CREW readers pan Mirvish condo plans

What many people are lauding as a fantastic architectural feat, readers of CREW Online have largely panned.

The results of a recent CREW Online poll indicate that 60% of respondents find Toronto developer David Mirvish’s plans to build a colossal condo structure on the site of the Princess of Wales Theatre to be very “irresponsible.”

The response is likely tied to the timing of the announcement last month, coming as new numbers suggest Toronto’s condo market has slown down as investors put a halt to their buying spree. Mirvish appears to have come late to the banquet, say analysts.

Nonetheless, the theatre impresario is set to take the development plans forward.

The Princess of Wales Theatre, which Mirvish also owns, has played home to numerous notable productions over the years, and has become entrenched in Toronto’s rich history of arts and entertainment. Mirvish’s plan will see a trio of 86-storey condo buildings built on the theater grounds, along with retail space, a new art gallery and a new campus location for a local university. Renowned architect Frank Gehry will be spearheading the new project.

“Our vision is a project that will encompass three distinct and remarkable residential towers that will be unlike anything that has been built in Toronto,” Mirvish said about the development.

“They will be grounded by stepped podiums that will house a large, new public gallery called the Mirvish Collection, a new campus for the OCAD University, and planted terraces that will create a green silhouette overlooking King Street.”

Mirvish will soon file a formal application with Toronto’s city council, and a community consultation process will follow once the application is filed. In addition, Mirvish has said he is more than willing to build a new theatre elsewhere in the city to replace the one that will eventually be demolished, should the need for one be necessary.

“I lavished an enormous amount of energy, creativity and money to build the Princess of Wales Theatre,” Mirvish said. “It is a beautiful facility of which I am very proud, but it happens to be situated in the middle of the new project’s path.”

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