the one

Mizrahi ousted from development of Yonge and Bloor skyscraper The One

Developer Sam Mizrahi and Mizrahi Developments have been ousted from The One after the building was put into receivership four months ago.

The building at the corner of Yonge & Bloor, an 85-storey skyscraper said to be the tallest residential tower in Canada, has faced plenty of economic challenges since Mizrahi took on the project almost a decade ago. The mixed-use residential and commercial building had its deadline pushed back multiple times. Tech giant Apple, initially set to open its new 15,000-square-foot flagship store on the ground floor of the building, began a court battle with Mizrahi Developments to exit the development after the deadline was pushed back a second time in 2021, succeeding in pulling out of the deal after The One was placed into receivership.

On Monday, The Star reported that Mizrahi announced to his team that the project’s receiver, Alvarez & Marsal, had given his company 15 days notice before Skygrid takes over in March. 

In a statement from Alvarez & Marsal to all contractors, trades and suppliers related to The One project, they said, “Going forward, Mizrahi Inc., Sam M Inc. and Sam Mizrahi, and any other Mizrahi-affiliated entities, will have no continued involvement or association with the development and construction of The One Project.”

Court filings from the receiver note that gross expenditures for the project are expected to exceed $2 billion, which is $600 million more than the original projections. In a review of books and records as of Oct. 31, 2023, the project is more than $1.9 billion in debt, including interest.

According to a recording of Mizrahi’s conversation with his employees obtained by The Star, Mizrahi believed there was a difference in opinion as to how to build the building, noting that he likes “to build stuff that’s the top quality and the best there is.”

Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. was appointed as the receiver for all project assets on Oct. 18, 2023.

The decision to place “The One” into receivership came as a response to a series of economic challenges, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and unforeseen work stoppages. These factors led to significant cost overruns and extended construction timelines, according to a statement by Alvarez & Marsal on its website at the time.

The receiver had access to $315 million to ensure the continuation of construction on the property, as outlined in court documents. Mizrahi Inc. was to maintain its role as the general contractor, operating under the supervision of the receiver.

In a statement at the time, Sam Mizrahi responded to the decision by saying that it is “welcome” and that the move into receivership will allow for the successful completion of The One “under the continued leadership of Sam Mizrahi and Mizrahi Developments.”

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO