Developer announces tallest heritage retention project in North America

by Duffie Osental07 Apr 2019

Real estate developer Davpart has announced the development of the United Building in Toronto, a 55-storey commercial and residential high-rise that highlights the restored heritage structure of the former Maclean Publishing Company/Maclean-Hunter Building.

The project is slated to be North America’s tallest architectural heritage retention development and will have commercial and retail space from the ground floor to the 10th floor, as well as new residences above the historic structure.

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"From 1910 to the 1980s, 481 [University Avenue] was the location of Maclean Publishing and later Maclean-Hunter with several buildings added to become one of the most recognized structures on University Avenue," said David Hofstedter, president and CEO of Davpart.

"The existing structure is an example of a commercial building from the interwar era and is the result of many bold design influences, from Beaux-Arts to Modern Classical.  While restoring the exterior, we will complete the interior to the highest standard of contemporary office and retail available today, so their current uses can continue.”

"The United is a realization of our vision," said Hofstedter. "It's a massive undertaking which started within the context of preserving and restoring the existing building.  The complexities are enormous and it has taken lots of teamwork and patience to make it happen."

The United Building design team includes B+H Architects as prime consultant and design architects; heritage consultants ERA Architects and Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting.  Baker Real Estate will manage sales activities.

"The design of this building draws from the energy of its location at the intersection of the city's primary cultural, institutional and retail anchors as well as its preserved architectural cultural heritage,” said Mark Berest, principal at B+H Architects Principal. “It is a tribute to Toronto's cosmopolitan character and considers a new convergence of live, work, and play."

The United Building will include studio to one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom designs, some with a den, flex or media room, and some will have two storey plans.

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