Amit Bhandari Interviewing Matt Young for E2 Condos

E2 Condos Video Interview – TalkCondo Discuss E2 with Matt Young

  • Amit Bhandari (Sales Representative and Co-Founder, SAGE – TalkCondo) interviews Matt Young (VP Developments, Capital Developments) ahead of the launch for E2 Condos, launching to Platinum Brokers on October 12th
  • Discussion on Capital Developments and their focus on Yonge & Eglinton
  • Why Capital Developments decided to double down on Yonge & Eglinton
  • Why Capital Developments projects stand out from the crowd in a typically conservative neighbourhood when it comes to condo designs
  • The past, present and future of Yonge & Eglinton
  • How the brand new LRT will completely transform this neighbourhood
  • Why E2 Condos is the best option in this neighbourhood
  • The importance of direct connection to the underground and subway system and how that impacts resale and rental values

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Transcript:

E2 Condos

Amit Bhandari: Hi there. This is Amit Bhandari of TalkCondo.com and today we are at Capital Developments’ HQ at Yonge on St. Clair, and we are with Matt Young who is the VP of Developments for Capital Developments. Matt, thank you so much.

Matt Young: Thanks for coming.

Amit Bhandari: Awesome! Matt, I cannot tell you how excited we are. When I say we, I’m talking about me and my brother, and the rest of the TalkCondo team to finally be working on E2. We were incredibly fortunate to work on the first phase, E Condos, in my opinion a landmark project, and this I’m sure will be no different. Thank you so much for allowing us to work on this incredible new development.

Matt Young: Yeah, thanks for supporting it.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing! There’s a lot of stuff that I’d like to cover. First of all, obviously, I wanna get a bit more information on the company, Capital Developments, on what Capital Developments means to Yonge and Eglinton. Then I’d like to talk about Yonge and Eglinton the neighborhood, and then also along there, talk about E2 Condos. Before any of that, I’d like to get to know you because we’ve known each other for a long time, I think since 2010 …

Matt Young: Yeah for sure.

Amit Bhandari: How you got started in this industry? What made you get started in this industry? And how you ended up becoming the VP of Developments?

Matt Young: Yeah, so I got started in the industry probably about nine years ago now. I had a family member, my uncle, who is in real estate, and as I was in university, I started learning the ropes a little bit from him, and always realize I want to be on the development side. I like the creative aspect of it, and eventually got my first job in development in 2009. That’s when we started working together, and I launched six different projects over three years at my prior company, and then eventually left and joined Capital Developments in 2012.

Amit Bhandari: You’re pretty awesome then.

Matt Young: Yeah, that’s your words, but okay.

Amit Bhandari: Fair enough. Capital Developments, huge name, especially in Yonge and Eglinton. It’s almost like it’s become synonymous with Yonge and Eglinton. Could you talk to us a bit about Capital Developments?

Matt Young: Yeah. Capital was formed by Todd Cowan and Jordan Dermer, probably about 10 years ago. They were kind of partners working for a company in Eastern Europe for another 10 years called TriGranit. This was an offshoot of Trizec Properties, and over about 10 years, they built 10 million square feet of real estate, mostly shopping centers, and hotels, and office buildings. Eventually, their families are based here, they moved back to Canada in 2006, I believe. Then they started Capital Developments.

From there, they started looking at different neighborhoods, and what market they wanted to be in. Eventually they honed in on Yonge and Eg. they realize that there’s a lot of potential here, a new crosstown is gonna be created and they felt that this was gonna be the new transit hub of the city. They started investing in properties, and over the past five years, we bought and developed and sold 155 Redpath, and 150 Redpath Condos, and The Art Shoppe Condos, and now this is a fourth condo that we’re gonna be doing in the area. We know it well, we love the neighborhood, and we’re very excited about this one.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing. That’s incredible foresight, by the way. The Yonge and Eglinton neighborhood, I’m personally a huge fan of the neighborhood. I actually live just down the street from Yonge-Eglinton. It’s an area that we … me and my family visit a lot. Our office is literally just down the street from Eglinton, as well. Everything is there. I think you don’t even need to venture outwards much to be able to do the things that you want to do. For instance, for us, our family doctor’s there, we go to watch movies there, grocery shop there. Everything is there.

What is it from Capital Developments’ standpoint? What is it for them? Like what is it about Yonge and Eglinton specifically that you continually want to focus on? Refocus on?

Matt Young: Yeah. Yonge and Eg is interesting, because it’s really like a second city center. I mean, it’s growing and it’s building right now. There is a lot of new residential coming there, but there’s lots of offices there, there’s lots of great retail coming into the neighborhood. Obviously, because of the crosstown and the subway, it’s one of the most connected intersections in the entire city. For that reason it offers a lot. It’s also close to amazing schools, and it’s-

Amit Bhandari: Yes.

Matt Young: Close to great neighborhoods.

Amit Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:04:49]

Matt Young: We found that, as we were selling other projects in the past, that there is a slightly more mature buyer who want to buy here. Now, that we’re occupying our first phase, 155 Redpath, we’re seeing that there’s a lot of young families and people like that. They wanna be close to good schools, and they wanna be close to great parks, and they wanna be close to maybe where they grew up, where their family home is, so they can go to dinner on Sunday. There’s a lot of great things about the neighborhood that’s very urban, but there’s also that connection to the single family home kind of suburban lifestyle that people seem to really like.

Amit Bhandari: I think the other really cool thing is is you have all these really fantastic amenities, but also the buildings that you guys are developing, as well. The soul, the design element. You tended to see a lot more conservative design with a lot of these buildings that you see in and around the area. A lot of the ones that say Capital Developments have touched, they’re very design-heavy. They bring a lot of international flare almost.

Matt Young: Yeah. I mean, whenever we do any project, we always focus on design, we focus on location, but we wanna deliver a superior product. We really try to pay attention to a lot of the details. We always hire amazing architects and amazing interior designers for all our projects. That would happen no matter what neighborhood we were building in. Certainly, there was a lack of that at Yonge and Eg.

Even when we launched our first project, I think the tagline was, “Bringing design to midtown,” because we didn’t really feel like there was all that much kind of contemporary, sophisticated design coming here. It was something we really used to try and differentiate ourselves, and it worked.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, I know, for sure.

Matt Young: We had three amazing, successful projects. We did a partnership with Karl Lagerfeld at The Art Shoppe, so that was another area where we kind of tried to think outside the box and bring design into the area. For us, it’s very important and any project we do, we really try and hone in on that, and make sure that the design is perfect, and ultimately it responds to who the buyers are gonna be, and the neighborhood.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing. Where do you see the neighborhood going into the future? I know it’s a very tough question to answer, because it’s very hard to predict, but given what’s happened and what’s happening right now, where do you see it going into?

Matt Young: I think it’s only getting better. I mean, it’s certainly a growing neighborhood. If you think of any area in the city with like really, really high growth, it’s Yonge and Eg. There’s still opportunities to develop in the area, so there’s lots of cranes, and new towers are gonna be going up over time. The area is also now starting to get a lot of the really cool retailers that maybe you used to have only in downtown, and now you’re starting to see at Yonge and Eg. Like La Carnita opened up, and Sweet Jesus, and Cibo Wine Bar. You’ve got these great entertainment destinations that you can go to.
I think that’s only gonna continue, because as people mature and they start their families, and they grow up a little bit, and they move to places like Yonge and Eg, they still want those amazing amenities that they used to have when they lived down at King and Bathurst.

Amit Bhandari: Right.

Matt Young: I think that’s kind of where the neighborhood’s going, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing. I wanted to drill it down a little bit further right on the key intersection, Yonge and Eglinton on the Northeast corner. E Place, I understand it’s gonna be … The areas that I’m speaking about is sandwiched between E Condos and E2. Could you speak to us a little bit about E Place?

Matt Young: Yeah, so E Place is really a combination of the buildings that had been built in the Yonge and Eglinton center, and it’s kind of this retail destination. You’ve got everything from theaters, to restaurants, to convenience-

Amit Bhandari: Grocery.

Matt Young: … opportunities, grocery, LCBO. You have all those things there, and it’s all built within one kind of mini path connection bellow grid. Our project’s gonna be really interesting because it’s gonna connect directly into E Place.

Amit Bhandari: Right.

Matt Young: You’ll be able to go directly from your lobby, down an elevator, and you’ll be able to walk right into the subway, the Crosstown LRT, Yonge-Eglinton center. You’ll have access to all of these things without ever going outside. In a country like Canada, that’s an amazing opportunity, so-

Amit Bhandari: It’s a fantastic opportunity.

Matt Young: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: What about the park?

Matt Young: Yeah, so there’s a park directly beside our site that we’re creating. It’s in conjunction with the building next door to us. We’re creating this small dog park area, and there’s a lack of smaller places, where you can take your dog, or go and-

Amit Bhandari: Just to relax.

Matt Young: … grab a quick lunch or something in the area. We wanna try and create something as part of the public realm. It’s an opportunity, where people from outside will be able to enjoy it, but it’s also something that our building’s gonna open up onto, and it’s gonna be an amazing asset for the people living in the building.

Amit Bhandari: It’s very rare that you can tend to see something like a green space, as well-

Matt Young: For sure.

Amit Bhandari: … beside or connected to any particular urban redevelopment or development.

Matt Young: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amit Bhandari: E2, the brand new development, that’s really the hot topic of the day. I think probably the killer piece of the puzzle for E2 is the direct connection to high speed transit.

Matt Young: For sure.

Amit Bhandari: We’ve seen it time and time again across the city, where if there’s a particular building that has somewhat of a connection, or direct connection, it’s always the ones that tend to have the biggest demand. The fact that this will have connection to two high speed lines, personally I think it’s huge deal. Could you speak to us about that specifically?

Matt Young: Yeah. I mean, when we buy sites, we always … you talk about location, location, location. Yonge and Eglinton, as a neighborhood, is in amazing location, but-

Amit Bhandari: For sure.

Matt Young: … when you really hone in on a neighborhood, you start to identify what is the absolute best location-

Amit Bhandari: Specific spots, yeah.

Matt Young: … in that neighborhood. The one that’s connected to the subway and connected to the LRT, that is the absolute best location in the neighborhood.

Amit Bhandari: Right.

Matt Young: It’s really exciting for us now as a key reason why we wanted to buy this property. We think it’s gonna be the game-changer, in terms of people who buy into this building because they’re gonna have a convenience that no other building has.

Amit Bhandari: Right.

Matt Young: They’re gonna have access to go down to the path downtown. They’re gonna be able to get out to the airport. They’ll be able to go east. This is really the biggest transit hub, other than Yonge and Bloor, in the entire country, and it’s being created in front of our eyes right now. It’s all under construction. By the time people actually move into this building, it’s gonna be ready, it’s gonna be used and operational, and they’re gonna have that convenience at their fingertips. For us, it’s a game-changer.

Amit Bhandari: I think that’s a very important point that you just touched on, because when you’re in our world, on our side, when you’re discussing an opportunity, sometimes you’re in a position where you have to sort of educate and almost have the potential investor imagine what is to become.
The amazing thing with E2 is you can go to that intersection right now, unfortunately get stuck in traffic because of the crosstown construction, but it’s happening, it’s happening in front of our very eyes.

Matt Young: For sure.

Amit Bhandari: Which is incredible to see. Not only that, you can actually go and enjoy the neighborhood, as well.

Matt Young: For sure.

Amit Bhandari: Can you talk to us about the building itself? The amenities? I know the lobby is gonna be a big deal.

Matt Young: Yeah. When we look at designing these buildings, we always take a step back and start to think about who the actual buyer’s going to be, or who the end user’s gonna be, whether it’s a renter. Hindsight is so great, we’ve got three different projects that we’ve been able to work on, and we’ve seen who bought into these projects and who’s moving into these projects. We start to identify that there’s a lot of young families and people taking the next step in their lives moving into this area, so we really tried to cater a building around them …

Amit Bhandari: Like me.

Matt Young: Like you, exactly. We’ve got three-bedroom units, we’ve got-

Amit Bhandari: Fantastic.

Matt Young: 11% three-bedroom units in the building, so there’s lots of opportunities if you’re gonna start and grow a young family, to buy a unit that makes sense for you. We’ve got a kids play area in the building that’s gonna have a rock climbing wall, and a crafts area and other areas. I know it’s always a challenge for parents. I’m not a parent myself yet, but it’s always a challenge for parents to find things to do for their kids and to have that in the building, I think is an amazing convenience and amazing amenity for these young families.

Amit Bhandari: It really is.

Matt Young: Yeah. Then everything else. I mean, it’s still designed beautifully. We still have lots of amazing amenities for even if you’re not a parent, or if you’re a student, or whatever else. We’ve got an outdoor theater and games areas, and party rooms. We’ve got an amazing ground floor lounge that’s gonna be world-class and look beautiful. It’s almost kind of inspired by like a high-end airport lounge.

It’ll have full Wi-Fi, and you’ll be able to hang out in there and do work and ultimately be able to engage with people in the building.

Then, of course, the lobby is gonna be stunning. That, to us, is … it’s the front door, everybody whoever comes to visit you, whether it’s a friend, your family, or the pizza guy, they’re all gonna be walking through that lobby. It’s really a bit bragging rights, when you have this beautiful lobby, when you can say to your friends, “Hey, like, you know-

Amit Bhandari: “Let’s hang out there.”

Matt Young: … this is where I live.” Exactly. Those are all staples for us, and yeah, we’re really trying to cater the building around that buyer.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing.

Matt Young: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Can you tell us a little bit more about E2, in terms of how tall it will be? How many suites there are gonna be, and overall mix of suites, perhaps?

Matt Young: Yeah. The building’s 48 stories tall.

Amit Bhandari: Okay.

Matt Young: There’s gonna be a little over 450 suites. We’re still working out a couple things on the penthouse program, to determine how many suites we’re gonna have there, but there’ll be a little over 450 suites.

We’ve got a broad mix of suites, but because there’s … We’ve identified a lot of families and that type of buyer who we hope is gonna buy here. We’ve created more two-bedroom suites and more three-bedroom suites to accommodate that.

Amit Bhandari: Got it.

Matt Young: There’s certainly more suites that are kind of family style, but we do have a broad mix from small one-bedrooms for investors, all the way up to really well-proportioned three-bedrooms.
Amit Bhandari: I think that that suite mix does make a lot of sense, because even for myself, from my perspective, I am noticing that there is a big shift for my sort of profile of person with young families that are moving to that neighborhood. I think the other thing is is to get a house in that neighborhood-

Matt Young: It’s impossible.

Amit Bhandari: It’s very tough.

Matt Young: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: It’s very tough.

Matt Young: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: I think what you guys are doing, in terms of the suite mix makes a lot of sense. I’ve got a very strong feeling that it will attract that kind of buyer.

Matt Young: Yeah. Toronto is going through a bit of a transition now, so I think for a long time people felt entitled to the opportunity to buy a single family home.

Amit Bhandari: Right.

Matt Young: Now that prices of homes have kind of gone crazy, I think a lot of buyers are starting to recognize that it’s totally acceptable and it’s totally okay to raise a family in a condo. I think developers are now gonna have to start thinking about how to build buildings around those buyers, because-

Amit Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:16:15]

Matt Young: … there’s a lot of them, and they’re all looking for places to live.

Amit Bhandari: For sure.

Matt Young: We really think this is the first building that’s really tried to cater towards those buyers in Toronto. It still offers all the same conveniences you would get out of a downtown building, but you’ve got access to the best parks, and to the best schools and …

Amit Bhandari: You’ve got access to Toronto-

Matt Young: Literally everything, yeah.

Amit Bhandari: … because, you know, the subway and the LRT.

Matt Young: For sure, for sure.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, fantastic. So, so excited to work on this. I guess, I’m sure we’re gonna have a lot of investors that are interested. If they are interested, what would they need to do?

Matt Young: Yeah. If you have clients that are interested, obviously, they should maintain connection with you guys.

Amit Bhandari: Okay.

Matt Young: We work with a very small group of realtors, especially when we launch these projects. There’s people who have worked on our projects in the past, and we’d like to support them. You guys, obviously, are one of those guys, and one of those groups, and they should stay in touch with you, and when we’re ready to release floor plans and to start signing, you’ll be able to give them as much information as possible.

Amit Bhandari: Amazing. So excited. Thank you so much, Matt.

Matt Young: Thank you for having me.

Amit Bhandari: All right, take care.

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