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Urban oasis | National Post


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Sometimes downsizing can translate right into a step up. That’s what Maison 77 Clarendon Condos guarantees for its upscale redevelopment at Russell Hill Road and Clarendon Avenue. About an equal distance from Castleloma and Sir Winston Churchill Park, Menkes Development Ltd. Has carved out a boutique, low-rise condominium in probably the most unlikely of locations — an already well-established neighbourhood: and never too removed from Loblaws, both.

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“There is a really strong demand for new condominiums in older, more established neighbourhoods,” says Mimi Ng, senior vice-president of gross sales and advertising and marketing at Menkes. “But the challenge for builders is finding land available for development in these areas.” The developer additionally spearheaded different luxurious residential properties, such because the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences in Yorkville.

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The enchantment of this property is its centrality in Forest Hill. Sitting simply atop a small ridge that casts views of Roycroft Park Lands and Nordheimer Ravine, it’s each central to town however hidden for privateness alongside a quiet strip of street with old-growth bushes that accent the established neighbourhood of South Forest Hill. As is likely to be anticipated, many residents of South Hill need to stay proper the place they’re but are in search of lives with extra comfort, much less yardwork. “Empty-nester buyers in particular typically want to stay in their existing neighbourhoods because they don’t want to leave their social network,” says Ng. “They’ve developed a lifestyle there. So everyone from their friends and neighbours to their favourite coffeeshop, hair salon, drycleaner and grocery store — these are amenities they know well and don’t want to give up.”

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Still in its preconstruction section, Menkes and its associate Pinedale Properties sought the architectural experience of Richard Wengle and designer David Powell of Powell and Bonnell, a longtime collaborator with the Menkes household, who additionally occur to dwell simply up the road.

Vaguely neoclassical in its exterior, the inspiration for 77 Clarendon got here from an off-the-cuff stroll by New York City. “There was this pre-war building that Allen Menkes and I kind of fell in love with on Madison Avenue — though it has since been turned into an Apple store,” says Wengle. “It’s one of those classic limestone buildings that has aged well over time.”

Wengle notes that limestone is a type of supplies that retains its character even after 50 years on. 77 Clarendon can even be articulated by conventional supplies similar to limestone, however makes a nod to modernity with its outsized glass home windows and grand, two-storey foyer. “The glass at the back of the building was maximized to capture the beautiful views there,” says Wengle. Durable in nature, limestone ages like positive wine – and is echoed in lots of properties within the Forest Hill space.

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Wengle’s profession, spanning 37 years now, has been as a lot about archiving because it has been about design. “I love to travel, so I’ve always found a way to catalogue my ideas, whether historic or modern. So when it comes time to envision a project, the ideas just pour out.”

In the case of designing a condominium constructing in Forest Hill, Wengle says that being conscientious of the setting was key. “When you do this sort of architectural intervention into an already-established neighbourhood with deep roots, you really have to be subtle about it,” he says. “77 Clarendon really echoes many of the materials used in the homes within the neighbourhood.”

Once you get on the within, he says, you’ll be able to “break all the rules” and be as trendy as doable. When it involves the method of envisioning the brand new Forest Hill addition, Wengle notes that good design begins at road stage. “It’s from the ground up. What does the person who arrives at the building first see?”

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From there, the imaginative and prescient for the constructing is dictated by its panorama, its location, its neighbourhood. This consists of a few of Toronto’s best haute delicacies, together with locales like Scaramouche Pasta Bar, BlueBlood Steakhouse, Bistro Five61 and Mashu Mashu Mediterranean Grill, simply to call just a few.

Vaguely neoclassical in its exterior, the inspiration for 77 Clarendon came from a casual stroll through New York City.
Vaguely neoclassical in its exterior, the inspiration for 77 Clarendon got here from an off-the-cuff stroll by New York City. Photo by SUPPLIED PHOTO

The five-storey, 16-residence condominium constructing begins on the 2000 sq. ft. vary for $4.5 million and goes up from there. But the small variety of residences additionally ensures a first-class service package deal with 24-hour concierge, valet parking and porter. The largest suite is 6,000 sq. ft. which is why Ng insists that with these sorts of sizes, “luxury buyers do not want to view themselves as ‘downsizing’ into a condominium.” In some circumstances, as she notes, the sq. footage may very well be bigger than the house they’re leaving.

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But even the discerning luxurious purchaser doesn’t need to should rebuy all-new furnishings to suit their house. Ng explains: “Compared to the boarder market, they are looking for larger units with generous room dimensions to accommodate some of the “housesize” furnishings items they’re bringing with them.”

Another extremely prized amenity to the uber-affluent: the nice outdoor. “This type of buyer really regards outdoor space as a must-have, whether it’s an oversized balcony or terrace, ideally with a BBQ hook-up,” says Ng.

Those not within the temper to prepare dinner at residence needn’t go away the constructing, nevertheless. There’s additionally a bar and eating space, swim spa, yoga studio and huge leisure house for bigger, catered occasions. Outside the constructing itself, landscaping is designed by Tina McMullen Landscape Architects Inc. It’s the form of place you may think an episode of HBO’s Succession being shot. Direct elevator entry opens onto non-public residences with 10 to 11-foot ceilings, open idea, Powell & Bonnell custom-designed kitchens with outsized islands, Wolf stoves, and Kohler or Kalista fixtures. For the flooring, hardwood is likely one of the extra reasonably priced choices — or patrons can go all-out with wall-to-wall marble.

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“This is going to be a crown jewel in the Menkes portfolio of properties,” says Janice Fox, dealer at Hazelton Real Estate Inc.

“And it’s rare – and very unusual to find a condo here, as most are among high-rises. But people don’t want the busy-ness of a downtown location.”

With a deepening familiarity with the luxurious purchaser, Menkes additionally appreciates the commonly-held want amongst this demographic

to not occupy the only real large penthouse in an in any other case modest condominium growth. “These are all large units, so it’s a homogenous mix of units,” says Fox. “A lot of people don’t want to be in a building with a large quantity of small investor- type units, while they have the huge one. That’s really the appeal of this building.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s business content material division

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