The king of King and Bathurst
Developer has his fingerprints on four projects
Excerpt from an article by Ellen Moorhouse – Toronto Star
Developer Peter Freed had been waiting for the house across the street from his eighth-floor office at 66 Portland St. to bite the dust.
Finally, the moment arrives. He jumps up to get a better view through a boardroom window, watching as the excavator’s jaws close on the gabled brick facade of the century-old building.
It’s amazing how fast Freed is rewriting the book for the neighbourhood near the King and Bathurst Streets area. Through his company, Freed Developments Ltd., he has four condo projects either built or underway within a couple of blocks: 20 Stewart St., 66 Portland St., where he has both his office and his penthouse living quarters, a condo–hotel at 550 Wellington St. and 455 Adelaide St.
The site where the house was demolished, however, will do more to raise Freed’s profile on the development scene than the four earlier projects put together.
That’s where he plans to build 75 Portland, a 212-unit condo, which will be the first Canadian project with interiors by world-famous French designer Philippe Starck.
This isn’t the first time Freed has gone to Europe for design talent. He hired Barcelona’s Estudio Mariscal for his condo-hotel project at 550 Wellington.
Starck promises to create something memorable in the huge courtyard and lobby for the 75 Portland project.
Freed, who partners with firms from Toronto and New York on his different condo and development projects, started trying to buy sites in the King and Bathurst Sts. area in 2000. He liked the neighbourhood and believed it was undervalued. Several years later, the work started to pay off; the owners approached him about selling.
A few seconds’ commute up one floor on the elevator from his office at 66 Portland St. lands Freed in his 3,400-square-foot penthouse. Walls of glass and sliding doors open to a 3,000-square-foot terrace.
He moved in just two months ago, but his tan suggests he must have had time to enjoy his stylish infinity lap pool and the elaborate outdoor decks and living areas.
Both exterior and interiors were designed by Cecconi Simone Inc., a firm that’s worked on a number of Freed’s projects. Wide plank floors and panelling add warmth to the spacious and sparsely furnished rooms, with polished concrete pillars.
Freed’s first construction experience came as a labourer in 1991 for a subdivision builder. In 1993, with partners, he built about 100 homes in Unionville, going out on his own in 1995 while the recession still lingered.
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