One of the perks of being a developer has got to be having first dibs on the choicest units in brand new buildings.
City builders might not always end up inhabiting the units they select — like the time Peter Freed put his penthouse at Five Hundred Wellington West on the market without moving in — but having the option must be nice.
Where would Toronto condo developers buy right now if they couldn’t choose their own projects, though?
Toronto Storeys posed that question to several Toronto-based developers. Not everyone was keen to promote a competitor’s project, but these four were game.
Here are their selections in their own words:
Brian Brown, vice president, Lifetime Developments
One of my favorite condos is 36 Hazelton Avenue, in Yorkville Toronto. 36 Hazelton is a truly unique project, which I find very attractive.
It’s a conversion and restoration of a heritage school, with modern elements added to its structure to create beautiful amenities and great outdoor terraces associated with many of the private residential suites. It’s located steps away from Yorkville Avenue, on Hazelton, which still maintains its residential feel.
Location, design and attention to detail are all key factors that make this such a special property. And Yorkville, with the changes that it is undergoing, will only continue to become that much more attractive in the future. It’s really a cool project that will stand the test of time.
Jordan Morassutti, co-founder and partner, North Drive
I’d look to thoughtfully construct a portfolio of suites in boutique, end-user buildings located in mature supply constrained neighbourhoods — recent examples of which include Hill & Dale at Yonge and Roxborough, 36 Hazelton in Yorkville and 66 Kippendavie in the Beach.
These assets are highly desirable. The buildings experience little turnover, outpace market appreciation, and, unlike the towers that [are] predominantly sold to investors, you set the market when you put your suite up for lease or sale.
Justin Aykler, principal, Grid Developments
I would have to say that if I stuck closer to home, in the West End, I’d live in Tridel’s 2 Old Mill. Its amenity spaces and rooftop terrace are better than many I’ve seen. Very hotel-inspired. Suite designs have good room sizes and thoughtful layouts.
If I lived closer to the office, then I’d go with Harhay’s East Lofts at 138 Princess. Elegant lobby, very few amenities to keep costs low, and excellent suite layouts with 10-foot ceilings and great room sizes. Walking distance to the core, Distillery, Market and close to my office. I really like their work.
Brad J. Lamb, founder, Lamb Development Corp.
Montreal is currently a very hot real estate market. It suffered from ridiculously low prices forever. Now it’s a city on the move.
The project “1420 Mont Royal” is spectacular. This kind of project doesn’t exist in Canada outside of Montreal. Absolutely world-class building and finishes that are priced very affordably.
This enormous converted religious facility on the mountain with fabulous original features is tough to beat anywhere.