A few clear signs are emerging in this pandemic age about where the luxury real estate market is heading in the Toronto area. There is a growing interest in larger spaces, whether that’s detached and semi-detached homes, townhouses, and larger condos suites in lower level, boutique luxury builds.
It used to be that penthouses were the prestige real estate in condos. That’s still true. But separate townhouse-like spaces featured in newer condo build forms are more popular. Those tend to be two levels, a hybrid of condo and private house living. You still get all the benefits of the luxury condo – concierge, security, amenities, underground parking. But it also comes with its own separate entrance. There is more space to breathe. It may have a rooftop garden, or even its own backyard.
Smaller, bespoke, boutique condo builds becoming more popular with buyers
More and more affluent people are buying country homes and cottages, as we detailed previously here. They are spending more time there, working from home more. So what about those people buying luxury real estate downtown, or planning to sell their home in Rosedale or Forest Hill? Perhaps they are shifting to condo living to complement the cottage or beach home somewhere? That condo needs to be spacious, in part to fit in that new home office space.
Forest Hill Private Residences
Forest Hill Private Residences is one of those projects that is looking to jump on that wave. The project will be a nine-storey mix of townhomes and condominiums ranging from 750 to 2,400 square feet. Floor-to-ceiling windows, 10-foot ceilings, top-of-the-line finishes are other features. So are expansive terraces, great views of the city and easy access to stores and boutiques.
Click on image to enlarge and view gallery
In-house amenities include temperature-controlled wine library with sommeliers. It also will feature exclusive porte-cochere with valet, a private gym, tranquil pool and wet and dry saunas. Residents will have access to personal training, massage therapy, yoga and Pilates instructors, and nutritionists.
We caught up with Altree Developments president and CEO Zev Mandelbaum to talk about the project:
Zev, the most recent real estate market statistics point to a growing trend for real estate investors to leave the city, leave the core, and head back to luxury suburban detached home developments, where they feel safer. What are your thoughts on this? Have you seen this first-hand? Is this a blip? What are the fundamental core reasons why affluent people need to live in cities?
Investors will always gravitate towards areas in the suburbs that are continuously growing. But there is still so much value for them as well as end-users looking for a luxury condominium in the city. Purchasing or investing in luxury real estate is fundamentally a long-term decision. Purchasers and investors are thinking about their future.
The pandemic won’t last forever. The time to plan for a move in the next few years is now. And ultimately, being downtown offers a sense of excitement and fulfillment that many long to have. Luxury living in the city may mean something different than in the suburbs. But properties such as Forest Hill Private Residences are a draw for mostly end-users (rather than investors). It’s for those seeking an upscale setting that provides on-site five-star amenities, making life as seamless as possible with everything at a resident’s fingertips.
Overall, I truly believe in the value of the vibrancy that our city holds. That will continue to be in demand.
How does your new development address that want and desire among affluent people, when it comes to real estate investment in cities?
Location, location, location. Forest Hill Private Residences is in a unique location that is one of the city’s most affluent and exclusive communities. At 2 Forest Hill Rd. this is one of the last, if not the last, development sites in the neighbourhood.
Our location is unlike any other. With artisan shops, boutiques and parks/trails mere steps from the building, we bring a coveted community and desired lifestyle to our residents.
In terms of buyers for Forest Hill Private Residences, or enquiries, what has surprised you so far? Are you seeing a lot of international buyers, for example?
There is a strong, diverse group. I was surprised by the diversity and demand for larger units, with many buyers combining two-three units to achieve over 3,000 square feet in their homes.
What distinguishes Forest Hill Private Residences from other luxury builds in the city?
We go above and beyond a typical building. Our amenities trump any of those in the city, with our 20-person dining room, sommelier services, an outdoor tranquility area off of our spa with steam rooms, sauna, a pool and indoor/outdoor lounge. And personal fitness trainers available at our private gym.
To amplify that five-star feeling, similar to what you would experience in a hotel, we have dual lobbies. There will be one with concierge services that invite you to sit down for a coffee, anytime you’d like. And the other is only accessible from a private entrance, strictly for deliveries so that the commotion never reaches those living in the building.
We pride ourselves on being able to deliver the best-in-class designs with custom kitchens and oversized terraces that open to the sky. We evoke a feeling of luxury living through all the big and small details.