Build Toronto’s approach to development is to create greater financial and City-Building value from the City’s underutilized real estate assets.
Through a City-run process, a selection of sites that are underutilized and surplus to the City’s needs, are identified to be transferred to Build Toronto’s portfolio.
When a site is identified, our team, which includes experts in development, construction, planning and approvals, legal, environmental, leasing and marketing, undertakes a comprehensive review to understand a site’s individual challenges, in order to begin to identify opportunities for development.
Our team completes a thorough due-diligence review of
- Surrounding land uses, neighbourhood characteristics and opportunities for connection to transit, parks, schools, retail, etc.;
- The market for various real estate uses in the location such as industrial, office, retail, residential and institutional;
- Site characteristics, including environmental, geotechnical, topographical and arboreal features and the status of existing uses;
- The title, including easements and other restrictions and agreements;
- Existing infrastructure such as parks, schools, transportation and servicing available to the site; and
- City-Building features that can be incorporated, such as improved public realm, affordable housing, parks, pedestrian greenways, shared bike lanes, district energy, etc.
To meet our team, please click on the specific areas of expertise below:
Development is at the core of our business. It is through development that we provide the City of Toronto with the best value for its real estate. Drawing on our expertise in the industry, we take properties the City declares surplus and manage how to best add value through the development cycle. By working with Councillors, our consultants, potential investors, partners and communities, we bring properties through the development process to realize projects that deliver benefits for the local community and the City.
Michael S. Whelan
Vice President, Development
Many of the properties we work with have been contaminated from their historical uses. We address this contamination through clean up and risk management measures so that we can revitalize and repurpose sites that would otherwise remain untouched. Through environmental investment, we breathe new life into the local communities to create more usable and safer spaces for residents.
Environmental Services Team
Director, Property & Environmental Services
Generating strong economic value enables us to deliver on our City-Building goals. Through proper financial due diligence and analysis, we evaluate the cost, risk, liability and profitability for each project scenario. Ensuring successful developments is the key to realizing the environmental and social benefits that add to the urban fabric of our City.
Manager, Procurement & Strategic Sourcing
Human Resources & Legal
Our legal focus enables us to work through site complexities from beginning of the development cycle through to the end. Working through ownership, title and due diligence matters, we organize and prepare sites so they can be ready for development. Our human resources team focuses on the growth and development of our people to ensure that together we have the strength and skills to support the City.
Human Resources & Legal Team
Senior Vice President, Legal & Administration
Director, Human Resources & Administrative Services
Marketing & Community Relations
In order to ensure each development is a successful endeavor, we need to understand what is viable for each site. We do so through market studies, trade analysis, our market understanding and outreach.
The local community is one of our most important stakeholders in any development project. Our community relations efforts focus on engaging the community for input and participation along the way.
Marketing & Community Relations Team
Manager, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Planning Land & Asset Management
We initiate due diligence on City of Toronto surplus properties prior to transfer approval to ensure long term value add and profitability. We look at each of our properties from a planning perspective to understand the regulatory framework that governs our sites. Often we will take a project through the re-zoning and site plan process or amend the Official Plan in order to prepare the property for development before we bring it to market. Our team also focuses on tracking and measuring City-Building metrics against established goals for each of our properties.
Planning Land & Asset Management Team
Vice President, Land & Development Planning
Director, Land & Portfolio Analysis
Senior Development Planner
We create a number of alternative development concepts in consultation with City Planning and guided by engaging with community members and other stakeholders.
We then identify an implementation strategy that determines how far we will take each site through the development and approval process and when will be the appropriate time to move the project into the private marketplace, either through a sale or by partnering with a developer.
We then market each opportunity. This is typically done through a broker to ensure full exposure to the development community. This includes a comprehensive information and analysis package, which describes our due diligence on the site and sets out the suggested development concepts, that will allow the prospective partners to assess the opportunity effectively. We then review the bids received from prospective partners and developers based on a combination of price, experience and City-Building integration.
As a result of these efforts, we decrease risk for the end developer and we increase the opportunity for City-Building, creating greater value for the City’s real estate assets.