park-facing townhouses.) Prices start at $274,900 and go to over $1 million.
“There’s a need in this market for larger units,” says Crignano. “People moved into Liberty Village 10 years ago as single men and women, and over time they paired up, got married, and now have kids.
“So all of a sudden you have lots of children in Liberty Village and people requiring more space.”
Amenities in the first building at Garrison Point will include a theatre room, party room and a fitness centre. As well, there are plans for a kids’ lounge and splash pool, and, of course, the park, which will take up more than half the site. “It’s obviously a great amenity for kids to have at their doorstep,” Crignano says. “For dogs, too.”
The park will have a large pool and incorporate a pedestrian bridge that will span the railway tracks, connecting the Fort York neighbourhood to its south with King West, Trinity Bellwoods Park and a proposed extension of Stanley Park to the north.
Garrison Point may also get a private daycare centre and school, Crignano indicates, noting he’s been in contact with GEMS Education, an international K-12 education company “keen on doing something in Toronto.”
“The demand is there,” he adds, “but there’s so little available (locally in the public school/daycare system) to meet that demand. It’s a problem.”
The second phase of Garrison Point will bring street-level retail along Strachan and Ordnance Aves., with restaurants, patios and shops, including a chain supermarket. Atop the retail podium will be two more condo towers with 1,000 units. (The final phase of the 10-year development will be a single residential tower, the tallest of the five.)
A landscaped pedestrian promenade will run from Strachan Ave. through to the park. “So somebody could stop and pick up some groceries for lunch and go to the park, or grab their groceries after they leave the park and head back home over the bridge,” suggests Robert Blasevski, executive vice-president with Diamond Corp.
Garrison Point architect David Pontarini used the unusual shape of the site as inspiration for the form of the towers. “The buildings will have cleaved-off portions and beveled pieces that create a more interesting shape and mass, as opposed to rectangular boxes sitting on an oddly shaped podium,” he explains.
He’s also opted to use dark charcoal-grey glass, which will contrast strongly with the towers’ lighter-toned cladding. “It gets you away from having those all-green-glass towers that everybody complains about,” Pontarini says.
For his part, Crignano is walking the walk of downtown living for families. Four years ago he sold his spacious home in Richmond Hill and moved his family into one of Cityzen’s projects, London on The Esplanade (between Yonge and Church Sts.) where the Crignano clan now resides in three units. “We have dinner together every night,” he says.
When he first moved in, Crignano noticed lots of young people in his building with no children. But over the course of the past few years “we started to see baby carriages.”
“I met these buyers in the elevator and I would ask them, ‘You have a young child, do you have plans to move out?’ And for a lot of people it’s a dilemma, because they really love living downtown, but they’re concerned where their kids are going to go to school, where the kids will play.”
It’s what spurred him to design Garrison Point with a family focus. “It’s not like families can’t live in apartments,” he says. “You’ve got thousands of apartments all over the city with families living in them.
“It’s not a new phenomenon, but it is relatively new in the downtown core, especially in neighbourhoods like Liberty Village that were industrial and have been transformed.”
“The challenge for us moving forward is how to turn vertical environments (like Garrison Point) into more of your typical residential neighbourhoods.”
Location: Strachan and Ordnance Aves.
Developers: Diamond Corp., Cityzen Development Group and Fernbrook Homes
Size: 29 storeys (first of 2 towers in Phase 1); 300 units, from 496 sq. ft. to 1,307 sq. ft.
Townhomes: 9, from 1,269 sq. ft. to 2,256 sq. ft.
Prices: From $274,900 to over $1 million
Information: 416-278-8017, garrisonpoint.ca
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