Starwood still seeking 36-storey Little Italy condo

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After two years of wrangling over the height of a proposed tower on Preston Street, just north of Carling Avenue, city officials and the developer appear to be right back where they started.

Toronto's Mastercraft Starwood asked the city in July 2011 for a zoning amendment to nearly double the maximum allowable height for its SoHo Italia tower at 490-500 Preston St. to 113 metres. That would be tall enough for approximately 36 storeys.

But after complaints from the Dalhousie Community Association and the Preston Street Business Improvement Association, the city approved a smaller 30-storey tower last July with a height of 95.5 metres, prompting the developer to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The OMB postponed the hearings to give the two sides time to come up with a compromise, but the city said in an e-mail to residents Tuesday the proposal has reverted back to a “36-storey building with a mezzanine,” now at a height of 120.4 metres.

Since Mastercraft Starwood first proposed its project, the city granted Claridge permission to build a 45-storey condo at 505 Preston St. Across the street, Richcraft wants to build a 48-storey building on the Dow Honda property.

Under Mastercraft Starwood’s new proposal, parking will be located underground and the building will feature retail and restaurant uses on the ground floor, offices on the next three storeys and residential condos above that. The tower would contain about 300 dwelling units, roughly 5,100 square feet of retail and 27,000 square feet of office space.