- Roy Bhandari (Broker of Record, SAGE – TalkCondo) interviews Eric Kuzuian (President, PSR Brokerage) ahead of the launch for Kingly Condos
- Eric highlights the partnership of Allied and RioCan as developers for Kingly Condos, two of the biggest success stories in Canada and developers of some of the most highly sought after commercial buildings in Toronto, including the brand new QRC building renowned as one of the best office spaces in Downtown Toronto
- Discussion on King West, and why it is seeing some of the best resale and rental demand on the market
- Two huge commercial tenants that will occupy 250,000 sq.ft. of office space in King West that will bring even more top tier jobs to the immediate area
- The unique features about Kingly that aims to position the building as the best condominium in King West
- The incredible amenities that residents will have access to at Kingly Condos
- The suite finishes at Kingly Condos that will stand a level above the rest of the King West market
- How you can get front of line access in this highly sought after new condominium with TalkCondo
Roy Bhandari: Good morning this is Roy Bhandari with talkcondo.com and today we are very fortunate to be joined by Eric Kuzuian, who is the President of PSR Brokerage who is going to be handling the sales and marketing for a very, very exciting project called Kingly Condominiums. Eric, thank you very much for your time today and we’re very happy to sit down with you.
Eric Kuzuian: Thanks, Roy. Pleasure to be here.
Roy Bhandari: When we look at these new condominium projects there tends to be a number of things that we look at when we’re advising clients. We always say that it has to be by a top builder. It has to be in the right location and the project itself has to have all the elements that we like to see so we’re going to sort of talk about those one by one. I’m going to start by talking about the developer. When we buy pre-construction, more often than not you’re buying the developer.
You’ve got to buy somebody who’s going to deliver they say they’re going to deliver. In this case, it’s really exciting because the collaboration of Allied and RioCan is very unique in this situation. Why don’t you give us a little bit of an overview on Allied and RioCan and what makes that so unique here?
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, absolutely it’s definitely unique. This is the first collaboration that they’re doing on a residential property. You’re looking at two Canadian iconic companies of endless amounts of success. Allied themselves has probably the largest portfolio of the coolest commercial space in King West. They do have it all over the country.
They have it all over the city but they definitely have a strong foothold on some of the coolest properties that they’ve developed in King West in the commercial side. You’re getting that whole understanding of product that is beautifully designed. You’re looking at a company that pays great compliment to the neighbourhood and really understanding exactly what the demographic and whether it’s commercial offices that people are coming to lease and now understanding on the residential side what the target market is looking to in terms of home ownership.
Roy Bhandari: Last week we spend time in the QRC building, which is if you’ve not been in it, it is one of the most stunning piece of architecture in design and build. It’s just phenomenal. The lobby with the, I don’t even know how many stories high.
Eric Kuzuian: That must be like 40 feet tall.
Roy Bhandari: Yeah, it’s huge and it’s incredible. To be able to bring that kind of build quality to a residential building is again something so unique and one of the real important pieces of the puzzle here.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, they’ve really honed in on taking heritage buildings and paying tribute to what was already there and bringing in this modern flare of futuristic design and creating what can be in the future.
Roy Bhandari: We’re going to talk about this building specifically later on in the video but I have to bring it in the front. The brick finish on the outside, again so unique to this project. It’s not like the other towers in the area.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, you’ve done obviously quite a bit in terms of condo sales. You know what all the building in terms of developments usually consist of. This is definitely a very regal, old world-
Roy Bhandari: Kingly.
Eric Kuzuian: Kingly exactly. Type of construction where it is masonry and brick finish all the way up and that’s really going to stand out compared to what’s the norm in the neighbourhood.
Roy Bhandari: I think it’s really exciting that Allied got involved in this and we’re really excited about that part.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, absolutely.
Roy Bhandari: I want to switch gears and talk about King West. I don’t think… and I’m not stroking your ego here but I don’t think there’s anybody more qualified in Toronto to talk about King West than yourself. You’ve sold countless buildings here or any building that is important in this neighbourhood. You’ve been involved in. Your headquarters is where we sat today. It is located in the heart of King West.
Eric Kuzuian: That’s right.
Roy Bhandari: And of course you run a brokerage where the resale agents are very, very dominant in this neighbourhood so from start to finish you’ve seen this neighbourhood where it was, where it is, where it’s going to be so I want to talk to you a little bit about first of all the lifestyle of this area. Why are people so attracted to this neighbourhood?
Eric Kuzuian: That’s a great question. I mean I think because it encompasses all aspects of true lifestyle and what people are looking for in an urban city like Toronto. You have great architecture. You know in terms of one of the pioneers in the neighbourhood who really put King West on the map with three developments. A lot of the call it edgier buildings that started coming here in the late 2000s. We did a project with bringing in the Phillippe Starck, bringing in the Thompson Hotels, so we started really understanding that the neighbourhood really needed this new movement with the way residential was going to be built and was going to be lived in.
Once that started happening, you had some of the greatest restaurants and bars to come into the neighbourhood and I think the attraction to the neighbourhood is its proximity to the core but the fact that it’s just five minute outside and it really has beautiful parks, heritage buildings and where it really has that juxtaposition of old, new, modern, traditional, and I think that really spoke to the demographic of the neighbourhood.
Roy Bhandari: I think what’s really for my perspective, what really makes this unique is that it really got this community feel. Like you said up the road is the financial district, come out a few minutes and it’s got this neighbourhood feel, this community feel, which is really unique in Toronto.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, you don’t really see the … We know we always say it’s the same way we position our values as a company trading right in the neighbourhood. You don’t get your big box stores in King West. You have your butcher. You have your florist. These really service oriented, boutique type of operations and that really adds to the feel and the culture. It’s been great. It’s really seen such a movement in the last 8 to 10 years and you’re right. We do trade quite a bit in the neighbourhood and we understand it.
Kingly was no different when we were brought on. We knew exactly what the floor plans, what the units, what the amenities, and when we saw this design via Hairiri Pontarini, one of the best architects in the game who headquarters is right beside us, right at the corner of King and Portland. We knew it was going to be a win-win right from the beginning.
Roy Bhandari: Awesome, you mentioned how much activity your resale agents do and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask about the resale numbers and the rental numbers, which again you look at the city and this pocket commands some of the best resale, some of the best rental rates. I was wondering if you could talk about that a little bit.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, I would attribute that to two factors. One being that you’re not really in a high rise neighbourhood. There’s restrictions in this neighbourhood, which again adds to the feel of the neighbourhood. You don’t have a lot of product that’s constantly changing or available. So yeah, we see that special pocket that’s West of Spadina, East of Bathurst. This direct pocket definitely is quite competitive and aggressive in the pricing and it’s getting it. On my desk the other day I think I saw couple of just over 400 square foot studios just trade in the mid nines. The rental for a 400 square foot studio is now about $1,850, $1,900 a month. It’s way over four almost five dollars of square foot and if you’re on the MLS and you’re checking for rental in this neighbourhood, it’s gone tomorrow.
Roy Bhandari: There’s no vacancy.
Eric Kuzuian: It’s gone.
Roy Bhandari: It’s gone, yeah and again that speaks to the whole neighbourhood.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah because I think and again it’s very unique to be right in the core but have this neighbourhood feel. I think that’s exactly what most people are looking for.
Roy Bhandari: Again, let’s switch gears one more time and we could talk about Kingly. I know it’s a project you are excited about.
Eric Kuzuian: I am excited.
Roy Bhandari: We’re excited about it. There’s so many elements in this project that I think of are great. I think the commercial building. We can spend 20 minutes talking about the commercial side. There’s the retail all along the promenade. The brick finish along the floor and up that goes into the building. Let’s touch on the commercial side first because I think that’s important as well. There’s some very exciting commercial tenants in the building.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, so I mean Allied they’re known to bring in some great tenants. This is 250,000 square feet of office and retail that is completely leased up with two major national brands being Shopify and Indigo who have decided to move their headquarters into this neighbourhood. That’s the exciting part because once you start bringing employment into your area, not just employment, major, major companies who are coming into the area it further sustains the fact that this neighbourhood’s here to stay and this neighbourhood’s going to just keep elevating in terms of appraised values, tenancy, and everything that comes with it.
Roy Bhandari: I agree 100% and I think as a city as a whole, I think it’s great to see these companies setting up their headquarters in our city. Retail, so important for this … You know retail is the reason King West is King West. Again, this is I like to take very seriously, Allied and RioCan have taken very seriously so talk to us a little about the retail.
Eric Kuzuian: Right down the street like you mentioned, right down underneath the building, Buca is located and their [crosstalk 00:09:40] location. Their original location where they started, their courtyard outside their restaurant, part of their courtyard that’s going to be part of this project.
Then along King Street and along the promenade going towards Adelaide the whole retail serviced for food, beverage, coffee shops, cafes.
Roy Bhandari: That comes from you guys knowing what this neighbourhood …
Eric Kuzuian: Well you know, I’d love to take credit for that but I know Allied knows what they’re doing and obviously RioCan as well so I think they knew right away when they were positioning this building what the uses would be on the retail floor because that’s what the neighbourhood desires and becomes the most successful types of tenancy. It is unique the way they did marry both access from the Adelaide side to the King side, to the Portland side and like you mentioned this interior pathway that’s this beautiful cobblestone interlock type of finish and having the coffee shops going along it gives you this amazing old world European feel that is like no other.
Roy Bhandari: Give us a head count of the project. Give us the stories, how many stories, how many suites.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, it’s definitely a boutique project. It’s only going to be available to 130 lucky people. It’s 16 stories tall. The project, understanding the neighbourhood we don’t do studios in these types of projects. The entry point is definitely going to be a one bedroom and we have some one bedrooms and one plus dens. Then we have some great two bedrooms that range from the 630 square feet but most of the two bedrooms really start at the 800 to 1,100 square foot range. Then we have some three bedrooms that are from a thousand square feet all the way up to 2,700 square foot penthouses. The penthouse, lower penthouse floor have terraces that will come with gas lines and water lines. There are some terraces on the east facing units, on the third floor and-
Roy Bhandari: Some spectacular views on that.
Eric Kuzuian: East facing is a great obviously you’re seeing the beautiful city skyline and again because you’re not in a high rise area, you do have these views believe it or not from third floor.
Roy Bhandari: Excellent.
Eric Kuzuian: Right.
Roy Bhandari: A lot of times when we look at boutique buildings, there has to be some sacrifice on amenities and well I’ve seen … I think we’ve seen that that’s not the case here.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, I don’t think the word sacrifice runs well with Allied or RioCan so they’re definitely not to pulling back in that department.
You’re dealing with any type of amenity you could think of and again attribute to the design of the building, attribute to position the building to be the nicest building in the neighbourhood. You’re dealing with timeless amenities where you have a rooftop amenity floor with outdoor terrace, a private dining room, and a lounge. These are designed by II BY IV and Hairiri Pontarini to be again very elegant and quite different than what the neighbourhood’s used to.
Like you’ve said we’ve done quite a few buildings in the neighbourhood so you know the gyms are usually not the greatest in terms of giving up amenity space. This building took a different direction. It’s a double height gym, looks like any other state-of-the-art fitness studio that probably charges memberships and that’s going to be included.
It’ll also be one of the few buildings in the neighbourhood that’s going to have a 24 hour concierge. It’s again, our decision was 130 units, 24 concierge could it be expensive? Probably, but we know people in this building want it and that’s the type of feel and type of living that we’re positioning this building to offer.
Roy Bhandari: Awesome. So great location, great building, great builder, really great amenities, floor plans, we’ve seen a few of the floor plans and they’re beautifully laid, so functional, so efficient. Features and finishes of the suites?
Eric Kuzuian: Again you’re dealing a level above what everybody else has seen in the neighbourhood whether it is a one bedroom, or a 2700 square foot, 10,000 it has the same finishes. We are doing fully integrated appliances.
We are doing islands everywhere, standard as per planned if we can fit them. We are doing hardwood everywhere. We are bringing in some great European appliances and what’s really unique to the project as well is standard light fixtures in every principal room and even in every island, which is not what you usually see in the product you change and you usually get the light switch with the plug in the wall. No, we have full outlets at every principal room. They wanted to treat this like homes personally regardless of the size of it and that’s again really unique and people will see the difference when they actually see the floor plans.
Roy Bhandari: One of the other things that is very unique about this project versus everything else we sell is that it’s already in construction.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, that’s the real unique part. Again when you’re dealing with these very successful companies. They are self-financed and they have the ability to start construction so they have and they brought the best in the business. Ellis Don is doing the build and they’re flying.
Currently, if you walk out of this boardroom and we look outside the windows you’ll see that they’re already on the sixth floor so occupancy for this building will be in 18 months. What that also does is it speaks to both types of purchasers.
The investor who doesn’t want to wait four, five years to get their money going and working for them, exciting. Then of course the end user who doesn’t want to get beaten up in this really aggressive retail market can pick the unit they want, pick the finishes they want and know that it’s never been lived in, it’s theirs and move in in 18 months.
Roy Bhandari: We’re excited. If our clients are interested in purchasing what do they have to do? Who do they have to call?
Eric Kuzuian: They have to call TalkCondo that’s who they got to call. I think TalkCondo is obviously a great relationship we have. We’ve known for many years and I think they know who to call.
Roy Bhandari: Yeah, it’s a very competitive market and knowing they have been using and how to secure the units is very important.
Eric Kuzuian: Yeah, we value relationships. We’re very supportive of those who’ve supported us and I think they’re in good hands with you guys.
Roy Bhandari: Great, thank you very much.
Eric Kuzuian: Thanks.
Roy Bhandari: We look forward to the Kingly condos.
Eric Kuzuian: Absolutely.
Roy Bhandari: Thank you.
Eric Kuzuian: Bye.