Taggart proposes Little Italy condo tower

A 19-storey condominium tower on Norman Street is the latest residential development proposal for Little Italy.

The Taggart Group of Cos., which owns Tamarack Homes and Taggart Realty Management, has filed an official plan and zoning bylaw amendment application for a property located at 93-105 Norman St., according to city officials.

Many of the high-rises proposed for the area so far are close to the major intersection of Preston Street and Carling Avenue. However, this project would be on a dead-end residential street roughly halfway between Carling Avenue and the Queensway.

Taggart purchased the property from Frank’s Auto Centre last year for $1.9 million, according to one source.

The proposed residential development would include 159 apartment units on top of a four-storey podium with three floors of underground parking, according to the city’s planning and growth management development department.

Jeff Parkes, director of leasing and development at Taggart Realty Management, says the development is still in preliminary stages but a sales centre could be on location in 12 to 18 months.

Developing on a small residential street, as opposed to an arterial or main road, will likely draw concerns from local residents, Mr. Parkes acknowledged. He added that information sessions run by the city regarding the redevelopment of Preston Street have seen community members up in arms about the height of various proposals.

“Every neighbourhood has concerns when change is brought forward,” Mr. Parkes said. “We hope we can deliver something the community is pleased with.”

Under developer Urban Capital, Taggart gained condo development experience building the nine-storey Central at Bank Street and Gladstone Avenue on the site of the former Metropolitan Bible Church in 2010. Taggart subsidiary Doran Contractors Ltd. were the general contractors, and Taggart was responsible for leasing the ground-level commercial space which includes a Starbucks and a Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Tamarack Homes has more than 400 new housing starts per year, according to its website.

The lot on Norman Street sits next to the Preston Street Business Improvement Area office, which has previously said the need to intensify the area should be balanced against preserving the current “village-like feel.”

This summer, OBJ took at look at the multiple plans for condominiums, retail and office developments that have arisen on previously underused lots in the area surrounding Preston Street. One such development is the proposal for the 42-storey Claridge Tower which would be the tallest tower in the city if built by Claridge Homes.