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Tag Archives: Yorkville Avenue

Yorkville condos offer upscale affordability

The Cumberland offers condos under $400,000 at famed Four Seasons hotel site

Ryan Starr – Toronto Star

“Affordable Yorkville.”

That’s how seasoned Toronto broker Hunter Milborne characterizes what’s on offer at The Cumberland at Yorkville Plaza, a new 40-storey condo building to be built on the prestigious corner of Avenue Rd. and Cumberland Ave. More than 100 of the 272 suites recently released for sale are priced under $400,000.

Comment: But price is not everything. How small are they?

“It’s pretty good for this neighbourhood,” says Milborne, principal of Milborne Real Estate Inc., and head of sales for the project.

“If you went shopping and said, ‘I want to buy something in Yorkville for under $400,000,’ most people would say that’s not going to happen.’ ”

The Cumberland at Yorkville Plaza
The Cumberland — a glass tower that flares out near the top of its north side — marks the second phase of Yorkville Plaza. The first phase saw the old Four Seasons hotel, at Avenue Rd. and Yorkville Ave., converted into the 32-storey tower: The New Residences of Yorkville Plaza.

Phase 2 construction will also erect an 11-storey, office-condo building on Yorkville Ave.

The first 25 floors of The Cumberland — Tower Residences — have been released for sale, with suites ranging from 385-square-foot, one-bedroom units to 855-square-foot, two-bedroom-plus-den units. Prices start at $350,000 and go to $750,000.

Comment: So there’s the rub. Sure, the price is low (if $350k can be considered low), but the unit you get for that is only 385 square feet. That is only a bit bigger than my master bedroom. Compare that with 650sf at Garrison Point for a similar price.

Suites will have eight-foot-plus ceilings and open layouts, floor-to-ceiling windows and laminate plank flooring.

Comment: So for $350,000 you can get a tiny box that is under 400sf (think less than 20×20 feet – including bathroom and kitchen and laundry) with 8-foot ceilings to make it feel even more like a tiny box. And cheap laminate flooring. I don’t know, this is not really convincing me this is a good deal.

Kitchens have stone countertops and Miele appliances, including a refrigerator and dishwasher that are integrated into the cabinetry. “It’s part of your living area so it’s important to make it feel like furniture,” says Camrost-Felcorp president David Feldman.

Bathrooms will have porcelain tile floors, white soaker tubs and frameless glass showers. All suites have a stacked washer-and-dryer unit.

The widespread popularity of the original, star-studded Four Seasons hotel helped generate interest in the first phase of Yorkville Plaza, which is now over 90% sold.

Comment: And all the little ones will be offered out as rentals. I wonder how popular they will be…

The developers expect that same momentum to drive sales at the new tower, The Cumberland. “The site is so well-known, worldwide,” says Andrew Barnicke, president of Abbey Road Ventures, the marketing consultant for The Cumberland.

“Everyone who does business in Toronto at one point stayed at the Four Seasons, or you went there for lunch or dinner. So this will be attractive to a broad buyer group.”

Yorkville’s colourful history dates back to the 1960s when it was the centre of Toronto’s bohemian counter-culture. Legendary Canadian artists like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot got their starts in its coffee houses.

At The Cumberland, lower-priced suites are expected to appeal to single men and women, young couples, as well as investors, “because there’s a very good rental market here,” says Milborne, noting the prime Yorkville location, an area that will see healthy price appreciation through the years.

As was the case with the first phase of Yorkdale Plaza, The Cumberland will also prove attractive to those who own homes elsewhere but visit Toronto several times a year. “They want a pied-à-terre here,” Barnicke says. “They love the Yorkville lifestyle and they don’t want to go to a hotel.”

The Cumberland will have three floors of residential amenities, including an aquatic centre with a 60-foot indoor pool that opens onto an outdoor sun deck. There’ll be a splash pad for kids (or grandkids), a whirlpool spa and steam rooms, as well as a fitness centre and yoga studio. The building will offer pay-per-use services such as car detailing, wash and fold laundry, and dry cleaning.

The condo will have a lounge and dining room that opens onto an outdoor terrace equipped with bar and kitchen, gas barbecues and lounge seating. “You might live in a 388-square-foot, one-bedroom (unit),” Feldman says, “but you have an extension of your living area here for entertaining.”

All three buildings in Yorkville Plaza were designed by WZMH Architects. The Toronto firm worked on the original Four Seasons hotel back in 1971. “I thought it was important to maintain the same architects to have continuity in the integrity of the design,” says Feldman.

The developer has a deep appreciation for the work WZMH does. “We’ve built a lot of buildings in the city over the years, close to 60,” he says, “but I think you could consider this our new flagship project.”

Feldman says he himself is considering the purchase of an upper-level suite at The Cumberland (the larger Private Estates, on sale later this year, will start around $1 million.) “A lot of my friends now live down there and they say it’s great to be able to walk around and enjoy the ambiance,” he says of the upper-downtown neighbourhood. “It’s a very urban and sophisticated lifestyle.”

Yorkville Plaza will have retail at the ground level of all three of its buildings, two-storey spaces for high-end shops and gourmet eateries. “We’re paying close attention to who we put in there, because it’s about maintaining that Yorkville lifestyle that people want,” says Barnicke.

Marking the eastern entryway into Yorkville, The Cumberland will include a new public square on Avenue Rd. just north of Cumberland St., with a water feature, public art sculpture and widened sidewalks. “We’re going to open up the whole vista from Avenue Rd. for pedestrians,” Feldman says.

A public walkway will run between the two Yorkville Plaza towers, providing pedestrian access from Avenue Rd. into Yorkville.

“The theme of Yorkville is its lanes,” says Feldman. “So we’re respecting that here by tying into the existing network.”

Project Name: The Cumberland at Yorkville Plaza
Location: Avenue Rd. and Cumberland St.
Developer: Camrost-Felcorp
Architect: WZMH Architects
Size: 40 storeys; 272 units in first release, Tower Residences (floors 4 to 25); 385 sq. ft. to 855 sq. ft.
Prices: $350,000 to $750,000

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

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent 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.