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Sherbourne Estates Renovation Improves Rental Apartments

Sherbourne Estates recently underwent significant improvements to its two residential apartment buildings. Originally built in the 1970s, the renovation project revitalizes the community, brings the towers to modern standards and offers tenants a bright, spacious and affordable place to call home.

Client

Epic Investment Services

Location

Toronto, Ontario

Project Scale

Confidential

Investing in Sherbourne Estates

Located east of downtown Toronto, Sherbourne Estates is a multi-unit residential community that offers bright, spacious apartments just minutes from some of the city’s most notable amenities.

The property owner partnered with asset manager Epic Investment Services (Epic) in winter 2019 on a project to improve the high-rise buildings at 191 and 201 Sherbourne Street. The 50-year-old properties were in need of some repairs, however the property owner took this opportunity to invest in its assets by giving the towers a fresh feel and bringing them up to modern standards.

Due to the age of the buildings, most of the base systems needed upgrading, including all major mechanical and electrical systems. After years of weather exposure, the buildings’ concrete exteriors and balconies required repairs and its windows needed to be replaced.

With some residents having lived in the community for decades and a housing crisis impacting Canadians across the country, it was especially important to project stakeholders to rejuvenate Sherbourne Estates in a meaningful and impactful way.

Safe and affordable housing

Epic retained ColliersStrategy & Consulting team to provide development advisory services, which included completing a financial analysis to help determine the feasibility and scope of the project. Epic also engaged our Project Management team to manage the renovation from its inception through to completion.

Construction was set to begin in March 2020, but had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project team developed a plan to start with the base building and external infrastructure, to lessen the impacts of construction on tenants. Next, the team renovated non-occupied units to mitigate health, safety and other project risks. This plan provided an additional benefit as the team began renovations on tenant-occupied suites in March 2021. The empty apartments offered tenants a familiar and safe space to stay while their units underwent renovations. With up to 40 tenants temporarily displaced at any given time, tenant safety, comfort and cooperation was critical – especially as many people had to work from home at the time. To help mitigate some of the noise, Epic and the buildings’ property manager created ‘quiet rooms’ in the basement. Fully equipped with internet access, these rooms offered tenants a peaceful place to work, read, or enjoy throughout construction.

Looking to reduce noise and dust associated with exterior concrete and balcony work, the project team pivoted from traditional hammering methods to a quieter, hydraulic concrete crusher. The re-scheduled timeline also enabled construction crews to complete the project without a single COVID outbreak and with as little tenant disruption and displacement as possible.

With so many risks and moving parts, having a solid plan, frequent communication and protocols, a coordination sequence and cost management procedures were essential. Our advisors and project managers established a strong working relationship with the project stakeholders and team. Together, we were able to establish a routine to complete the renovation under budget and in accordance with the revised schedule.

Now complete, the renovations to Sherbourne Estates have revitalized the overall feel of the buildings. The apartment community now offers tenants of 191 and 201 Sherbourne a safe, bright, comfortable and affordable place to call home near the heart of downtown Toronto.

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