Developer TAS, in partnership with Main and Main Developments Inc., is taking a unique approach to its engagement strategy for Kingston & Co., a new mid-rise condo project in Toronto’s Upper Beach. The idea is to start a conversation with prospective buyers before they step through the sales office doors, says Mazyar Mortazavi, president and CEO of TAS.
The project website aims to debunk 10 condo myths, discussing everything from concerns about a market bubble to fears about spikes in maintenance fees to worries about how much noise will carry between suites. TAS has also introduced a concierge program, whereby registrants can ask questions and access detailed information about the building via the team lead.
“Depending on what people are indicating their interests are, we’re providing them with sample floor plans, getting their feedback and really trying to get the conversation around the home-buying experience started earlier than what’s typically done,” Mortazavi says.
The developer anticipates that the project will attract first-time condo buyers, many from the surrounding community. Buyers could be retirees who want to downsize without leaving the neighbourhood or young families returning to the area where they grew up, he says.
“A lot of the focus is around wanting to have the additional space, but not wanting to compromise quality of life,” he adds. “They still want to have access to urban amenities — they want to walk to cafes and restaurants — but they also want proximity to parks and schools for kids and community centres.”
As Mortazavi puts it, he is building homes for people to live in, meaning the inclusion of storage, laundry rooms and outdoor terraces, as well as amenities including a car wash, tool room and workshop areas.
Located at 1100 Kingston Rd., the condo will straddle the storied Kingston Road and Birchwood areas. It’s an area currently undergoing a “redefinition” propelled by the two demographics targeted by the project, he says.
Designed by Teeple Architects, the building will step down from 10 to eight storeys in transition to the surrounding neighbourhood. For Mortazavi, the scale, detail and terracing of the building all speak to the character of the area.
“The detailing of the pre-cast begins to talk about the movement in terms of the way the facade has been designed — it’s one set of colour and one set of shadow schemes as you’re moving west versus as you’re moving east,” he says.
Kingston & Co. is designed to meet the developer’s four pillars of sustainability: social, ecological, cultural and economic. On the ecological pillar, TAS’ projects are designed to a minimum LEED Silver standard. One of the project’s environmentally friendly features is a 40:60 ratio of window to solid wall, which will contribute to the building’s energy performance.
Mortazavi describes Mason Studio’s interior design for the suite interiors as streamlined and contemporary, yet comfortable. Of the 150 units, half will have unique layouts thanks to the stepped-down structure of the building. This is beneficial in that it gives people choice based on their personal preferences, he says. Some will prefer a larger bedroom and smaller living spaces, while others will prefer generous storage space or double sinks in their ensuites, he explains.
The mid-rise project will contain a range of suite sizes, from 407 to 1,439 square feet. Prices will start in the mid-$200,000s. The project will have an approximate ratio of 25 per cent one-bedroom units, 50 per cent two-bedroom units and 25 per cent three-bedroom units.
The developer waited until the project had all of its approvals in place from the City of Toronto before initiating the sales phase, something that Mortazavi says removes some of the uncertainty around what and when the developer will ultimately deliver to buyers.
“Through our transparency and our approach of being city-builders, we’re really looking at how we can create quality of life experience through our buildings, and that’s both for the people who buy our homes but also in the community in which we build,” he says.
With plans to break ground in 2015, the developer is targeting occupancies for early 2017. The presentation centre, which opened to private appointments in May, is scheduled to open to the public in June.
Michelle Ervin is the editor of CondoBusiness.