An amazing condo concept in Toronto by a developer
Is Toronto’s condominium craze a good thing? It sure can be if you happen to be the one who’s looking. So many options are good for the buyer, but for the developer it means that much more competition. To capture the right purchasers, they have to add something unique to the conversation. How to define that is the tricky part, especially when the formula has so far been pretty … formulaic. Free parking, increased storage space and postponed maintenance fees are fine and lovely perks, but they all fit in the camp of the obvious. What else, what else? Purchasers are increasingly particular about what they want.
No longer considered “boxes in the sky,” condo complexes are becoming real communities — and people want everything that comes with that: the neighbourhood, the accessibility and the urban lifestyle. Oh, and on top of all that, it should be at their fingertips, there when they want it.
It’s a heady order no doubt, but this is how people are living these days, and developers are listening. “The way people are living in Toronto these days is no longer that typical nine-to-five routine where the day starts and stops at the office,” says Todd Cowan, managing partner of Capital Developments. “People are working all kinds of different hours, they’re entertaining at home and want a space that speaks towards their interests, and so we’re building properties that reflect this kind of lifestyle.”
His latest project is 150 Redpath, the 38-storey second-phase tower to 155 Redpath, being co-built by Capital Developments and Freed. Location, not surprisingly, was integral to the overall plan. Situated midtown, not far from Yonge and Eglinton, the intent is to make this two-tower project a vibrant archipelago that boosts an already bustling — and growing — community. It’s been said the area will double in occupancy over the next 10 years, meaning about 20,000 to 25,000 new residents will be moving in.
In a bid to capture some of those people as buyers, the property promises a new experience for residents, catering to all their needs with 24/7 amenities. Even the building’s handle is “Always On.”
There’ll be a dedicated around-the-clock concierge. But more fun, the Redpath Diner will stay open all hours to serve up cheeseburgers and Champagne to a cabana on the sprawling rooftop (with massive infinity pool, no less), or, if the mood strikes, directly to your suite.
The service will be so accessible, they claim, that the only challenging part will be deciding if you want fries with that.
“People are busy and active and we’re paying attention to that,” says Peter Freed, president of Freed Development. “No matter what time of day or night, there will be something for you to do. We want this to be a 360 approach to living.”
Fortunately, Freed had all that intel into the mind of the buyer, gleaned from his earlier projects, such as the Thompson Hotel and condos in the Niagara/King West area. The team is keenly aware of how Torontonians want to live, thanks to the thousands of people who’ve told them during their condo searches. Aside from a certain square footage and maybe granite counters, it’s immediacy and quick access that’s important to them. Freed refers to this as the “fulsome experience.” In other words, let them have their cake and eat it, too.
“Imagine [having] a hot-stone massage after a hard workout in the gym, then heading to the rooftop to sunbathe, order a cocktail and wait for your friends to arrive for a barbecue,” he says. “This is the new definition of accessible luxury, and it will really feel like a global, jet-set community.”
Moving down from the top of the building, the two-storey lobby — designed by award-winning architect Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance — is encased in glass, peeking over at the sister lobby at 155 Redpath. A landscaped courtyard boasts an outdoor waterfall and fire feature. The interior design aesthetic, envisioned by Johnson Chou, is minimal and soft-pedalled. Material palettes are warm, earthy and neutral, including marble, granite and porcelain tile all aimed at creating a sanctuary vibe. The ground level houses a state-of-the-art fitness studio with all the fixings. The Cave is the games room, with a golf simulator, games tables and a bar equipped with taps, which is designed to be a refuge from “the stress and cacophony of contemporary life,” Chou says. On the sixth floor are the 80-foot-long infinity pool, an overflow hot tub, poolside cabanas and the private outdoor dining area complete with a gas grill, fire pit and its own lounge. And that’s not all: the spa is a European-inspired facility with hot-stone therapy rooms, a eucalyptus steam room and tranquility mezzanine.
The 543-unit offering of suites, lofts, penthouses and townhomes at 150 Redpath (redpathcondos.com) range in price from $199,900 to more than $1 million for 331 square feet to 1,403 square feet. Floor-to-ceiling windows, nine-foot exposed concrete ceilings, Nest energy-saving thermostats (which can be controlled from your smartphone) and a front-loading stacked washer/dryer are all part of the mix. Kitchens have custom-designed cabinetry by Chou, electric cooktop and wall oven and stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms come with vessel sinks, glass shower stalls and porcelain wall tiles.
But more than that is having the amenity spaces — and hours — that nurture today’s kind of social scene.
“It’s not enough as a developer to do something you’ve always done,” Cowan says. “We’re adapting to the changing lifestyle needs of the people in the city to give them amazing convenience and hotel-inspired living. This is about building experiences and, really, memorable ones at that.”