Tag Archives: tip top
A virtual dream team has been working on a new condo development in Toronto – Glas Condominiums. The four individuals behind the design, development and sales are: architect, Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance (Four Seasons, Radio City, 18 Yorkville, Tip Top Lofts); developers Mark Hewitt of Niche Developments (the former VP of Development behind CityPlace and the former executive director of Emaar Properties Dubai), and Walter Harhay (developer of Zen Lofts, Abbey Lane Lofts, 169 and East); and Brad J. Lamb, condo broker of over 80 new projects in central Toronto. These guys know what they are doing.
From the outset, the idea behind Glas Condominiumswas development without compromise. The team wanted to create a landmark infill high rise that would stand the test of time. It would be a modern icon that people would stop to stare at.
“From the start the shape of the site allowed for the creation of the wide-shallow suite, the holy grail of floor plans,” says broker Brad J. Lamb. “These plans are twice as wide as they are deep allowing for maximum glass, which is very rare in the city.
“The development sits in the hot spot of King Street West and Spadina, just steps from the financial district, the theatre district, and the entertainment district,” says Lamb. “Charlotte Street is a quiet street that connects King Street West to Adelaide Street West, so you’re in the heart of the city yet ensconced in a quiet lane. It is a part of the city that feels very much like Soho in New York City; it is one of Toronto’s most exciting developing neighbourhoods.”
Glas Condominiums was conceived to be all about light and glass â€“ essentially it is the epitome of modern architectural design. The nature of small infill-type sites allows for interesting buildings.
The main level of Glas Condominiums has seven lofthouses ranging from 1,250 to 1,500 sq. ft. Ceiling heights soar to 20 ft. high in the living room and are 10 ft. high everywhere else. All lofthouses feature two bedrooms and include an attached parking garage with locker.
“We invented the lofthouses for Glas Condominiums, which are totally unique to Toronto. Buyers really like the two level through designs with private parking, as four homes have already sold,” says Lamb. The second to 10th floors have flats with nine-ft. ceilings ranging in size from 410 to 1,000 sq. ft. The 11th to 16th floors have lofts and penthouses with 10-ft. ceilings ranging in size from 625 to 1,850 sq. ft. “The two-level penthouses have large terraces and spectacular finishes,” says Lamb. “Our penthouses are incredible!
Each has a huge terrace off the living and dining areas. They range from 1,100 sq. ft., two bedrooms to 1,850 sq. ft., three bedrooms.”
The team has assembled a unique array of finishes including Italian-style kitchens, gas cooking, gas on all balconies or terraces, four premium stainless steel appliances, stone counters, premium hardwood floors and contemporary bathroom fixtures and styling. “The finishes at Glas Condominiums are the best I’ve ever seen offered in Toronto. There is truly no need to upgrade,” adds Lamb.
“We did not want to just build an average building.” says Mark Hewitt of Niche Developments. “This is a small infill site that could have been lost to a marginal development; instead we are building something here that is beautiful inside and out. Peter Clewes [architectsAlliance] has outdone himself.”
The development is now 50% sold out and the application for building permit has been submitted with construction to start in the fall. Prices at Glas Condominiums start at $153,900 and run to $904,900.
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Excerpt from an article by Elvira Cordileone – Toronto Star
Creation of new communities is revitalizing when old areas are getting new residents
Have lofts become urban trailblazers for revitalization of older neighbourhoods?
Jeanhy Shim, president and editor of Urbanation, a publication that tracks the condo market in the GTA, thinks so.
“Lofts helped lead the way in creating new neighbourhoods in downtown, east and west,” Shim says, adding they are also helping revitalize such areas as the Junction, Roncesvalles Village and Leslieville.
One such example is Bloorline Lofts.
Bloorline Lofts was once a mattress factory. In fact, when construction started, crews unearthed metal springs buried all around the building.
Edwin Brdlik, who is marketing the Bloorline Lofts, says the conversion is finished and the building has been registered. Converting old buildings into lofts took off in cities such as New York and Chicago 50 years ago, Brdlik says.
The first legal loft conversion in Toronto (41 Shanly near Dufferin and Bloor Sts.) didn’t take place until 1982 when the city finally realized older buildings were simply going to waste.
People who buy a loft in a converted building choose it because they want the character and uniqueness of the space, says Brdlik.
The larger marquee buildings, such as the former Tip Top Tailors and the Toy Factory, have already been transformed, but he says the city still has a small supply of small to medium buildings ripe for conversion.
The Bloorline Lofts are “hard” lofts, units carved out of an existing, usually older building. (Hard lofts are considered renovations and aren’t covered by Tarion, the province’s new home warranty program.)
Shim says “soft” lofts – units in brand new buildings with the high ceilings, large windows and open-concept layouts of the genuine loft – came along after 1995, when the supply of authentic lofts was limited as the number of buildings that could be converted dwindled.
Brdlik says lofts, both hard and soft, cost $300 to $400 a square foot, compared to $265 to $350 for a typical condo unit. That’s because it costs more to convert an older building while maintaining its special character – which is its appeal – than it does to build from scratch, and the higher ceilings found in new loft-style buildings translates into fewer units than a comparable condo building, which drives up the per-unit price.
“Lofts in conversion projects do phenomenally well. They speak to certain types of people – mainly young professionals – with their openness, high ceilings and a bit of funkiness,” Shim says.
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By Natalie Alcoba, National Post
Prominent Toronto architect Peter Clewes and condo king Brad J. Lamb are facing off with city planners who oppose building a “beautiful” 45-storey tower in the heart of the theatre district.
Mr. Lamb, a prolific salesman turned developer, believes the soaring structure will be a jewel in Toronto’s high rise crown. He and Mr. Clewes, of architectsAlliance, have teamed up with Niche Development, HarHay Construction Management to create 224 King Street West with a public park on what is now a parking lot, next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
City staff, however, have given the project an “aggressive no,” as local councillor Adam Vaughan puts it, because they say the height matches nothing in the neighbourhood and could set a precedent for demolishing historical buildings in the King-Spadina corridor.
“There’s lots of good things about the project, the way it steps back from King Street and gives the Royal Alex a really dignified position on the street, the public square next to it,” said Mr. Vaughan (Trinity-Spadina), who called the building beautiful. “I’ve talked to David Mirvish, and a place for the theatre crowd to gather and mill about is wonderful.”
He said the difficulty is that that the building will rise in a very tight space, between Duncan and Simcoe streets, and could present “significant consequences” for the heritage buildings in the neighbourhood.
“Once you hand out that kind of density on a site with heritage buildings, it makes economic sense to demolish,” he said. And it sets a precedent on King Street, he argues, which will open the floodgates to requests for 40-storey plus condos “and it’s impossible to say no.”
Mr. Clewes, of 18 Yorkville and Tip Top Lofts fame, says as the city intensifies, King West is the next logical area to develop. Both he and Mr. Lamb consider the height a “non issue” because there are a stack of approved tall buildings in the vicinity, including the 66-storey Shangri-La at University and Richmond, a 38-storey building at John and Mercer streets, the Ritz Carlton and the 35-storey Boutique building where residents are currently moving in. As for threatening the future of historical buildings, “our submission is that they are protected under heritage legislation,” said Mr. Clewes.
“The idea was that when you’re driving up to this property you wouldn’t even notice it was a high rise. You would just think it was an open park and then towards the back of the lot is this high rise that doesn’t even feel like it’s on King Street, it feels like it’s on Pearl Street,” said Mr. Lamb, who said the public space in the front that would include a vertical wall of water that would freeze into an ice sculpture in the winter. “It’s a stunning beautiful piece of urban architecture from a park standpoint, and then there’s no tower like this in the city.”
The plan is to build six suites per floor, with 9.5 to 10 foot ceilings, and prices ranging from $350,000 to $2.5-million, or about $600 a square foot. “We want it to be the most beautiful residential piece of architecture in the city,” said Mr. Lamb, who believes city planners are “wildly wrong” about what the building should be. “It would be a shame to build something in the order of 15 to 20 storeys, and fill the whole thing in like a big ugly block.”
The proposal will be debated at next week’s Toronto East York community council. The developers say they have already filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, in case council sides with the planners.
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