Two of the three retail spaces booked at Minto site, but tenants still top secret

By Jane Heintzman

Behind the hoarding at Beechwood and MacKay, Minto’s construction crew is beavering away and it won’t be long before the building structure begins to emerge from the ground later this fall. High Rise Development Manager Kevin Harper is happy to report that work is slightly ahead of schedule, creating some welcome flexibility to accommodate weather-related delays during the winter. He is particularly pleased that the Record of Site Condition recently filed with the City and the Province reported a spot- lessly clean building site, an enviable record which is far from the norm.

Kevin reports that pouring of the ground floor slab of Minto Beechwood was slated to begin in the second week of November and wrap up about two weeks later. The ground floor is the most com- plicated of all the levels in the building, and once it’s com- pleted, the subsequent floors will be constructed at a rate of roughly one every 10 days. If all goes as planned, it’s hoped that the structure will be topped off by the end of February.

The cladding and colour scheme of the building have been finalized in the last few weeks, and Kevin is confident that the materials will blend well with the streetscape and age beautifully. The thorny question of how to add interest to the blank west wall

of the project has also been resolved, and a special light feature is expected to be operational as the building takes shape in 2016. Kevin promises more detail early in the New Year, and hopes to organize a community event sometime in late summer to launch the light installation (Lumière weekend comes to mind).

After a predictably quiet summer, condo sales have reportedly rebounded this fall, fuelled by Minto’s major Condomania event on Oct. 24 when hundreds of prospective buyers turned out to investigate the options. Half a dozen condos in Minto Beechwood were sold that weekend alone, the majority of them with two-bedrooms.

A good selection of units on all floors and in all price ranges is still available, and a new five percent deposit structure for smaller units (below 1,000 square feet) has been introduced as an incentive to firsttime buyers.

Yet again, we’re obliged to report that the identity of the retail occupants at Minto Beechwood remains shrouded in mystery, but it appears that two of the three available spaces are now locked down, while negotiations continue to finalize the third. The only tantalizing hint we were able to extract from Kevin is that one of the new businesses will be especially welcome, as it will “save residents a trip out of the neighbourhood” to secure the mystery item(s) in question. Perhaps we should raise a glass to this one?

If you happen to observe construction activity on the roof of the pharmacy this winter, it may well be Minto, not the owners of the pharmacy building, who are undertaking this minor structural upgrade. City by- laws require that the owner of a large building located in close proximity to a much smaller one is responsible for the structural integrity of the roof of the lower building in the event of snow and ice spillover from the high rise. Minto has already altered the rooftop design of their building to minimize the problem, but is still planning to undertake some minor reinforcement of the pharmacy roof.

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