Million Dollar Views in Toronto
Government to unload 5 Hubbard Blvd, which fronts onto Kew Balmy Beach. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
By Kris Scheuer
For those who always dreamed of owning a cottage on the lake, the opportunity may be closer than you imagined.
The city plans to sell a handful of Kew Beach waterfront homes that are too costly to repair. The properties at 3, 5, 7 and 9 Hubbard Blvd. are owned by Toronto Community Housing and are on prime real estate facing Lake Ontario and Kew-Balmy Beach.
“TCH conducted a comprehensive review of our housing stock,” says community housing spokesperson Kyle Rooks. “The goal was to see the best way to invest scarce resources to ensure quality housing is given to our tenants.”
The Real Estate Asset Investment Strategy was completed in December and recommended selling 45 homes and three buildings with 326 apartments. Before that proceeds, an implementation plan will go to the housing board in July and then needs city council approval.
“That review found 45 homes needed $9 million for repairs in 10 years,” Rooks said. “That’s not a responsible way to invest.” The sale of those 45 properties are expected to fetch between $35–40 million, according to the Toronto Community Housing’s website.
However, the Beach site alone could fetch a pretty penny. A beach realtor, who spoke to the Town Crier on condition of anonymity said the city-owned semi-detached homes at 3, 5, 7 and 9 Hubbard are assessed at between $720,500 to $734,500 each.
Looking at other properties close by, 13 Hubbard is assessed at $890,750. Further east the prices rise especially for new town homes at 60 through 68 Hubbard that are registered at values of $1.3–1.8-million. He added that the city-owned properties could be attractive to a developer looking to purchase multiple lots to construct luxury beachfront townhouses.
Currently, only 14 of the 45 units the city wants to sell are occupied, said Rooks and Toronto Community Housing will pay for the costs to relocate any tenants to similarly priced accommodation.
The housing organization, owned and operated by the city, has a repair backlog of $200 million for its entire housing stock and that’s even after an investment of $100 million in 2008. That repair bill is expected to swell to $950 million over the next 10 years, plus the social housingoperator needs about $407 million to revitalize 13 Toronto communities such as Flemingdon Park and Lawrence Heights.
The housing provider is legally obligated to replace any housing that is torn down or sold.
Close by at 42 Hubbard is a low-rise Toronto Community Housing apartment complex just steps from the lake. All the tenants here were moved out and relocated, confirms Rooks. However, the site is not for sale.
“The building has been vacant since March,” he said. “The initial (problem) was mould in the building.” Rooks did not provide specifics on additional repairs needed on the building that has been assessed at a value of $1,907,750. “We are continuing to look at our options,” he said.
(Originally published June 18/09 at http://www.mytowncrier.ca)