London Downtown: Another Core Tower for King Street

  • 02/6/17
  • |          London

Another residential tower may rise in downtown London.

York Developments has applied to build a 31-storey highrise on King Street across from Budweiser Gardens.

“Any time there are proposals downtown that allows for towers, it is positive. It means more feet on the street, a 24-7 downtown, and business for restaurants, shops and entertainment venues in the core,” said John Fleming, director of planning for the city.

“That goes toward a more vibrant and thriving core.”

The tower would include 250 units and commercial space on the ground and second floors. The development also would have 272 parking spaces.

The building would be close to a proposed rapid transit hub farther east at King and Clarence streets.

“High-density residential downtown is rapid-transit friendly, it creates ridership throughout the city,” Fleming said. “This would be close to the hub.”

The building would occupy 89 to 97 King Street and is the third residential tower proposed for the downtown stretch of King. The other towers are planned for 50 and 183 King St.

York Developments recently submitted an application for the highrise. The application will likely go to city council’s planning and environment committee in May, Fleming said.

The highrise would be close to a number of city initiatives, he said, including a refurbished Forks of the Thames River, the bicycle-path system and a “flex street” on Dundas Street that will be closed at times to vehicle traffic.

The York tower would also be a short walk to Budweiser Gardens and the Covent Garden Market, Fleming said.

“This area has real strong residential amenities. When looking at sites in the core, this one provides a great living environment close to parks, the market, entertainment venues and transit.”

The London advisory committee on heritage will consider York’s application at a meeting Wednesday. A report on the project’s heritage impact states buildings at 89 and 93 King would have to demolished and an alley between the buildings would be modified.

The building at 89 King houses the Factory Nightclub while 93 King is occupied by the Saddle Up Country Bar and Eatery.

“Historically, I don’t see anything really of significance there,” said historian Dan Brock, a member of the heritage advisory committee.

The buildings on that site date back more than 100 years, but “there is not much really significant about them,” he said.

The committee will look at the property’s architecture, as well as how the proposed development will impact the streetscape.

Derek Dudek, chairperson of the heritage advisory committee, said highrise development is expected in the core.

“The real issue may be how it impacts the Talbot Street streetscape.”

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