Anyone pondering the current state of Toronto’s condo market may want to take note of the rip-roaring success of Tridel’s recently launched Ten York project.
The 65-storey glass tower — which will rise from a wedge-shaped site at York and Harbour Sts. — has been regarded as a bellwether, a development whose sales performance this fall would offer an indication of the health of a condo market that some analysts believe has become oversupplied.
Of the 600 units at Ten York released to date, 532 had been sold as of early November. If the Toronto condo market is cooling, “you sure as heck wouldn’t have known that from what was happening at our sales office,” notes Jim Ritchie, Tridel’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
In all, Ten York will have 694 residences, ranging from 564-square-foot one-bedroom units to 3,858-square-foot three-bedroom suites. Prices start at $345,000. Occupancy of the project is slated for summer 2017.
Tridel is developing Ten York in partnership with Build Toronto, an independent and self-funding real estate and development corporation with a mandate to maximize the value of under-utilized real estate previously owned by the city.
The development is the first joint residential project on which Build Toronto has partnered with a private builder.
Suites at Ten York — designed by II BY IV Design Associates — will have nine-foot ceilings and engineered-laminate plank flooring.
Kitchens will have granite or quartz countertops and AEG stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms come with white quartz countertops and five-foot soaker tubs.
Suites include a stacked Energy Star front-loading washer and dryer, and will have individual metering of electricity, hot water and heating/cooling.
Ten York’s amenities include a gym and studios for spinning, yoga and cardio; and an outdoor pool, spa and saunas. The building also will have a billiards room, media/games room, theatre room, party room and private dining room, as well as guest suites and a concierge.
Battling ‘doom and gloom’
In spite of Ten York’s impressive sales, headlines proclaiming a condo market downturn have created quite a few headaches for Ritchie and his team. “Our biggest challenge is consumer confidence,” he says.
“People read headlines and they don’t really understand what’s going on, so they just see it as doom and gloom. The more this stuff is written about, the harder it is to convince somebody they should be buying a condo.”
Ritchie acknowledges “we’ve had challenges in the marketplace over the past few months,” however, he suggests that Ten York’s location and design have had a lot to do with the project’s success.
“We did a tremendous amount of market research and testing our prospect database (which included more than 5,000 registrants), and it told us that in spite of what you might read in the papers, there were buyers for this in the community.
“Tall buildings in the downtown core with water views are in demand, and I think we’ve proven that.”
Ten York generated big buzz last fall when preliminary plans for the project were unveiled.
The tower design has since undergone a number of significant changes in response to feedback from the city.
Most significantly, Ten York’s height has been reduced to 65 storeys from the originally proposed 75 storeys.
The look of the building has been tweaked, as well, becoming more triangular in form to correspond better with the wedge-shaped site on which it will sit, located between the Gardiner Expressway and the York St. off-ramp at the northwest corner of Harbour and York Sts.
“(Changing the design of the tower) allowed us also to push the building, including the base, further to the west, which will create wider pedestrian access along York St.,” notes Ritchie.
The tower redesign also saw the parking garage, originally proposed to be above-grade, moved underground, freeing up space in the podium. The base of the building will now feature a glass-enclosed lobby with 30-foot-high ceilings.
“We’ve created a pretty spectacular lobby space,” says Ten York’s architect Rudy Wallman. “Because it’s so high and transparent, it will act as an extension of the sidewalk.”
Despite the tower being knocked down from 75 storeys to 65, changes to the form of the building resulted in a negligible reduction in the number of suites, from 774 to 694.
The new building design also minimizes the use of balconies. West-facing suites will have them, as will units on the northeast and southeast corners of the tower, but the north and south facades will be glass curtain walls.
“I think that’s a huge bonus visually,” Wallman says. “We don’t have to deal with inset or projecting balconies, which really give residential buildings the look they have, which tends to be cluttered if not handled well.
“Here it’s going to be very sleek and finished looking; more like a commercial building.”
Still an icon
Ten York is no longer in the running to become one of Toronto’s tallest residential towers, but Ritchie maintains the 224-metre building will be iconic all the same.
“When you look at some of the renderings we created — we went out over the lake with a helicopter with a steady cam and shot the core of the city, and then had the building rendered into it so we could see what the overall effect is — I think it looks pretty darn good at 65 floors.”
“It won’t make us the tallest, but we’re right up there,” he adds. “And besides, it was never the race to be the tallest. We wanted the right solution.
As per Toronto Star