Corp Comm Connects

Liberty buys $48M Vaughan assembly for redevelopment
April 19, 2022

Liberty Development Corporation has purchased a three-property assembly from three private owners in the rapidly growing Greater Toronto Area City of Vaughan for $48 million.

Vanguard Realty Brokerage Corp. chief executive officer Paul Miceli brokered the deal for 171 Maplecrete Rd., 160 Doughton Rd. and 140 Doughton Rd., which are located south of Highway 7 and east of Jane Street. He said Liberty already owned adjacent land that’s already zoned for high-rise residential and was looking to add to it.

“I approached them (the sellers) because I know some people from Liberty,” Miceli told RENX. “They already owned the front properties and the plan in that area is changing from industrial to residential.

“I had worked with a couple of the sellers on other deals and approached them to see if they would sell. Then I packaged all three properties as an assembly and sold it to Liberty, where I dealt with Marco Filice and president Fred Darvish.”

Liberty’s future plans for Vaughan assembly
Miceli said Liberty doesn’t want to comment on the acquisition, which he estimates took about three years to come together from his first queries until closing.

Each of the three properties in the assembly presently contains an occupied industrial building. The tenants will remain in place to provide income until the proposed development’s zoning and approvals processes move further along.

The area is part of the downtown Vaughan intensification plan and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station is just a 10-minute walk, which will appeal to potential future residents.

Miceli doesn’t know many details about Liberty’s plans for its Vaughan site, but said it would include at least three high-rise residential towers. He believes the development will beautify the area and bring jobs and opportunities.

Liberty’s expertise and other projects
Markham-based Liberty is a full-service real estate development company involved with commercial, office and residential buildings in the Greater Toronto Area. It has expertise in land assembly, development, design, construction, sales, leasing and property management.

Liberty’s current condominium projects, all in the pre-construction phase, are:

 -- Joy Station Condos, featuring two 22-storey towers connected by a six-storey podium at 9781 Markham Rd. in Markham.

-- Canopy Towers, featuring a six-storey podium that extends around a 34-storey tower at 5081 Hurontario St. in Mississauga.

-- Promenade Park Towers Building B, a 30-storey tower at 1 Promenade Circle in Vaughan.

Vaughan high-rise market is hot
Vaughan is located just north of Toronto and its high-rise condo market isn’t showing any signs of a slowdown, according to Miceli.

“Property values in Vaughan aren’t far off from downtown Toronto, especially the ones like in this general area where you’re in close proximity to the subway and can walk to it.

“Anywhere that you can walk to the subway is now selling for $950 a square foot and we think shortly it will be over $1,000 per square foot.”

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre was master-planned to become the city’s downtown core with residential, retail, office, restaurant, green space, recreational and public transit components.

It has seen an explosion of development in recent years and more is still on the way.

RioCan REIT also has major plans nearby with the redevelopment of the 61.7-acre Colossus Centre shopping centre site.

Its long-term plan involves 25 buildings ranging from eight to 55 storeys and includes: approximately 9.47 million square feet of residential space with 13,000 units; approximately 646,000 square feet of non-residential space; and almost 1.08 million square feet of parkland.

“The skyline of Vaughan is going to be very, very different in the next 10 to 15 years,” said Miceli. “Developers today seem to be a lot smarter, where they’re not bringing the buildings out all at the same time.

“One guy goes to market and sells out and then the next guy comes to market a few months later, which is keeping healthy prices because your competition isn’t so direct.

“It’s not a great thing for the consumer, but it’s a pretty good thing for keeping the prices up for developers.”