Galleria on the Park Condos – Interview with Ryan Rabinovich
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Galleria on the Park Condos – Invest First in a 22-acre Redevelopment: Transcript
Amit Bhandari: Everyone, this is Amit Bhandari of talkcondo.com and today we’re at PSR Brokerage and we are sat with Ryan Rabinovich who is the President of Pre-construction Sales for PSR. We’re going to talk about an incredible new development called Galleria on the Park. Ryan, thank you so much.
Ryan Rabinovich: Thank you for having me.
Amit Bhandari: [inaudible 00:00:32], so this project is huge in many ways. It’s multi phase, multi faceted, so there’s a lot of stuff to talk about, and to make things easy what I want to do is I’m going to break it down and tell you what we want to talk about, at least what I want to talk about.
Ryan Rabinovich: Sure.
Amit Bhandari: First, developer in this day and age, pre-construction is seen, buying from a reputable developer is insanely important. If you know you’re buying from a developer that has the track record, has the expertise it gives you a lot more confidence. We’ve seen the news, what’s been happening, and it’s unfortunate, but when you’re buying from a developer like Elad, who is the developer, you can be a bit more confident. So the first thing I’m going to talk about the developer.
Amit Bhandari: Next thing I want to talk about is the neighborhood. It’s going through a massive, massive change in my opinion, and we’re starting to see this catalyst that’s going to take it in a particular direction and it’s an incredibly impressive direction that I think a lot of investors will really, really like to see.
Amit Bhandari: Then I want to talk about the community because that’s what it is. It’s basically a village that’s being built within a neighborhood, Galleria on the Park. Then I want to talk about the specific towers, the first phase.
Amit Bhandari: So first things first, talk to us about Elad. I know they’re a huge mega corporation, so please walk us through who Elad is.
Ryan Rabinovich: Sure, definitely. We’ve been very excited and fortunate to spend time and work with Elad over the last almost year as they’ve been gearing up to introduce this project to the market. Elad is a multi-national firm. They have offices in Israel, they have offices in Florida, in New York, and in Toronto, and I think they’re one of the best-kept secrets as far as the development industry’s concerned because they’ve been really focused over the last decade or so … They’ve been really focused on creating one master planned community in North York called Emerald City. Now that that master plan community is nearly done they’ve set their sights several years ago through the acquisition of Galleria along with three developments at the time in converting that into their second massive master planned community in Toronto, and from that point, even though they’re focused on it now they’ve already acquired land for their third master planned community in Toronto again in North York. So, very active developer, very active pipeline, but because of their sheer scale they’re publicly traded in Israel-
Amit Bhandari: I was just going to say, yeah.
Ryan Rabinovich: Because of their sheer scale, it rarely makes sense for Elad to focus on doing one single standalone building. They have the resources, they have-
Amit Bhandari: They want to go big.
Ryan Rabinovich: Yeah, they have the resources to create scale and they’re seeking to do that at any opportunity that’s given to them. So Galleria is just the next step in Elad’s evolution of creating another world class master planned community in Toronto.
Amit Bhandari: And it’s also important to emphasize the fact that they have worked on another master planned community. They have that expertise. They know what they’re doing, so there’s a sure bet that this is-
Ryan Rabinovich: There’s lessons in every experience. Elad will tell you that they’ve learned in Emerald City, they’ve learned a lot in the first building, and many of those lessons have been applied in the second building, and I believe in perpetual learning and Elad shares that vision. So every building they improve in. Now that they almost have a full master planned community under their belt all of those lessons will be applied to Galleria to make sure that the execution is faster, to make sure that all of the elements that maybe were overlooked or missed in Emerald City are not to be missed again in this community.
Amit Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:04:31]. And it’s like music to an investor’s ears that. You know, we invest ourselves and then you hear about developers, and their track record, and what they’ve done, and what they’ve accomplished, and then when you hear a company like Elad working on something like that, it is, it’s something that an investor can get incredibly excited about, just that alone.
Ryan Rabinovich: Yep.
Amit Bhandari: The next thing I want to talk about, and it’s the other side of things that investors should be excited … not just an investor but and end user, someone who wants to live in this community that can get excited about is an extension of this development is the greater neighborhood itself. There’s a lot of really, really interesting, amazing things that are happening from the perspective of retail. There is one particular street I do know that’s getting a lot of attention, it’s Geary Avenue, which is literally north of the Galleria site. So, if you could talk to us about Geary Avenue.
Ryan Rabinovich: Yeah, I mean Geary Avenue is … The neighborhood as a whole is starting to see an immigration within the city of a lot of that hipster, that artsy crowd, that lifestyle focused crowd, kind of what King West was in the early days. We’re seeing a lot of those businesses, a lot of those residents coming to Dupont West now. I think where it [inaudible 00:05:53] currently is along Geary Avenue where you see some of the best restaurants in Toronto now, art studios-
Amit Bhandari: Microbreweries.
Ryan Rabinovich: Microbreweries, they’re all along Geary Avenue, which is literally one street north of our site, but I think that is just the start of how this neighborhood will transform, not only with the addition of Galleria but also more organically with more young families, young professionals seeking slightly more affordable housing options in great locations within downtown. As that happens property values will continue to climb and a community like Galleria will just cement this neighborhood as what it is about to become, which is another world class-
Amit Bhandari: Hotspot.
Ryan Rabinovich: Top spot in Toronto.
Amit Bhandari: If you want to draw parallels, what I always like to do in talking to investors is look at this to how something like King Street was prior to the TIFF forming, before the announcement of TIFF. It was a very different neighborhood. As soon as TIFF was announced it transformed the neighborhood, a lot more development, a lot more interest from retail, and then it changed. That was the catalyst, and what I see here is in a very, very similar situation where you’ve got all these amazing restaurants, and microbreweries, and a lot of interest from a lot of people from across … It’s not just the local community but from across the city that are coming to this pocket and enjoying what it has to offer today, but that’s only going to improve. You are going to see a lot more of this kind of activity happening. This is the kind of thing that from an investor’s standpoint, that’s the kind of thing that you need to be looking out for because where are these next hotspots and this is prime for that.
Ryan Rabinovich: Definitely.
Amit Bhandari: The other thing I wanted to talk about was was I mean we’ve talked about the neighborhood, which in my opinion is just an amazing extension of Galleria on the Park in terms of its amenities but I want to talk about Galleria on the Park itself now. I said it at the top that this is a multi-phased development but it’s multi faceted. I mean, there’s so many different elements to this project. There is the park, the community center, the retail. If you could talk to us about those three pieces to begin with.
Ryan Rabinovich: I that it’s all part of parcel with the vision. It’s very different. Creating a master planned community takes a very different line of thinking than creating a standalone building because when you’re creating a standalone building you are trying to ideally find something that’s already suitable to the existing area, and when you’re creating a master planned community it’s exactly as its named. It’s got to be a master plan, so it has to be really carefully thought through from start to finish. A master planned community isn’t just a collection of residences. It’s not just a residential density. You need to create the infrastructure to support it, and I think that Galleria, the developers, have hit the nail right on the head. You have a significant amount of residential density that is just right for the existing neighborhood so it compliments the existing housing options there.
Ryan Rabinovich: The retail component is quite significant. The Galleria Mall today has about 230,000 square feet of retail. That’s coming out and being traded for brand new 300,000 square feet of retail-
Amit Bhandari: That’s really important.
Ryan Rabinovich: Exactly. There’s more retail coming in than coming out.
Amit Bhandari: Yeah, leaving, yeah.
Ryan Rabinovich: The retail component will be entirely owned by one entity. The major anchor tenants have already been secured, national grocer, pharmacy chain, financial institutions, so now it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks to create a really good mix of tenants, restaurants, shops, boutiques, service-oriented retail, hair salons and cafes to enhance that community feel along with providing all the retail options that the residents need.
Ryan Rabinovich: Across from the retail we’re getting into an eight-acre park. That is incredibly rare in downtown Toronto today. Having that type of green space, that type of public space where people from not only the community but all over the city can come and congregate in is just a massive benefit to anyone who is a part of this community, whether you live in a low-rise in the area or whether you’re a part of Galleria on the Park you’re benefiting from this park. It will feature athletic fields, sports fields, it will feature picnic areas and designated areas for children to play in. So again, it’s just going after that ability to bring the community together, but the community isn’t just a term for-
Amit Bhandari: Galleria on the Park, it’s everything, it’s all encompassing.
Ryan Rabinovich: It’s everyone, it’s everyone around it and anyone that wants to come visit. And then on the west end of the land lot you have a brand new community center. The community center will be about 95,000 square feet making it one of the largest in the GTA, state of the art programming. You’ll have swimming pools, you’ll have fitness facilities-
Amit Bhandari: City ran?
Ryan Rabinovich: Yep, it’s city owned and managed, of course. You’ll have classrooms and studios, you’ll even have a daycare there again, which again is such a rare amenity that’s being very sought after by young families. As they look for neighborhoods to make their homes they really are … You know, one of the things that they think about and speaking even from myself as a father to young children, you want to make sure that you have adequate care options for your children while you’re out at work, and having a daycare right across the street from the condominiums really makes that decision quite easy.
Amit Bhandari: Speaking to that, taking it a little bit further, because of the depth and breadth of facilities, amenities, community center, park, retail, and you touched on it as well is just not for the Galleria community but it’s for everybody, but also at the same time it will attract a lot of end users. It will attract a lot of potential tenants. It will attract a whole host of individuals. So from an investment standpoint those are the kinds of communities that you should be taking a closer look at.
Ryan Rabinovich: Definitely.
Amit Bhandari: You’ve got a bigger pool now because there’s so many different elements in this community.
Ryan Rabinovich: And you’re really trying to create a melting pot of all types of buyer demographics because this is, again, something that’s supposed to be inclusive and inviting to young families, downsizers, retirees, young professionals. That is what a community is, right? It’s a mix of everyone, and I think that with all the interaction opportunities at great between the retail, and the park, and the community center-
Amit Bhandari: The attraction.
Ryan Rabinovich: … it really becomes a destination, and that would be the factor that sets Galleria apart.
Amit Bhandari: Absolutely, 100% agree. So the development, it’s incredible. I’m just going to do a quick recap because there’s a lot going on from the incredible neighborhood that it’s situated in, Geary Avenue, incredible restaurants, and that being a catalyst for the change in the entire neighborhood, and then you’ve got Galleria on the Park, you’ve got the Galleria community, the brand new community, multi-faceted community itself that is going to have all these elements. You spoke about the incredible brand new park with all these sports fields. You talked about the government-ran community center with all their facilities, internal facilities, and then you also spoke about the retail, the fact that the retail space is approximately 70,000 square foot more than what it was replacing. Am I missing anything here?
Ryan Rabinovich: I think all of that you mentioned plus the nearly 3,000 residential apartments, I think that’s what makes Galleria the community that I think many of the city’s residents will be proud of.
Amit Bhandari: Amazing. I am now going to transition in and drill it down into phase one of Galleria on the Park. So there’s going to be two towers. If you could please tell us a little bit more about the two towers and what they entail.
Ryan Rabinovich: Sure. So there’s two towers coming to the market. We’re going to be launching them one at a time. The first one will come out in September so it’s just a few weeks away at this point and we’re quite excited for it. The buildings will have a shared set of amenities but when we’ve curated the amenities, again, we want it to maintain that notion where we want to create interaction. We want people to know their neighbors, we want people to interact and make new friendships with their neighbors and create new relationships. The set of amenities that we’ve curated for the first phase includes everything from outdoor gardens and outdoor lounge areas, outdoor swimming pools, we have a children’s club, we have state-of-the-art fitness facilities, we have game rooms with billiards and foosball tables, we have media rooms. So again, it’s really all put together for you to interact with your neighbors. As far as the greater community, we’ve covered all of great elements within that. So the first block will be the firing shot for this master planned community and we really wanted to make sure we get it right.
Amit Bhandari: Amazing. One other thing that I wanted to very, very quickly jump in there with is this is phase one.
Ryan Rabinovich: Phase one.
Amit Bhandari: So for an investor or even for an end user you need to be getting in it early because it is multi phased.
Ryan Rabinovich: Yeah, we’ve actually … I know you work with many investors and end users alike and ultimately, even if you’re an end user you still want the value of your property to do well-
Amit Bhandari: Yeah, you want to benefit-
Ryan Rabinovich: … over time. So we really wanted to be as well educated about the performance of the assets as we could, and we’ve taken a deep dive and looked at the numbers and we’ve compared how master planned communities perform versus standalone buildings within the same geographical areas. The evidence that we found was conclusive. We are seeing consistently throughout the various communities that we’ve examined all across the GTA that investing in a master planned community significantly outperforms investing in a standalone building outside of the master planned community. There’s a variety of reasons for that but the main one in my mind is when you’re investing in a standalone building you have very limited influence on how the neighborhood evolves.
Ryan Rabinovich: When you’re investing in a master planned community, particularly in the early phases, you get to benefit from 10s and sometimes 100s of millions of dollars of infrastructure investments happening right at the bottom of your building. So it’s like buying a property along the Yonge line before the subway was there and imagine how much that value was influenced by the infrastructure a day after if the subway line was added. You have the same opportunity here. It’s currently a clean slate but as soon as you buy in and all of a sudden the community center comes up, and the park comes out, and the retail comes up, all of those infrastructure and all of those infrastructure amenities will literally grab your property value and pull it up higher than the average market appreciates because there is so much infrastructure happening right there.
Amit Bhandari: And also at the same time is when you see these new communities pop up from the general public who weren’t aware of this development to begin with but then they all of a sudden see finished community center, finished park, new buildings. You’re going to attract even more eyes as well, which is also going to boost up values because there’s going to be more interest [crosstalk 00:18:50]. Super excited. This is one that we’re definitely keeping a very, very, very close eye on, incredibly excited. If any of our investors or end users, any clients that are interested in Galleria on the Park, what would you suggest?
Ryan Rabinovich: Yeah, I mean, anyone that is looking to be a part of this community at a real early stage, I would always recommend for them to contact one of our platinum partners. I’ve had the pleasure of working with you and Roy for many years now, and so we want to continue and build that relationship and I would recommendation for your buyers within your networks and anyone that has any questions to get in touch with you and to make sure that you’re a part of this really early round, which we anticipate will happen in the middle of September.
Amit Bhandari: Amazing, we’re really looking forward to it. Thanks, Ryan.
Ryan Rabinovich: Thank you.
Amit Bhandari: All right.