It’s over a year later and a lot has changed for The One Condos since our last exclusive interview. We had the privilege of interviewing Sam Mizrahi again and he gave us all the luxurious details on what is sure to be one of the most iconic residential structures in Toronto. We’ve learned about the floor plans, the amenities, and the pure luxury of the building. Sam also tells us about the extravagant Yorkville area and what it means to be at One Bloor West.
Part 1 of 3
“So, last time we interviewed you was over a year ago, since then, quite a lot has changed! How is the project coming along?”
Incredibly well. I could not be more grateful with the evolution the building went through because I think we got a better building out of it. We’ve had consultations with the city over 2.5 years, the community associations, and the stake holders. Even what we did with the OMB of settling with the adjacent neighbours, and you know what, when we got to the OMB, there were no appellants. That was because we evolved their concerns and took their concerns to reengineer the building. We got a better building out of it.
“Do you think any other condos built or under construction in Toronto are in the same league as this building?”
You know I can’t say because I don’t have knowledge of every application. I would say this is a very unique building. You know there’s only one and excuse the pun, but there’s really only one building like this. I can’t imagine, even ourselves being able to replicate this anywhere else in the city for a variety of reasons. We have a cost of over a billion dollars in the building just in construction. If you think about that and just do the math, where else in the city could you do the same and be able to support it financially? To build it with the type of anchor tenants you would need and the rent rates you would need and when you start to do all that math, there’s very few places that command that type of price to be able to build a project of that nature and to basically have something that really exceeds all expectations without any compromises. Usually what ends up happening is you end up compromising somewhere in the building. Because of just financial reasons. This building has got 0 compromises in it, like 0. And that’s why it is what it is. And when you build something like this and develop something where you haven’t compromised to any aspect of the building, you really can’t replicate that.
This is our Art. We’re building and we’re putting our heart and soul and our sweat and tears into it to build something that really is one of a kind. It truly is a one of a kind building. And the exoskeleton and the structural engineering of the building and the forming and the finishes and the details that goes into beyond the pedestrian experience of the building. You know we have 31 foot sidewalks all with snow mount heated, there’s going to be a gathering area for festivities like the Christmas tree and water features like fountains and things like that where it’s a gathering place. There’s so many aspects of this building really when I think about it, you know this is Bloor Street, it’s the equivalent of what you’d see us doing on Fifth Avenue in New York or Michigan Ave or London in Knightsbridge. There’s really nowhere else in the city where you can do that. There’s only one Yonge and Bloor there’s only one Bloor street to build something like this architecturally. You know, if someone asked me where’s number 2 of this development, I don’t know? I struggle with it.
“When we last spoke, this One Bloor West Condo was 72 residential floors with 544 units, we understand that you guys have actually reduced that?”
We’re going to be 416 units but based on the marketing and interest we’re probably going to be 380/370 units. But a lot of people are probably going to be combining units from what we’ve seen before and I think we’re probably going to have less than 350 units.
“For the buyers who combine units is it going to be the same deposit structure?”
Same deposit structure. Same in all our buildings: 20% over a year plus 5% on occupancy.
“What’s amazing is that The One Condos has the height and the view.”
You can see all the way to New York. We actually have a drone that went off to show you each view shot. What’s amazing is Yonge & Bloor and where we’re located in the South West Corner. Yonge & Bloor is on the top of Toronto’s topography and going south to the lake, the elevation goes down. Because the lake is at a lower altitude than Yonge & Bloor, it’s almost like you’re putting the building on a pedestal at One Bloor West Toronto. Your view shots, I have to tell you they took my breath away. Every angle the view stretched for like decades.
“What floor do you need to be on for an unobstructed view?”
25 floors for unobstructed views. I couldn’t believe it. We kept going back because I thought something was wrong with the cameras. But it’s right. The reason is our ground floor is 34 feet. Our podium is at 61 metres. Retail 18 foot, amenities 18 feet and then you jump in the residential at 10 feet. We got approved at the OMB for an 82 storey building at 306.6m or 1005 ft but its equivalent to 100 storeys because of the ceiling heights.
The views are just unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. East view you’d have to be higher up in the building but because of the way we’ve angled and done everything, your views are still clear because you’re seeing through the building.
“So with such a tall building, how many elevators are there and are people going to be spending a ton of time in the elevators?”
27 elevating devices in The One Condos, and the core that take you to the residential units out of the 27 are 8. Wait time of less than a minute. We’re using smart technology where the elevators are floating amongst the floors and its destination request. They’re basically destination elevators, so the computers run on the traffic and destination requests and the elevators float in the building. There’s actually no buttons inside the elevator.
“And The One Condo’s Interior Design is by?”
It’s Foster + Partners.
“Who will be managing the building after it’s incorporated? How will you ensure your standards of luxury are maintained?”
We will be running it after it’s built as well to insure that. Who better to run the building afterwards than the person who built it? Because we know every detail. We will run it as long as the condo board wants us to. For sure the first year we’ll be on the board. I think we have an obligation to do it. I’m going to be on the board because I’m owning a unit there. Nobody better than us to ensure that the same value system and quality we have in the building is maintained throughout.
“Does the building have any high performance / environmental features?”
We’re utilizing greenhouse construction and we have undertaken the City of Toronto’s Tier 2 environmental standards which is the highest one they have. So we have everything from a green roof to all the low-VOC in any of the paints and the hardwoods all going into the greenhouse certified methodology. Plus the building is built to the 9001 standards, which is standard for us. All units have their own heat pump units with humidifiers and HEPA filters. This is really going state of the art in terms of air quality air handling systems are going to be second to none, also specifically for our anchor tenants who have a requirement for those types of system. Everything about this building is done in a way that’s really not comparable to anything I’ve seen in Canada. It’s really taking it to the next level in terms of environmental.