Sidewalk Labs abandons Toronto smart city megaproject

12-acre Quayside project received approvals this year despite privacy concerns

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 08, 2020 08:00 AM
Dan Doctoroff and a rendering of the project (Credit: Bloomberg New Energy Finance via Wikipedia)
Dan Doctoroff and a rendering of the project (Credit: Bloomberg New Energy Finance via Wikipedia)

Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs is abandoning a 12-acre smart city project on Toronto’s waterfront.

Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff said the decision was made in light of “unprecedented economic uncertainty” gripping the globe and the Toronto real estate market, The Information reported.

“It has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan,” Doctoroff wrote in a blog post.

The development has been a source of controversy, and questions over its financial viability existed before the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down major cities around the globe.

In 2017, Sidewalk Labs proposed an 800-acre development along Toronto’s waterfront. It was scaled back and later that year Toronto officials approved Sidewalk Labs’ bid, despite concerns from some locals over plans to incorporate a comprehensive surveillance and tracking system into the development.

The project, known as the Quayside, still needed some approvals and two years later Sidewalk Labs released the first detailed plans of the project. The plan also called for the creation of a 190-acre “River District,” which reportedly surprised Toronto officials.

Doctoroff — the former deputy mayor of New York who spearheaded the development of Hudson Yards — last year said that Sidewalk Labs may employ a similar financing model to that of the New York City megaproject.

Sidewalk Labs planned to use emerging construction methods to build much of the development. In his blog post, Doctoroff wrote that Sidewalk Labs would continue such research and software development. But with a global economic slowdown, it’s unclear if the company will survive. [The Information] — Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Lendlease’s Denis Hickey

Google reveals plan for 40-acre tech hub in Silicon Valley

Google reveals plan for 40-acre tech hub in Silicon Valley
Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman (Illustration of Victor Coleman by The Real Deal; iStock; Coleman via Hudson Pacific)

Hudson Pacific is effusive about Blackstone deal, defensive about office space

Hudson Pacific is effusive about Blackstone deal, defensive about office space
1200 W. 7th Street and 5750 Wilshire Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps)

Here are LA’s biggest office leases of 2019

Here are LA’s biggest office leases of 2019
Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman and the Westside Pavilion (Credit: Google Maps)

Hudson Pacific wants full control of Google-leased One Westside; not sweating WeWork

Hudson Pacific wants full control of Google-leased One Westside; not sweating WeWork
Preylock Real Estate Holdings CEO Brett Lipman and 620 National Avenue (Credit: Bisnow and Google Maps)

The power of Google: Tech giant-leased office building sells for $191M

The power of Google: Tech giant-leased office building sells for $191M
FAANG firms are scooping up the biggest office spaces in LA. Is it too good to be true?

FAANG firms are scooping up the biggest office spaces in LA. Is it too good to be true?

FAANG firms are scooping up the biggest office spaces in LA. Is it too good to be true?
Here are Google’s biggest deals in California in the last 6 months

Here are Google’s biggest deals in California in the last 6 months

Here are Google’s biggest deals in California in the last 6 months
Google will lease all of massive Westside Pavilion amid redevelopment

Google will lease all of massive Westside Pavilion amid redevelopment

Google will lease all of massive Westside Pavilion amid redevelopment
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...