Monday, October 28, 2013

Honest Ed's Site at Bloor and Bathurst Sts Sold

TORONTO - Honest Ed’s will remain open during the next few years, despite the tentative sale of the iconic discount store to a Vancouver-based developer.

Businessman and theatre impresario David Mirvish said Monday that Westbank Properties plans to rent the property back to him for up to 3 1/2 years.

He added that Honest Ed’s — at Bloor and Bathurst Sts. — will continue to operate under Mirvish management during that time.

Mirvish started seeking a buyer in July for the property that includes one of Toronto’s most famous and colourful retail stores. His late father, Ed Mirvish opened the outlet in 1948 and expanded his businesses interests over the year to take up the better part of a city block.

It was reported the asking price for the property was $100 million, plus conditions that certain considerations be made around enhancing the immediate area and community.

“(It was about) finding a sensitive buyer who was ambitious for the community, and a longer-term vision, and I do believe these developers have that,” said David Mirvish, declining to discuss what Westbank may have planned for the site.

“There is no immediate pressure on them, but they want to be thoughtful and do something intelligent.”

“These are people who are building at a level that will challenge ... what is going on in the city and raise the bar and make architecture an important component of this city,” Mirvish said, adding that potential buyers were asked to come forward with offers they thought were appropriate for the property.

Westbank is a developer of hotels, office buildings and luxury residential buildings, and is responsible for the Shangri-La hotels in Toronto and Vancouver.

Mirvish also talked of concerns voiced by business owners who have been long rented space at the site.

“They are my tenants, and they will continue to by my tenants during this 3 1/2-half year period because I’ve rented the property,” said Mirvish, adding that many have paid “extremely reasonable” rent over the years.

The deal is expected to close later this year.
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