Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

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Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

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Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.


Tag Archives: church loft conversion

Rise Condos was built from the barber’s chair up

Tracy Hanes – Toronto Star

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome of Toronto’s coolest condo projects started with chats over coffee, a new hair cut or a discussion over a butcher’s counter.

Shelley and Shane Fenton, the father-son duo behind Reserve Properties, take a personal approach when it comes to seeking sites for their projects.

“We scout out areas that are great locations where there is a demand and need for quality condominium living,” says Shelley, Reserve’s president.

Then he and his son hit the streets, knocking on land owners’ doors, or, if necessary, sitting in a barber’s chair or buying generous amounts of beef or cartons of milk from landowners who also happen to be barbers, butchers or convenience store owners. They’ve also spent many hours conversing with members of church congregations.

“It’s fun and I get to meet people who are looking to create something special with their land. I respect and understand them and they become integrated with what we trying to do,” says Shelley.

The Fentons’ approach to land acquisition has resulted in boutique projects such as Bellefair Kew Beach Residences (a church conversion) and Lakehouse Beach Residences in the Beach, the funky Motif Lofts and Towns at Queen St. W. and Ossington Ave. in some of the city’s favourite neighbourhoods.

Rise Condos

Reserve’s newest project is Rise, a 300-suite, contemporary tower at Bathurst St. and St. Clair Ave. W. designed by Graziani + Corazza. The Fentons intend it to be a signature building in the rejuvenation of the neighbourhood of St. Clair West — and it has special significance for them as they live in the neighbourhood.

“Having lived in the area and knowing it well, I felt this was a site that could have a building with an interesting point tower,” explains Shelley. “I spoke to entrepreneur who owned the corner and had a convenience store there.”

“A number of other people were interested in the location, including major companies, but it came down to how many times my father sat in the owner’s office and built a rapport,” adds Shane, Reserve vice president. “All the offers were the same — it’s finding your way in and building a relationship.”

“Our secret is a motto I told my kids: ‘Never take no for an answer, no means maybe, maybe means yes, yes means wow,'” says his father. “That’s our mantra and the energy we create is well received by the people we’re talking to, whether it’s people on the street, our buyers or property owners we are dealing with. People respect that energy.”

After obtaining the corner property, which on its own was too small to develop, the Fentons worked out a deal with the owner of the adjacent parking lot, the Toronto Parking Authority. The Fentons got the land and have agreed to provide the authority with 42 to 46 spots in the condo’s underground parking garage, increasing the city’s parking spots from 26.

Next they met with the congregation of the church next to the parking lot.

“The congregation is shrinking and the church is looking for financial security,” says Shelley. “We went to church there about half a dozen times and explained the way to maximize the value of their land was to make it part of a larger site, as it wouldn’t be as valuable as a single, small site.”

The church agreed to sell and the Fentons are now helping to find a new location for the congregation. Acquiring the three pieces for the Rise site took about a year.

“We dealt with a wealthy individual entrepreneur, the parking authority and the church. All that had different needs, different goals,” says Shelley.

“(Putting together sites) is almost like a puzzle,” adds Shane. “It’s about enjoying the journey, meeting people and forging relationships. Nothing happens overnight.”

When it was time to decide on what type of building should go on the site, the Fentons held focus groups with friends of Shane and his sister, Jessica (Reserve’s director of marketing), who represent the type of young, urban professional who will be attracted to the project. Parents in the neighbourhood are also interested in buying suites for their children.

The neighbourhood has an eclectic mix of businesses, specialty boutiques and a vibrant local food scene with bakeries, European cafés and trendy eateries such as The Stockyards, The Rushton and Ferro. Rise is close to the St. Clair West subway stop and across the street from Loblaws’ Forest Hill Market.

“When we spoke to Shane’s friends, they wanted the building to be different, not a standard condo,” says Shelley.

“They wanted something special, they wanted to make their friends jealous,” explains Shane. “They wanted to identify the building with who they are and we couldn’t go with a conventional concept. We had to create a sense of character.”

The Fentons took a hands-on role, working with Graziani + Corazza to create the tower in Mondrian style, which takes its cue from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872 to 1944), whose abstract painting are characterized by horizontal and vertical black lines that outline blocks of white, red, blue or yellow.

The building will have a distinct weave of horizontal and vertical white bands, adding a contemporary dialogue to the neighbourhood’s urban character, according to lead architect Enzo Corazza.

Rise will have “a sexy hotel vibe,” according to Shane, with an airy lobby designed by Dan Menchions of IV by IV Design, combining industrial and organic materials such as Lucite, natural stone, lacquered wood and chrome, all set against a palette of pale cognac, bronze, silver, and warm white.

Natural light will pour in from north and south exposures and the lobby will open to a contemporary courtyard garden with sculpture and water features, visible through transparent window walls.

According to feedback, potential buyers also wanted “usable and fun outdoor spaces to hang out in,” according to Shane.

The amenity space covers 18,000 square feet and includes a spectacular infinity pool with views of downtown. A large terrace includes dining and cooking areas, fire pits and private cabana lounges and is connected by transparent sliding doors to dining and lounge spaces.

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.