Iconic Toronto condo project placed into receivership due to $1.6B in

A high-profile Toronto condominium project that has been plagued with delays and setbacks for almost a decade has been placed into receivership by its biggest lender, refusing to foot the bill for $1.6 billion in unpaid debts until someone else is in charge.

The One, a proposed skyscraper at Yonge and Bloor, was taken over by a court-appointed receiver this week after the project’s financiers defaulted on more than $1.2 billion in loans on the project.

The land at the intersection of the two main thoroughfares in downtown Toronto was first purchased by developer Sam Mizrahi for $300 million almost a decade ago, with plans to develop the site into a mixed-use retail, hotel and residential skyscraper with 85 storeys and 416 residential units — a nod to the city’s area code.

The project broke ground in 2017 with a planned completion date of 2018 for the retail portion on the lower floors, with the hotel and condos above ready by 2022 at the latest.

Multiple delays

Since then, however, the project “has been plagued by delays and cost overruns,” the lenders said in a filing. “Not to mention continual infighting between the principal investors in the project, both in and out of court.”

That’s a nod to a rift between Mizrahi and his partner on the project, investor Jenny Coco.

Mizrahi is a well-known developer in the city with multiple projects on the go, but Coco is perhaps best known for being the financier for Bridging Finance, an investment firm that was itself placed into receivership in 2021 by Ontario’s securities regulator.

The main lenders for The One are a division of South Korean bank KEB Hana Bank, who have asked a court to assign someone to step in and take over the project to get it completed, or they won’t extend their next payment on the project, for more than $315 million.

Earlier this month, the project’s developers failed to make payments on more than $1.23 billion in loans, and hundreds of millions of dollars more are due soon, which prompted the legal action.

“To say that the project has been delayed and faced challenges would be an understatement,” a court filing reads.

In addition to the more than $1.2 billion in loans already in default, another $130 million is owed to Canadian insurance company Aviva, filings show, while the China-East Resources Import & Export Corporation — a state-owned Chinese bank that was among the project’s first lenders — are owed $182 million.

WATCH | The proposed tower (from 9 years ago): 

Featured VideoA developer wants to build an 80-storey building at the former Stollerys site.

A dispute between the project’s two backers, each of whom has a 50 per cent stake, is a major factor.

“Over the past several years, Coco’s and Mizrahi’s relationship has become increasingly acrimonious and dysfunctional,” the lenders allege in court filings. “Their disagreements have impeded the ability of the borrower to complete the project.”

“All of these problems are jeopardizing the Project, which is already…

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