The Gupta Group
506 to 900 square feet
High $200,000s to high $500,000s
3201 Highway 7, at the Hilton Garden Inn, York and Mackenzie Room in Vaughan. Open by appointment only.
Phone 905-532-2242 or visit theicona.com
When, over a decade ago, Steve Gupta built the Hilton Garden Inn near the junction of Highways 400 and 407, there was almost nothing else around it.
While the developer and hotelier has spent the interevening years watching amenities trickle into the area, buyers at Mr. Gupta's newest project won't have to do the same. The hotel is being torn down and a new hotel will be built to replace it – along with two other residential towers – in a new project called Icona at the heart of what is now Vaughan's emerging downtown district.
"Vaughan itself is growing so quickly," Gupta Group chief operating officer Reetu Gupta says. "We acquired this land maybe 15 years ago, when Mr. Gupta had a vision one day this would become a very central location, and it's interesting now, in 2017, it will have a subway next door."
"It's a much-needed development for the city and [the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre]."
Before the end of the year, construction will be complete on the northern extension of the TTC's Spadina subway line, as well as a station just steps from this mixed-use development at 3201 Highway 7.
"Thirty to 35 minutes to Union Station is not bad at all, or by car in the morning, it could take you an hour and a half," says Mr. Gupta, who pegs the building's occupancy in 2021.
"All the baby boomers' children want to live separate, but this way … they can live there and be 10 to 15 minutes to their parents and yet still close to downtown."
But downsizers are also purchasing from the collection of 1,140 units in the 53- and 55-storey building, called Icona.
"It's right in the VMC, so [the City of Vaughan feels] it'll be an iconic building and we named it on that basis.… and these will be the tallest buildings in Vaughan and maybe in York Region," Mr. Gupta states. "On a clear day, you can see downtown [Toronto]."
Popular local attractions include Vaughan Mills and Colossus cinema, as well as shops and restaurants, such as IKEA and Dave and Buster's, which are within a 10-minute walk of the project.
Even closer will be services and facilities in the separately run hotel. "There are other projects in Vaughan, but most of them are just condo projects. This is the only one that has a hotel on site," Ms. Gupta says.
"If I need to work from home, I could live in the condo and rent a meeting room in the hotel. Anything you could need is in and around the site."
As an added convenience, the residential towers will contain 20,000 square feet of retail, as well as a private pool, fitness, business and social centers.
"We've tried to give them a lot more than average in these kinds of building in that price range," Mr. Gupta explains.
"We are thinking of bringing a Starbucks or coffee shop or some other amenities to help the condo owner, so they don't have to get into a car."
For instance, elevators will be the best way to reach coveted areas, such as lounges on the 53rd and 55th floors. "It'll be cool right at the top of the building, overlooking the skyline of Toronto," Mr. Gupta adds.
Appointments will be upscale with Studio Munge designing interiors. Suite sizes will range from one-bedroom-plus-den to three-bedroom plans with outdoor space in most cases.
"Our buildings have different shapes to allow more light and angles into each unit and that also gives a very artistic look to the building," Mr. Gupta adds.