The old Mozart lot (Yates St.)

March 11, 2009 at 9:17 am 5 comments

The former Mozart site in the 700 block Yates St. has been an eyesore for years. Currently little more than a drained swamp, the site was supposed to be a mixed use (office/residential/retail) building. Council, in a rare fit of generosity, granted the then-ailing former realtor and long-time arts supporter Eric Charman permission to construct a substantial and unique building. Charman recovered but the economics of the project took a turn for the worse and Charman sold the property to Concert Properties, ending his 20-year dream of constructing a “Mozart tower”.

It appears Concert has done some lot consolidation as they now plan to expand the site all the way to Millie’s Lane (aka Odeon Alley) in order to construct an 11 storey office tower. The businesses that currently occupy the one-storey building along the alley were shocked to receive notice from the City about the DRA-sponsored community meeting regarding this proposal. They were dismayed that they didn’t learn of this through the landlord (many of these businesses have multi-year leases).

The public meeting will be at 1740 Douglas on March 23, 7 pm. This will be an opportunity for neighbours to learn about the proposal and its implications for the neighbourhood.

Entry filed under: architecture, City Hall, urban design.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Davin  |  March 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hey Robert,

    I walk past this lot every other day and I always wonder what is going on with it. At one point, I saw on Concert’s website that they have the property and will be developing it, but *when* is the question that’s been on my mind for years now. I see it is no longer on their planning page. Curious.

  • 2. robertrandall  |  March 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Somehow I doubt they are just getting the variance in order to flip it. I think Concert generally follows through on their projects, especially ones purchased from other owners (eg: Chelsea and I think Belevdere and Astoria). They are in business to make long term money as I understand their funding comes from Ontario pensions.

  • 3. Davin Greenwell  |  March 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    That wasn’t what I was suggesting. I was merely curious, and yes they are built on pension money. It has just been a long time, that’s all – and that makes people wonder.

  • 4. robertrandall  |  March 11, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Developers are dropping their residential projects like two-day old bread in favour of office. But has the pendulum swung too far.the other way?

  • 5. Davin Greenwell  |  March 11, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    A fine question.


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