The project is a model for other architects and developers to invest in brownfield projects and significant heritage assets
TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Auto BLDG – a 102-year-old, industrial-deco landmark that has over the decades been an aluminum extruder, auto parts plant, a music video and film set and incubator for graffiti artists – was recognized at this year’s Canadian Brownfield Awards. It won the prestigious Rebuild Brownie for projects demonstrating excellence in site-specific responses that accelerate regeneration, enhance public realm and exhibit an imaginative approach to adaptive re-use of heritage structures.
“This site required a unique series of collaborations to invigorate Toronto’s Junction Triangle,” said Alfredo Romano, president of values-based developer Castlepoint Numa Inc. “These collaborations have brought a renewed and palpable energy to the Auto BLDG and the surrounding community for which it serves as an anchor.”
The restoration of the Auto BLDG from conception to completion took five years with a development team that included amongst others, primary consultant architectsAlliance, heritage architect ERA Architects, environmental engineering firm WSP Global and Castlepoint Numa’s lender Equitable Bank.
“It was a privilege working with Castlepoint Numa to revitalize this local landmark, and add new cultural and employment uses to a site that had been dormant for a decade,” said Adam Feldmann, founding member of Toronto’s architectsAlliance, when receiving the Brownie, Nov. 23, 2021, at a gala dinner in downtown Toronto. “The rebirth of Auto BLDG has laid the groundwork for a transformation of the Lower Junction, with more housing, employment and public spaces in its future.”
Marlin Spring Investments, Hines Interests Ltd. and Castlepoint Numa continue to invest in the community. Hines is well underway to complete two new office buildings with their innovative T3 timber technology. Marlin Spring and Castlepoint Numa will each break ground with residential buildings next year.
Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the lead tenant occupying three of ten floors, shares the building with a select group of eclectic companies that includes ad agency Junction59, Zeidler Partnership Architects, Pride Toronto and arts group The Toronto Biennial. The Akin Collective maintains studio space for 20 working artists. FuseFX, an award-winning visual effects company based in Los Angeles, is relocating its Toronto studio to Auto BLDG.
In conferring the Rebuild Brownie on Castlepoint’s Auto BLDG and the consulting team led by architectsAlliance, the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) noted that Auto BLDG “serves as a model for other architects and developers for preserving employment land and significant heritage assets.” It specifically commended the team for revitalizing Auto BLDG in a manner that is “complementary and sympathetic to the building’s original use and character” and for taking pains to restore “significantly contaminated soil.”
“The Rebuild category is one of the most competitive and challenging because of the high number of nominations it typically receives, which was the case this year as well,” said Chris De Sousa, chair of the CBN Brownie Committee and a professor at Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.
As part of its restoration of Auto BLDG, in 2020 Castlepoint Auto BLDG Inc. acquired and protected a 400-acre forest north of Toronto that offsets 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
About Castlepoint Numa Inc.
Castlepoint Numa is a leader in the property development industry across the Greater Toronto Area and select markets in the United States with 5.5 million sq. ft. of development currently in the pipeline. It is a values based real estate development company with expertise in heritage preservation and adaptive re-use, brownfield reclamation and the regeneration of large urban development sites. The Castlepoint Group was founded in 1988. For further information, castlepointnuma.com
About Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN)
The CBN is a not-for-profit national network for brownfield practitioners and stakeholders. The Canadian Brownfield Awards (Brownies) honour excellence in the rehabilitation of brownfield sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized and undeveloped into productive residential and commercial projects that contribute to the growth of healthy communities across Canada. Winners are selected in seven categories including program initiatives, technological innovation and public engagement. For more information, canadianbrownfieldsnetwork.ca
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