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Apple threatens to pull out of Toronto shopping project

The One under construction in Toronto (Source: Eduardo Lima, The Globe and Mail

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Claiming that missed deadlines mean it can cancel its contract, Apple has reportedly told the developer of a Toronto mall and condo project that it may pull out of the deal.

Since 2016, Mizrahi Developments has been constructing what it calls a condominium, an 85-storey skyscraper that includes significant shopping areas at the corner of Yonge and Bloor. Then in 2018, Apple was revealed to be involved, with plans for a 9,000-square foot store in the complex. Now, however, it has reportedly told the developer that it may pull out of the downtown building known as The One.

According to The Globe and Mail, Apple has told Mizrahi Developments that it may exercise an option in its contract that would allow it to exit without penalties. The option comes into force if the project misses certain deadlines.

Reportedly, in December 2020, Mizrahi Developments told Apple that the project would be delayed to October 31, 2021. The delays were due to the coronavirus, plus a local plumbers' strike in 2019.

It was in response to this new October 2021 date that Apple said it would terminate its lease. Mizrahi Developments is now seeking a court order to prevent Apple leaving, and claims it has not missed these deadlines.

"[The One will] suffer irreparable harm from losing a world-class tenant that was intended to be an anchor tenant for a world-class property," says the developer in court documents seen by the publication, "which is a loss that cannot be compensated in damages."

Apple's lease was for over 15,000 square feet, which included in excess of 9,000 square feet for retail on the project's ground floor. As part of its deal with Apple, Mizrahi Developments agreed to pay Apple's design costs, estimated to be $6.24 million Canadian ($4.87 million US).

According to Mizrahi Developments' court filings as seen by The Globe and Mail, the developer says it was delayed waiting for Apple to choose a design for its storefront glass.

Apple's space in The One is surrounded by seven layers of glass with no breaks. It's built from 34 custom-fabricated panels costing over $300,000 each. The architect was Foster & Partners, which has designed many previous Apple Stores.