Tag Archives: living quarters
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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Tony Wong – Toronto Star Moneyville
How large do you live?
If you’re the owner of 9 High Point Rd. in Toronto’s pricey Bridle Path neighborhood, it’s all a matter of perspective.
At least for Margaret and Lee Ka Lau. They’re selling their mega-mansion for $26.8 million, currently the highest listed price for a property in the Toronto area.
Even by ostentatious Bridle Path standards, the home rates high on the bling factor. The living space is more than 40,000 square feet, making it one of the largest properties in the GTA. The estate is also on an extremely rare double Bridle Path lot, encompassing four acres.
One lot has the imposing living quarters with 22,935 square feet of space. The second two-acre lot has a sports complex (call it your very own Deerhurst Resort) with 17,645 square feet of space.
“It is absolutely magnificent,” says Elise Kalles, listing agent for the property. “It’s an estate that’s beyond anything else in the city.”
While tennis courts are a dime a dozen in the Bridle Path, 9 High Point is the ultimate in neighborhood oneupmanship.
For one thing, the tennis court is indoors. So no excuses about the sun being too hot, or the wind whipping the balls around. It also has a bowling alley and an indoor pool.
There is, of course, a cinema, and the tunnel leading from the main house to the sports complex has an indoor putting green. Just in case you get bored on the long walk from one part of the house to another. And no, a GPS is not included if you happen to get lost. But there are 13 washrooms throughout the house in case you need a pit stop.
The owners were certainly thinking big, which is why they ended up purchasing two lots. Homes on High Point Rd. and the Bridle Path were purchased and knocked down, before the new digs were built by society architect Joe Brennan about seven years ago, according to Kalles.
“This is very rare to have this kind of self-contained entertainment centre on this kind of scale,” says Kalles.
“But as large as it is, the home is in perfect taste, it’s not overdone.”
That may be a matter of opinion. In the main house, ceilings are 19 feet high. There is also a soaring 46 foot arboretum, the kind of scale that would dwarf some hotel lobbies.
Indoor parking is available for eight cars.
Fittingly, the Laus were hosts in November to perhaps Toronto’s splashiest charity party held in 2010.
Tickets for tables went for $10,000. And the 500 well-heeled guests included Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man, and Canadian composer David Foster.
Singer Lionel Richie apparently serenaded fellow guest Muhammad Ali at the dinner, which raised an astonishing $3 million for children seeking organ transplants in Canada and around the world.
“It was a really incredible affair where you had a gathering of so many luminaries in one spot. There was a waiting list to buy tickets to meet Warren Buffett,” says Kalles, who attended the event.
The owners, who made their money in technology, (Lee Kau was a founder of Markham-based graphic chip maker ATI Technologies Inc.) decided to open their home to the fundraiser after hearing it was for children.
They will likely downsize once they have sold the house. (Although after owning this palace, downsizing is likely the only option.)
No word on what it costs to heat the place. But think about this: Property taxes alone are $115,341. That works out to $316 per day. And don’t forget to tip the gardener.
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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