What's usually the timeline once construction is at this phase? When is the average time it takes from now to occupancy phase?
I've heard many different answers but can anyone here with inside knowledge give a confident answer?
Is a 1 year occupancy date from now possible?
First of all, I am not personally involved in the development or construction industries, I am not an insider - but have been an observer for many years. Hopefully, my comments may provide some insight. To start with, addressing your last question, unfortunately, an occupancy date one year from now is not reasonable or possible. Three years from now would be a more reasonable, a more possible timeframe.
The general site layout for Central Condos is one of, if not the most challenging set of conditions of any developments in the city. This is an extremely tight site - the building footprint is lot line to lot line. The only access is from Widmar, a narrow, one way street, with no space to allow a lane closure (closing a lane would block access to the RioCan Scotiabank Theatre building's loading docks), necessitating construction of a temporary loading platform at the south-east corner of the site. All delievery traffic to the Central Condos site is going to be constrained by the access limitations, which will have some impact on the overall construction schedule.
An industry rule of thumb - with variations by site - is that for each level of excavation below grade, allow one month to dig down, and one month to build back up to grade. I know that there had been some hopes to be back up to grade in the March 2021 time frame - but there are eight levels below grade here, of which only one has been almost - not fully completed. Working through winter conditions, a May timeframe for reaching grade - seven more levels to go - may be reasonable.
Generally, the next two or three levels - ground floor plus second and third floors - are non standard - building services, amenities, and so on. The custom forming and construction for each floor typically requires around one month each - a further three months would be up to September 2021.
Once the building reaches typical floors, a really good pace would be four floors a month for basic forming and concrete pouring - so construction of the basic building skeleton, up to the penthouse floors would require around ten more months - to around July 2022.
The penthouse suites are typically non-standard from the rest of the building, and take longer for the custom formwork. Any building top amenity areas (not sure how extensive these are at Central) require additional time, as does the mechanical penthouse and the roof structure. Topping off the structure may be in the September - November 2022 timeframe.
Enclosing the will proceed concurrently, but lagging the construction of the building framework. Rough-in of the electrical and mechanical infrastructure can start prior to the floors being enclosed, but dry walling and construction of suite interiors cannot start until the floors have been enclosed for a number of floors above the area being addressed - otherwise too much risk of damage from water penetration down from the floors which have not been enclosed.
Costruction of all the building mechanical systems - heating, air conditioning, hot and cold water supply services takes time. Same for all the electrical and related services (fire detection, building automation, security, etc.) also takes time. Then comes all the building systems testing, commissioning, and certification processes. The City will not grant occupancy permits until the floors are deemed to be habitable (building essentials - including water supply, heating, and life safety systems all tested and operational).
The externally visible general sequence is building top off (completion of the framing up to the roof structure) followed by removal of the tower crane is then followed by a period in which all the internal work is done to the point of initial occupancy - usually takes Concord Adex about one year - plus or minus a bit. So if topping off takes place in the September - November 2022 timeframe, allow for a late 2023, and even possibly early 2024 timeframe for initial occupancy.
While this is not the fastest conceivable schedule, it recognizes such factors as possibilities of some weather related delays, industry strikes, supply chain issues, and the general issues associated with the site access constraints, coordinating deliveries and conflicting sub-contractor and trade access requirements.
This may have been more detail than you were looking for, but felt that some justification for the difference between the one and three year timeframes was warranted.