yyzer

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another article from today's Globe:

Posh condo set to topple price record

Yorkville penthouse to list near $30-million
LORI MCLEOD

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

September 17, 2008 at 4:03 AM EDT

Global financial markets are in turmoil and the Canadian economy is slowing, but that hasn't put a damper on the promotional effort touting an as-yet-to-be-built condo unit at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences as "Canada's most expensive penthouse!"

The posh digs in the Yorkville neighbourhood are expected to list in the $30-million range, but the price won't be revealed until after virtual tours for the media take place Thursday with developer Alan Menkes and designer Brian Gluckstein.

But the 9,000-square-foot penthouse, complete with four fireplaces, staff accommodations and galleria, will be listed for more than the previous record sale price of $25-million, public relations representative Beth Merrick said.

That lofty price was paid last year by a Hong Kong businessman for the penthouse at a condo development at One Bloor St. East, which is being built by Kazakhstan's Bazis International.

It seems a strange time to be promoting what may be the country's priciest-ever condo unit, as turmoil rips through the financial services sector.

A decline in manufacturing output has already sunk Toronto's GDP growth outlook for 2008 to 12th slowest of 13 major cities across Canada, according to a report released this week by the Conference Board of Canada.

The real estate market is also slowing, with resale home prices edging up less than 1 per cent in Toronto last month while unit sales plunged by 22 per cent.

There's scant information available to discern whether the Four Seasons penthouse sale will set a new price record, because only a handful of condominiums in Canada have ever been listed in the $10-million-plus range.

A foreigner may be the most likely buyer as interest in Toronto continues to grow among investors from countries including Russia, Korea and Hong Kong, said Mark McLean, partner at Sotheby's International Realty Canada, who specializes in the high-end Toronto market.

"What we are seeing is a huge influx of foreign investors, of foreign buyers, people who are moving to the city," Mr. McLean said.

There hasn't been a slowdown in the sale of units in the $5-million range, although there are few listings at this level and a sale often takes at least a year, Mr. McLean added.

"What I see right now is about the same level of sales in the Yorkville neighbourhood as in 2007. People in the higher end, my sense is that they are less touched by any kind of a turn. You have to have something really horrible happen to you," he said.

Retiring baby boomers from neighbourhoods including Forest Hill, Lawrence Park and Rosedale are also moving to pricier condos downtown, he added.

High-end sales tend to be brisker at buildings where the units start at a higher price level, including the Four Seasons, the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, and the MuseumHouse, he said.

More than 70 per cent of the Four Seasons condos, which start at $1.9-million, have been sold in the year since sales were launched, according to information on the development's website.
 

Solaris

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its great Four Seasons is listing the country's pricey-est penthouse at $30 million, but now lets wait to see if this baby will get sold ... I recall seeing the $25 million 1BE penthouse is still on the market
 

yyzer

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somebody here posted that the 1BE penthouse deal fell through - but there is no proof or evidence for that...and current ads for 1BE say that suites are available from "the $500thousands to $8 million"....the penthouse would be outside of that range....
 

urbandreamer

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17 September 2008 photo update

Like the TSX, has the Four Seasons' pit reached bottom yet?

pano-3.jpg


pano-4.jpg
 

taal

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Why is this so much faster then Shangri-La !
 

taal

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That was over a long time ago ... if you pass by the site you'll see the progress they made pales into comparison to this project.
 

marcus_a_j

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Different sites have different ground conditions. Plus, the subway tunnels could slow down excavation at Shangri-la as they have to be a bit more careful digging
 

Mike in TO

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Why is this so much faster then Shangri-La !

Shangri La is going down 8 floors on a tight site with TTC issues - once the TTC is involved in a project expect delays and ultimately a slow excavation.
 

yyzer

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here's the official press release on the penthouse....

Attention Assignment Editors/News Directors/Real Estate Editors/Writers/City Editors:

At $30 Million, the "West Penthouse" of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto is the most expensive condo in Canada

9,000 SQ. FT. MANSION-IN-THE-SKY TO RISE IN YORKVILLE

TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Bay-Yorkville Developments Ltd. released the
penthouse at Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto for sale today.
Priced at $30 million, this exclusive residence is the most expensive
condominium in Canada.
Located at the northeast corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue, Four
Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto is a landmark mixed-use
development featuring a world class hotel and over 200 private residences in
two 55 and 26-storey towers.
The penthouse residence will occupy the top floor of the 55-storey West
Residence building and encompass 9,038 sq. ft. of living space. Included in
the price is a 680 sq. ft. Staff Residence. Located in the adjacent, 26-storey
East Residence building, the Staff Residence will provide owners with the
convenience of separate, private quarters for household staff located on-site.
"This is truly a one-of-a-kind offering," said Alan Menkes, President of
the High-Rise Residential Division of Menkes Developments, the Managing
Partner of the project. "When you step off the elevator directly into the
floor-to-ceiling glass galleria, you'll immediately see why this Penthouse is
so spectacular. It will feel like an exquisite mansion in the sky, with more
than 9,000 sq. ft. of living space and incredible views of downtown Toronto
and Lake Ontario from four private terraces."
Created by Gluckstein Design Planning, Canada's pre-eminent residential
interior design firm, the West Penthouse plan has been conceived with the
ultimate super luxury buyer in mind. Highlights of the residence include:

<<
- A spectacular array of rooms featuring 12 ft. ceilings, including a
stunning floor-to-ceiling glass Galleria and four expansive corner
terraces;
- An opulent, 2,500 sq. ft. Master Suite featuring a large bedroom
complete with a sitting room and fireplace, a private terrace, two
walk-in closets and a lavish ensuite bathroom, with his-and-hers
vanities, showers and water closet enclosures, built-in TVs behind the
vanity mirrors, and a freestanding tub opposite an impressive stone
fireplace;
- A gracious 1,000 sq. ft. living room with a walk out terrace, a
library and a separate study;
- A spacious family room combined with an open-concept entertaining
kitchen, with a large island and three refrigerator/freezer units, two
wall ovens, a dishwasher, integrated coffee system, food warming
drawer and a gas range;
- A 550 sq. ft. formal dining room and a servery connected to a walk out
terrace;
- A theatre room with a bar featuring a refrigerator and bar sink;
- A walk-in wine cellar with a sealed glass-paneled door, built-in
cooling unit, and a redwood racking system to accommodate nearly 800
bottles; and,
- Two guest bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom.
>>

"When I designed the West Penthouse, I had a vision of classic elegance,"
said Brian Gluckstein of Gluckstein Design Planning. "In the foyer, I chose
handsome grey marble floors and added a bold circular pattern which gives the
space a bit of drama. There are sleek custom Downsview cabinets in the
kitchen, in a dark stain, paired with comfortable seating in muted neutrals
for timeless appeal."
"The master bedroom has light streaming in through the corner windows, so
I went with light wood floors and white fabrics. This combination gives the
room a light, airy feel even on the darkest winter days," he added.
Designed by architectsAlliance, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences
Toronto will feature two sleek glass towers. The West Residence will be a
55-storey building comprised of a 253-room Four Seasons Hotel on the first 20
floors, followed by 101 Private Residences above. The 26-storey East
Residences will contain 103 Private Residences and be connected to its sister
building by an elevated pedestrian bridge. Both towers which will share a
courtyard designed by internationally-renowned landscape architect Claude
Cormier.
Owners of the Private Residences, including the West Penthouse, will
enjoy access to all the amenities of the new Four Seasons Hotel, including
24-hour concierge, doorman and valet service, an on-site restaurant and bar,
in-residence dining, housekeeping, and the Four Seasons Spa. The 28,000 sq.
ft. spa will feature a sky-lit indoor lap pool, whirlpools, private treatment
rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Award-winning interior design house
Yabu Pushelberg designed the spa, as well as the Hotel rooms, common areas and
ballroom/conference facilities.
Construction on Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto is
underway and the project is slated for completion in late 2011. The developer
is Bay-Yorkville Developments Ltd., a joint venture between Menkes
Developments Ltd., Lifetime Urban Development Group, and Alcion Ventures.
Menkes Construction Ltd. is building both the hotel and residences.

Four Seasons Private Residences Toronto are not owned, developed or sold
by Four Seasons Hotels Limited or its affiliates (Four Seasons). Bay-Yorkville
Developments Limited uses the Four Seasons trademarks and trade names under a
license from Four Seasons Hotels Limited. The marks "FOUR SEASONS", "FOUR
SEASONS HOTELS AND RESORTS," any combination thereof and the Tree Design are
registered trademarks of Four Seasons Hotels Limited in Canada and U.S.A. and
of Four Seasons Hotels (Barbados) Ltd. elsewhere.

Jpegs and VR are available.




For further information: Mimi Ng, Menkes Developments Ltd., (416)
491-2222, mng@menkes.com; David Eisenstadt/Beth Merrick/Wendy Petcoff, The
Communications Group Inc., (416) 696-9900 ext. 36/40/29,
deisenstadt@tcgpr.com, bmerrick@tcgpr.com, wpetcoff@tcgpr.com
 

khris

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Shangri La is going down 8 floors on a tight site with TTC issues - once the TTC is involved in a project expect delays and ultimately a slow excavation.

So 1 Bloor E. will take forever for excavation as well then :(

PS: Who wants to buy me the penthouse? ;)
 

Therion

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Wow, that penthouse's master bedroom is twice the size of my condo. Way to make me feel poor, Four Seasons!
 

yyzer

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yet another article on the penthouse....2 things...1.) Four Seasons really know how to work the local papers for marketing....2.) confirmation that the penthouse sale at 1Bloor E is firm!...

Sky's the limit for Four Seasons condo

Tony Wong
September 21, 2008

At $30 million, the Four Seasons Hotel penthouse in downtown Toronto has the most expensive asking price of any condominium in Canada.

But will anybody buy it?

Developer Alan Menkes put the prime space up for sale this week – although the timing could certainly have been better. Stock markets globally from New York to London to Shanghai have been roiled this week with a credit crunch that has seen investment bank Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy protection – leaving many of the potential super rich buyers a lot lighter in the wallet.

But during an interview in the plush Brian Gluckstein-designed showroom, Menkes appeared optimistic.

"You always have to be mindful of what's happening in the world, but if you look at what's happening in our local market, we haven't really been affected by the same issues," said Menkes. "The reality is, if someone is in the market for this kind of product they are somewhat insulated from any downturn."

It won't hurt that the real estate agent who brings in the buyer will have what must be the largest commission cheque for a condo. Although at $1 million, the agent wouldn't be able to afford the cheapest suite in the building.

"We thought we should offer a special commission for a special suite," said Menkes.

Certainly, there are few condos on the market today that can compare with what Menkes is offering.

Located at the northeast corner of Bay St. and Yorkville Ave., the penthouse, on the 55th floor of the west tower, will have 9,038 square feet of living space and a separate 680 square foot of living space for staff.

"This is the ultimate in super luxury living – you can say it's everything I've ever wanted in a home," said designer Gluckstein with a chuckle.

The home has 12-foot-ceilings, including a floor-to-ceiling glass galleria. The 2,500 square foot master bedroom – bigger than most homes – has a fire place and private terrace. There is also a theatre room and a walk-in wine cellar that can accommodate 800 bottles.

The design is haute Gluckstein – the go-to designer for Canada's rich and famous – glamorous, rich materials including marble and dark woods with a subtle Art Deco touch, but displayed with considerable restraint.

Gluckstein spent a year interviewing potential purchasers before unveiling his design, although the purchaser will have the final say in configuring the home, including putting in a pool if they want.

Menkes says he expects the buyer to be local. In fact, since the residences went on sale just over a year ago, the vast majority of suites have been sold to local buyers.

The eventual buyer may be someone downsizing from a large Forest Hill residence, or someone who will use the condo for six months of the year while having homes in other parts of the world, said Menkes.

So far, the most expensive condominium sold in the city is still to be built – the $25 million penthouse at One Bloor – which was sold to an unidentified Hong Kong buyer. Developer Michael Gold confirmed that the sale for the 7,500 square foot property is still firm.

"The world is becoming a smaller place, and we are seen as a very secure and safe spot to invest," said Gold. "We are still inexpensive compared to other cities."

A CB Richard Ellis survey for the Star says top quality properties in the city run at about $1,400 per square foot compared to say $11,800 per square foot in London, where some apartments have asking prices of more than $100 million. In New York, the 16-room penthouse at the Pierre Hotel is still for sale at $70 million (U.S.).

However, the Four Seasons is selling for more than $3,000 per square foot – a lofty price when only five years ago the $1,000 square foot barrier was considered the pinnacle of pricing. But Menkes has already defied the odds by selling almost 80 per cent of the building and has starting construction despite commanding the most expensive average prices in the city.

The achievement is all the more remarkable considering that Menkes started selling only after his closest competitors, which include Trump and Ritz brands, had already entered the market. One reason is the strength of the Four Seasons brand. The Toronto based company is considered the top luxury hotel operator globally – and the new building, which will be completed in late 2011, is the flagship.

Toronto realtor Mike Donia, meanwhile, cautions that the market for high-end real estate is already softening in some neighbourhoods as the economy slows.

"When the stock market is booming it's Baskin and Robbins, every flavour you can eat and people will buy it, but that's not the case right now," says Donia, who specializes in high-end realty.

"The first thing people start selling in a downturn is all their luxury stuff – and that includes cars and real estate."
 

jgreebnerg76

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Drainage is being installed around the perimeter of the pit. Primary excavation is complete. Site is level. Expect to see them start excavation for the crane pad soon.

JG
 

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