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The King Edward Hotel to get 140 condos in $20-million renovation

Though you may not have noticed it, the King Edward Hotel, one of Toronto's most redoubtable, has been in limbo for years.

Once owned by a consortium that included Lehman Brothers, which planned a major overhaul, it's been on the market for a couple of years now, But even beyond that, it's third, fourth and fifth floors, once commercial fashion space, have been utterly vacant for a decade. But a new partnership, including Dundee Realty, has bought the hotel and at the beginning of June will launch their $20-million plan for 140 condos to be tucked into those three floors.

"For some purchasers, this will be seen as the quintessential pied ŕ terre," says Jason Lester, chief operating officer for Dundee, who expects it to be popular with down-sizers as well.

In addition to its historic location, and the fact that it's in a hotel and all that will entail, the condos will actually be relatively reasonably priced -- suites will start in the low $400s --  putting the project in a different, more accessible category then the other hotel condos going up around town.

Though there will be no structural renovations, the partnership does plan to redo the lobby into a lobby-bar. It's also currently asking City Council whether they'll be able to restore six King Street balconies – three on the third floor and three on the fifth -- that were part of the hotel's original design.

The Consort Bar, one of the city's favourite old-style hotel bars, will probably stay in its current form.

Renovation and construction is planned to begin in January, with a completion date in the summer of 2012. The hotel will remain open throughout.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Jason Lester

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