Tag Archives: cityzen development group
by Dan Flomen
One of Toronto’s best-kept secrets is the area surrounding the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton corridor. It has everything one could need, including transportation, entertainment, restaurants, and the security to walk around at night without having to look over your shoulder.
Over 10 years ago, Urbancorp Developments created The Townhomes of 123 Eglinton. Situated between Redpath and Lillian, the project consisted of 184 stacked units developed in an unused parking lot behind the Union Carbide building. It wasn’t the first project in the area, but it did spawn the resurgence of developers looking at this part of town. Tridel followed with the removal of Union Carbide and the creation of a modern condominium, The Tower at 123 Eglinton, catering to both first-time and move-up buyers. Several small builders then bought infill sites and developed them into townhomes and small condos.
Four projects are now under construction in the immediate vicinity. Although each is unique unto itself, all share in the belief that this area is a booming market with much to offer. 900 Mount Pleasant by Plazacorp, Chateau Royal by Panterra Federated Properties, 88 on Broadway by Cityzen and Myriad, and Panache by Stanford Homes will eventually become home to hundreds of new residents.
Situated just a couple of blocks north of Eglinton, 900 Mount Pleasant will have a dramatic visual impact on the surrounding area. Immediately to the east are some of Toronto’s fastest-selling homes, and to the west are a growing number of new projects and the shops of Yonge Street. 900 Mount Pleasant will also incorporate a number of town manors, which will serve to enhance the overall look and quality of the project.
Chateau Royal, located three blocks south of Eglinton, is a higher end condo featuring 97 exquisite suites, many of which are one-of-a-kind. Its stucco exterior and traditional windows will blend in with the shops along Mount Pleasant.
“These suites are better described as bungalows in the sky, with finishes that need not be upgraded. Our purchasers are a mix of first-time and move-up buyers coupled with empty nesters. The one thing they have in common is that they appreciate the small building size coupled with its French charm,” says Michael Tullock, sales representative for Chateau Royal.
88 on Broadway launched with huge success. Its suites not only feature inspiring floor designs, but are also well-priced. Now under construction, the new, beautifully appointed tower will be only minutes to Mount Pleasant and Yonge Street and will appeal strongly to those who either live in the area or grew up there.
“What we are creating is the perfect project for almost all residents of the Mount Pleasant-Eglinton area,” says Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen Development Group. “88 on Broadway is designed to reflect the lifestyle people currently enjoy, but to bring it all under one roof. No need for a health club; 88 on Broadway has one. No need to leave the area to find home ownership. It is now right there on their doorstep.”
Panache, a contemporary building, is located one block west of Mount Pleasant directly on Eglinton Avenue. Its residents will be able to walk out the front door and be on one of the most vibrant streets in the city with restaurants and shops only steps away.
The Mount Pleasant corridor, once thought of as an alternative to Yonge Street, has come into its own. It continues to flourish in this thriving market and it’s an area for both users and investors to keep an eye on.
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Ryan Starr – Yourhome.ca
For more than a decade the 13.5-acre property at the southwest corner of Cherry St. and Lake Shore Blvd. has sat lifeless, a desolate site with great potential but trapped in a state of real estate limbo.
The land was owned by Home Depot, which had long been battling vehement public opposition to its plans to put a big box store there.
Last October, Home Depot finally gave up the fight. The company sold the property to 3C Lakeshore Inc., a development consortium that includes Toronto’s Cityzen Development Group and Castlepoint Realty Partners, and Continental Ventures Realty, a New York City developer.
Castlepoint president Alfredo Romano had been among the fiercest opponents of the Home Depot plan. “We led the charge,” he recalls in an interview.
Romano’s company owns five acres adjacent to the former Home Depot site. “We basically told Home Depot, it’s not like we have anything against your store, but we do have something against suburban built-form on the waterfront. We have a better use in mind.”
3C Lakeshore’s plan, which Romano says is the largest development project in downtown Toronto, calls for a mixed-use community that will include a hotel, retail, offices and about 2,000 condos. There will be 400,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.
The community will have buildings ranging in size from eight to 15 storeys, with taller towers possible on portions of the property.
The aim is to create a “friendly civic experience,” Jane Gol, a partner with Continental Ventures, explains over the phone from Manhattan. “We want it to be a neighbourhood and an opportunity for families to stay in the city.
“We think there’s a great desire for pedestrian-oriented, friendly places. People like to live in them, and if they’re near the water, people like it even more.”
The project is still in its early design stages, but 3C Lakeshore hopes to break ground by 2013. “We’re not here to take the slow road,” says Romano, estimating it could take up to 10 years to complete the project. “We want this to happen as quickly as it possibly can.”
The 3C Lakeshore site at Cherry and Lake Shore feels isolated at the moment, cut off from the rest of the city by the Gardiner Expressway. But the neighbourhood is part of a new centre of gravity developing along the east waterfront.
Just to the west of the site, at the foot of Lower Sherbourne, the Great Gulf Group of Companies is building the first private-sector development in Waterfront Toronto’s new East Bayfront community. Mondial Condos, a 500-unit project designed by renowned Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
South of Queens Quay, between Sherbourne and Parliament, international builder Hines will be developing the other major parcel in East Bayfront. The project will include 1,700 condos and 2 million square feet of residential and commercial development space.
“All of a sudden all the major developers have discovered this neighbourhood,” says Cityzen president Sam Crignano. “And the others are all here scouting. I know the boys from Concord Pacific are looking for sites, so is everyone else. They’ve discovered Toronto East, and it’s on fire.”
3C Lakeshore isn’t Cityzen’s first foray on the waterfront: they’ve partnered with Fernbrook Homes to build Pier 27, a 303-unit project on Queens Quay, just east of Yonge.
That project marks the start of the east waterfront, which also includes two parks, Sherbourne Common and Sugar Beach, as well as Corus Quay and the George Brown College waterfront campus, which will bring an estimated 3,500 full-time students to the area.
The Gardiner Expressway is a formidable barrier for the future 3C community at Cherry and Lake Shore — both physically and psychologically — but Crignano is quick to stress the area is not cut off from the rest of the city. The Distillery District and St. Lawrence neighbourhoods are directly north of the site, he notes.
“And we’re less than half the distance from King and Bay than Liberty Village,” Romano adds.
Earlier this year the 3C Lakeshore team announced it had selected London-based Foster + Partners to serve as lead architect on the waterfront project.
Foster designed the iconic Swiss Re Tower in London (a.k.a. “the gherkin”), Beijing Airport Terminal 3 and, closer to home, the Leslie Dan pharmacy building at the University of Toronto.
The U.K. firm will be working with local architects Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance and Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB. Landscape architect Claude Cormier is also on the design team.
“What’s that saying, the sum is greater than the whole of its parts?” says Crignano. “That’s what we’re hoping will happen here.”
Tapping international talent to design local projects is nothing new for the 3C developers.
Cityzen hired Yansong Ma of China’s MAD Studios to create Absolute World in Mississauga. Better known as the “Marilyn Monroe Tower” — owing to its curvaceous shape — the condo quickly became a worldwide sensation.
And Castlepoint tapped global star architect Daniel Libeskind to design the L Tower project at Yonge and Front (which it partnered with Cityzen and Fernbrook to build).
It costs a pretty penny to retain the services of top international architects, but Crignano insists it pays off. “We’ve proven to our peers that design sells, and sells to the point where we fetched a premium in the marketplace.”
Now, with Norman Foster on board for the 3C Lakeshore project, the partners believe they’ve scored another victory for great design. “You’ve heard what’s important in real estate: location, location, location,” Romano says. “Well we’ve changed that. Now it’s location, location, design.”
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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Stephen Dupuis – Yourhome.ca
It’s too bad many of the condo sales offices in the downtown core are locked down this weekend for the G20 Summit, because I am sure our world leaders would be pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of Greater Toronto condos, not to mention our world-class building and suite designs.
Earlier this week, I participated in a news conference designed to highlight the excellent investment opportunities in the Toronto condo market to our foreign visitors. George Carras, president of RealNet Canada Inc. set the tone by revealing the most recent sales statistics for the Greater Toronto condo market, which were up 66% in May and a whopping 244% from January to May.
There’s no question the condo market has been strong this year but until Carras pointed it out, I hadn’t realized that it has never been better. Since 2000, January to May condo sales have averaged 5,850 units. The 8,170 new condos sold so far this year is the new high water mark.
Ever the source of unique market perspectives, Carras produced a chart putting the GTA multi-family (condo) market in North American perspective. At roughly 16,000 units built in 2009, we are number one by far in terms of the volume of highrise construction. Montreal is second at around 13,000 units while the closest U.S. market, New York, is around 8,000 units.
Paul Golini of Empire Communities would love to show off his condo projects to the G20 delegates but unfortunately his Condo Living Store won’t be open this weekend as it is simply too close to the security perimeter.
Still, Golini hopes the G20 delegates will take notice of all the construction cranes and ask themselves what’s going on. “All these cranes scattered across our skyline are symbols of how much housing and construction contribute to our economy. The direct and indirect jobs created by each crane and new construction project are significant, perhaps as high as 400 to 500 jobs per crane,” Golini said.
Having marketed our province around the world as former Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Joe Cordiano, now with Cityzen Development Group, spoke of how Toronto has “come of age” as an international city. “We have many more buyers for our product than we think considering that our marketplace is the world,” he said. With signature buildings like the L-Tower, Pier 27 and Absolute (aka the Marilyn Monroe building) in Mississauga, the Fernbrook Homes/Cityzen partnership has plenty to offer.
Tina Amato, a VP with Baker Real Estate recently launched six new condo projects totalling more than 2,500 units. She noted that their purchaser profile includes global investors. Ironically, Amato noted that her president had left for Russia the night before to promote investment in the Toronto condo market.
For my part, I told the news conference that wherever our condo builders have travelled on highrise housing study tours, be it to U.S. cities like New York, Chicago or Boston, or global destinations like London or Stockholm, we continually discover that we are great condo builders and designers by any definition of world class.
Where we really shine though, is on the affordability scale. Last time I checked, a luxury condo in Sydney, Australia would be double the cost of one here. In New York or Hong Kong, the price would be triple that of Toronto, while in London, the multiple would be six times.
Whether we’re talking about highrise development, design or marketing, Toronto is a truly world class market for affordable condominium residency.
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