A building structure that posed a challenge for securing tenancy
Colliers’ Chris Fyvie, Toby Tobiason and Taylor Tobiason were tasked in the first quarter of 2020 to devise a go-to-market strategy for 20 Leslie, an attractive, 53,800-square-foot brick-and-beam building in the Toronto East neighbourhood of Leslieville. At the time of engagement, 20 Leslie housed 500 to 1500-square-foot live-work suites; the current layout and usage of the building raised concerns as to how best to position it, and to which target tenants.
These concerns, combined with marketing the building in the middle of a pandemic, added up to a significant challenge for the Colliers team.
Seeing past the challenge to envision the building’s optimal design and tenant mix
The challenge was no match for the team’s vision, however. Upon visiting the site in March 2020, Chris, Toby and Taylor saw the opportunity 20 Leslie presented, and to whom. Taking in the building’s individual live-work spaces, high ceilings, large windows, concrete floors and location right on the cusp of Toronto’s Studio District – and seeing past its dividing walls – the Colliers team recognized that by highlighting the property’s sought-after features and strategic address, and converting its live-work suites into contiguous, studio-style space, 20 Leslie would appeal to and serve the needs of companies in the tech, creative and marketing sectors.
The reimagining of 20 Leslie began.
Bringing the 20 Leslie vision to life
Erin Dwyer, Jennevieve Virata and Johnny Hasleham from Colliers’ award-winning marketing team were instrumental in bringing to life the vision for 20 Leslie. Putting their strategic approach, marketing expertise and design prowess to work, the team created high-impact marketing pieces that effectively conveyed the offering of the re-envisioned 20 Leslie – subsequently dubbed “The Station”: fully-renovated 500 to 20,000-square-foot boutique studio suites, convenient access to multiple transit options, a rooftop patio, on-site parking, and more – all in a vibrant neighbourhood poised for significant growth. Using a primarily digital marketing strategy, the team worked with FastOffice, a Colliers Proptech company, to create 3D renderings of the space that illustrated potential configurations, from bench-style seating to designated private offices.
Securing the ideal tenant, now and in the future
The marketing campaign targeting ideal tenants and the brokerage community was a success, ultimately resulting in Stoopid Buddy Stoodios calling The Station the site of its future Canadian headquarters. The Los Angeles-based stop-motion animation company has leased 27,000 square feet of space at The Station, a transaction that was initiated – and promptly completed – at the height of the pandemic.
The renovation of 20 Leslie is well underway, with the Colliers team expecting other production companies to lease the remaining 27,000 square feet of available space.
The Colliers team’s vision, strategy and creativity enabled them to see beyond obstacles and recognize the potential and value of a property deemed difficult to market, as well as pinpoint the companies that would readily call it home.
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios occupying 20 Leslie marks the beginning of the renewal of production space in the area. Renovations at The Station are expected to complete in Q2 2021.