Luxury clients expect lots of space and first-class amenities, developers say
The luxury home market is strong these days across the country but it’s especially robust in major centres such as Toronto and Montreal, where home buyers are seeking top-quality residences.
Janice Fox, broker of record with Hazelton Real Estate Inc., which is selling the Maison 77 Clarendon boutique condominium project by Menkes Developments Ltd. and Pinedale Properties Ltd., described the luxury segment of the real estate market in Toronto as being “nice and strong.”
“We have a shortage of inventory and a healthy demand. The market’s great,” she says.
Part of the demand can be attributed to baby boomers downsizing and moving into condos, and part to people wanting a fresh start after having been holed up at home for the past two years, she says.
“The interest rates are somewhat irrelevant to this group. Whether interest rates are up a few points or down a few points isn’t what their motivation is. Their motivation is a lifestyle. So, for these buyers, what comes first is what they need in their life or what they think they need in their life, and then they’re looking at what’s out there that could accommodate it.”
Fox says there’s not much preconstruction in the luxury end of the market right now in Toronto and very little in the resale market.
Not only is supply constrained but luxury buyers have a pretty long wish list and no desire to compromise, says Josh Shteiman, vice-president of development operations at Platinum Vista Inc., which is spearheading the No. 7 Dale project in Toronto.
“Luxury buyers are seeking large indoor spaces for comfort and entertaining, and large outdoor spaces. Buyers that are looking to move from a house to a building don’t want to sacrifice what they had in a traditional family home,” Shteiman says.
Marco Fontaine, vice-president of residential real estate development and marketing for Groupe Devimco, which is developing the Auguste & Louis Condominiums project in Montreal, described the luxury real estate market in Montreal as “really dynamic.”
“We’ve got a real movement [for people looking to live in] downtown Montreal right now because the workers have come back after the pandemic,” he says, adding that there is a lack of inventory at the moment to meet the strong demand.
The Auguste & Louis project is also a perfect real estate investment or pied-à-terre – second home for occasional use – in downtown Montreal for out-of-towners to use when they visit or to rent out, he says.
“The market is rising,” Fontaine adds.
Here is a look at some of the projects now being developed.
Auguste & Louis - Groupe Devimco
The overall project, in the Ville-Marie borough of Montreal, will consist of about 2,000 units and will be built over the next eight to 10 years in nine phases.
Phase 1 is almost sold out of its 265 units with occupancy slated for 2023. Phase 2 is selling its 253 units now with occupancy scheduled for 2024.
Prices start at $295,000 plus taxes.
The project includes a 32,000-square-foot garden. There are two Metro stations near the development as well as the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Phase 1 has a big lobby, a state-of-the-art gym, and a rooftop swimming pool, terrace and barbecue area offering panoramic views of the city.
Phase 2 has a fully equipped co-working space and a lounge area that can be easily adjusted to create a private space for meetings. It, too, has a rooftop terrace featuring an urban vegetable garden, another barbecue area and a lounge area with an open-air fireplace.
89 Avenue Yorkville - Armour Heights Developments
This Yorkville luxury condominium, currently under construction, will be 20 storeys with only 28 suites ranging in price from $5.5-million to $30-million. Occupancy is set for 2024.
The boutique condominium project offers fully customizable suites based on a homeowner’s individual preferences. Suite sizes range from 1,800 to 6,000-plus square feet with options of half-floor, full-floor or duplex suites.
Like the world’s best five-star hotels, the residence will offer 24-hour concierge, porter, valet and security.
Amenities include an indoor swimming pool with private cabanas and day beds, and an outdoor terrace off the pool area complete with a gas barbecue and fire pit.
The residence also features a lavish grand lobby as well as a fireplace lounge area. It includes a residents’ lounge and dining area complete with a catering kitchen.
Forma - Great Gulf Group, Dream, and Westdale Properties
The mixed-use, two-tower development in Toronto is designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry – the first Gehry-designed new development in Canada and the tallest Gehry-designed buildings in the world.
Prices have not been finalized yet.
Forma, a development at 266-284 King St. W. in downtown Toronto, will comprise two residential towers of 73 and 84 storeys housing a total of 2,034 condominiums, as well as commercial and retail spaces, and a new space for OCAD University.
Forma will offer customized suite finishes, elevated lifestyle amenities and services, wellness spaces, entertainment lounges, creative co-working spaces and an outdoor terrace.
Maison 77 Clarendon - Menkes Developments Ltd. and Pinedale Properties Ltd.
Located in Toronto’s prestigious South Hill neighbourhood, near Avenue Road and St. Clair Avenue West, the five-storey building will feature 15 elegantly appointed private residences.
Prices start at $4.5-million and suites range in size from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet.
Amenities include 24-hour concierge, porter and valet services, a grand two-storey lobby, sophisticated party room with an adjacent dining area, a fully equipped kitchen for catering, a fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment, a residents’ lounge, library and meeting room.
The private residences feature high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, direct elevator access, and lavish finishes, including hardwood, marble, granite or limestone flooring in all principal rooms.
No. 7 Dale - Platinum Vista Inc.
Nestled in the idyllic setting of Rosedale Ravine, No. 7 Dale shines among the grand homes of one of Canada’s oldest and most revered heritage neighbourhoods.
The project comprises 26 residences in the four-storey complex with floor plans ranging from 2,000 to 5,164 square feet and very large outdoor spaces for each unit.
Prices range from $6-million to more than $17-million.
The property features a heated underground garage, private elevators, a 24-hour executive concierge, a spa with infrared sauna and steam room, a top-of-the-line gym with Peloton equipment and yoga room, with private personal training available.
Occupancy is scheduled for this fall.
Courcelette Condos - Windmill Development Group Ltd.
Courcelette, a contemporary eight-storey brick building in the Upper Beach neighbourhood of Toronto, is designed with the environment in mind. The 56-suite project, located on Courcelette Road, steps to Kingston Road Village and Lake Ontario, will be a low-carbon development that features a geothermal system for heating and cooling, electric vehicle chargers and space for herb and vegetable gardens.
“In keeping with Windmill tradition, this project is designed to achieve a LEED Platinum designation and is being funded by the One Planet Living Fund that is a partnership between Windmill and Epic Investments,” says Jonathan Westeinde, chief executive officer at Windmill.
Almost all of the boutique one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, which start at mid-$600,000, have a balcony or terrace.
To encourage active transportation, it will offer a dedicated bike entrance to the building, a bike repair/wash station and a car share program with additional space for the neighbouring community.
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