Roy Bhandari discussing Sugar Wharf Condos with Johnson Cheng

Sugar Wharf Condos – The Condo Investment You’ve Been Waiting For (with Johnson Cheng)

The entire investment community is buzzing about Sugar Wharf Condos, and for good reason.  The condominium checks so many boxes (in fact, we did a full video on the Top 5 Reasons to Invest at Sugar Wharf Condos) and the future of the neighbourhood is so bright.

We had a chance to chat with Johnson Cheng (President, Cornerstone and Sales Manager at Sugar Wharf Condos) ahead of the launch to talk about the key reasons to be excited about this project.

Johnson Cheng passion for Sugar Wharf is infectious and he shares his incredible knowledge about the project and neighbourhood.

In the interview we discuss:

  • The amazing reputation that Menkes have developed over the years as a visionary developer
  • The amazing location of Sugar Wharf Condos, ideally located in a high growth neighbourhood
  • Direct PATH Access, and the benefits of this unique feature of a condominium
  • The incredible amount of brand new prime office space coming nearby Sugar Wharf Condos
  • The 11.5 acre redevelopment taking place at Sugar Wharf – one of the largest re-developments of prime downtown space
  • The incredible scope of Sugar Wharf Condos
  • How Sugar Wharf is going to change the skyline of Toronto forever
  • And much more!

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Sugar Wharf Condos: Transcript

Roy Bhandari: Hi everybody. This is Roy Bhandari with, and today we are at the amazing sales office for Sugar Wharf Condos, and I’m joined today by Johnson Cheng, the President of Cornerstone Marketing and Sales Manager for Sugar Wharf. So, Johnson, thank you very much for joining me.

Johnson Cheng: Awesome. Thank you Roy.

Roy Bhandari: No problem.

Roy Bhandari: So, Sugar Wharf Condos is where everybody’s talking about in the investment community …

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: … and there’s a lot of reasons why. We’ve sort of narrowed it down to sort of three of four key pillars that we’re really excited about this project. …

Johnson Cheng: Absolutely.

Roy Bhandari: … and I want you to give us an overview of all of those.

Roy Bhandari: The first pillar is Menkes Development.

Johnson Cheng: That is by far the most important thing …

Roy Bhandari: Always the most important.

Johnson Cheng: … who is the builder? Because we are talking about pre-construction, so who do you place the trust of, the confidence, who are you entrusting the future with? That’s important.

Johnson Cheng: So let’s talk about Menkes. Menkes has been in the business for over 65 years, family held business, and they truly are what we call, the visionary master-plan builder.

Roy Bhandari: For sure.

Johnson Cheng: Where we’re located right now in [inaudible 00:01:11] in North York, they, not single-handedly, but they play a very, very vital role …

Roy Bhandari: Huge role.

Johnson Cheng: … instrumental role in creating over 5,000 homes here, and over 2 million square feet of office space, and over 30 years ago, when North York wasn’t really much, they had a vision. They knew that there was a need for another corridor of business, activities, and residential condominiums, for a lot of people to call homes to. And, sure enough, after 30 years, with all it’s glory, we see the North York Corridor where it is right now.

Johnson Cheng: Another example is the South Financial Core.

Roy Bhandari: Which is one of the most important ones. Most recently with [crosstalk 00:01:46].

Johnson Cheng: Exactly. Back over 12 years ago there was nothing there, except empty parking lots.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: In fact, a lot of developers were afraid to go south of the tracks and pass the Union Station and say, “That’s the point of no return. No one will ever want to be there. That’s no man’s land.” But what Menkes has done is that they have been able to demonstrate to entire city, that when you have a vision, people will follow.

Johnson Cheng: So, they actually were the first to develop a project, that we now know as the TELUS House, 25 York, and with that, even before TELUS signing on, they saw construction. Cause they just realized there’s such a viable place for offices to be located close to commute, close to the Union Station, and so what if you [inaudible 00:02:30] they have connection into Air Canada Center. Thereby facilitate all the office workers really easy access into it.

Johnson Cheng: Now, look at the South Core right now. It’s vibrant. There is night life, there is activity, and that’s where Jurassic Park came out.

Roy Bhandari: Yup.

Johnson Cheng: So that really speaks to the vision, that one have.

Johnson Cheng: Take another example, also in the South Financial Core is the Harbour Plaza. Harbour Plaza is not just residential, it actually has an office tower called One York.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: One York, again, when they started, is that a lot of people were questionable, wondering, ‘is this South Core, really happening?’ Sure enough, Sun Life Financial moved the head office to One York; that was a great testament, that the South Financial Core …

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: … was alive and well. And our neighbor to the south, at Harbour Plaza, is World Bank of Canada.

Roy Bhandari: Huge.

Johnson Cheng: The third installment of the Waterfront phase three, and that again speaks to the whole development of the South Financial Core. Where the hole vision was to create, brand new buildings, where a lot of the financial institutions need this high quality Platinum Leed certified buildings. Where they have the infrastructure, technology, open plan, floating floors, all these things that the older buildings are not able to provide.

Roy Bhandari: I think one of the things that all we really come back to, and it happens again at Sugar Wharf, but one of the things that Menkes do exceptionally well, from my side, on the outside looking in, is they build multi-faceted buildings. It’s not just about the condominium, but it’s about how the condominium, how the commercial, [crosstalk 00:04:03]

Johnson Cheng: It’s the linkage of what we called Mixed-use.

Roy Bhandari: Yes.

Johnson Cheng: It’s the balancing of mixed-use. Mixed-use for some people is just residential tower with some shops at the ground level. For Menkes that is not enough. Because they realize that as investors, when the community develops, you’ve gotta have the components of mixed-work in place.

Roy Bhandari: Sure.

Johnson Cheng: The major component is work. A lot of builders could build residential buildings. A lot of builders could leave up some space on the ground floor and make it into retail, and jam something in there. But very few, in turn, have successfully reintegrate the office components, because it takes another level of expertise to really integrate office, renting an office and building an office buildings is an art by itself. That’s what makes it so demonstrative, that they’re able to do that.

Roy Bhandari: One of the other things I wanted to touch on with Menkes and you’re better place than anybody to talk about this, and one of the areas that Menkes has really got a great reputation on is, after-purchase care, and customer care, when unit hand-over take place. This is an area where so many developers trip and fall.

Johnson Cheng: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: But this is an area where Menkes have exceeded, and are known in the industry …

Johnson Cheng: Absolutely.

Roy Bhandari: … as top shelf. Shows me there are clients who do their PDIs and go into the suites for the first time. I’d love you to give me 20 seconds on that process, and …

Johnson Cheng: Well, what Menkes has done is they realize that their mission and the job mandate doesn’t stop at just creating building to building. It’s actually total service delivery experience.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: Looking from the buyer. For a lot of buyers, condominium purchase, that may be their first. Doing PDI, they have no idea what to do, and the whole arranging is a very daunting process, and so, they have a dedicated customer care team department, that really looks after, and they’re on-site. They’re not remote, they’re on site to inform them that they are to service their clients, to really walk them through every step of the way. That is the commitment of that whole service delivery experience that Menkes is so key about. [crosstalk 00:06:05]

Roy Bhandari: We could talk about Menkes for hours, but the best compliment I could pay them is that, they make my clients’ life easy, and they make my life easy, and that’s really the best compliment that I could think of when it comes to them.

Roy Bhandari: Transitioning to the second pillar …

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: … which I think is another reason why people are so excited about this, Sugar Wharf Condominiums, and you’ve touched on it already, but it is we’re Yonge and Lakeshore is today, but where the future is going.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: You’ve talked about the commercial, and the growth and it’s amazing to think that an intersection like Yonge and Lakeshore, have so much potential still.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: You talk about where it’s gonna go, and I know you’re deeply entrenched in this. So, I’m gonna pass …

Johnson Cheng: I live and breathe that everyday. But, when talk about Yonge and Lakeshore Queens Quay, that intersection, we have to go back and what we talked about, the South Financial Core is that they gain. Five, six years ago there wasn’t really much there, and you seen the developers, you’ve seen the vibrancy. But, looking beyond the vibrancy, is that a lot of things are already built already. So, there’s no more room for growth. But, where’s Toronto? Are you stagnant? No.

Roy Bhandari: No.

Johnson Cheng: It’s actually moving towards the east, on the waterfront. That’s why we create this. This is the Toronto downtown waterfront. The downtown is actually moving to the water, towards the east side, and we see a lot of activity going, and that’s exciting because [crosstalk 00:07:23]

Roy Bhandari: That’s the activity that I wanted to talk about, because there really is, not just the residential front, but the commercial side is growing insane. You’ve already mentioned, One York as part of Harbour Plaza …

Johnson Cheng: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: … but look at the future.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: What is in the pipeline? Tell us some of the commercial buildings that …

Johnson Cheng: Pipeline is fabulous. If you look at his model, what we have right now here representing on these two white buildings, that is the CIBC Square.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: First ever a twin tower, they’re will be this one acre part, cantilever that cross the rail deck, it’s fabulous. That will be the home for CIBC new head office there …

Roy Bhandari: Amazing.

Johnson Cheng: … global head office. And they’ll be moving 15,000 of the workers to these two buildings.

Roy Bhandari: Incredible.

Johnson Cheng: That’s amazing!

Johnson Cheng: Now, that’s not the end of it. That was just the …

Roy Bhandari: That’s the beginning.

Johnson Cheng: … beginning. Okay.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: From there, there’s also going to be two office towers right at the front of Yonge and Queens Quay. Toronto Sun building, that’ll be totally redeveloped.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: So that is amazing.

Johnson Cheng: And also, with the end is Sugar Wharf community itself, Menkes have start construction on the future head office for LCBO. That’s around 763,000 square feet, of which LCBO is committed to getting 200,000 square feet to host the new head office. At the base they will put in a 25,000 square feet of flagship LCBO. It’s incredible to think about LCBO having a flagship store, but that’s where they really want to showcase their vintages, and it’s the new trend in terms of the consumption of alcohol is actually an art in itself, and they really want to express that with a proper flagship expression store.

Johnson Cheng: And, also moving a little bit more to east, is waterfront innovation center.

Roy Bhandari: Yup.

Johnson Cheng: Now, this waterfront innovation center is the first …

Roy Bhandari: By Menkes.

Johnson Cheng: … by Menkes. Is the first every dedicated innovation center in Canada. Period. This was committed, even before the days of Google. Even before the announcement of Google, even before the talk of Amazon, short listing Toronto as one of the potential sites for their world-wide headquarters number two. Menkes have been on this innovation path. Menkes have bene on this path to really stake hold within the downtown waterfront developments, to play a major role in it. That’s the exciting part.

Johnson Cheng: When we look at this brand new city model, this is a representation of where the future will be.

Roy Bhandari: Sure.

Johnson Cheng: We know there’s no more land to develop. There’s no growth in the South Financial Core. It’s all done. But the future growth is moving towards the east and on the waterfront. That is the amazing story. That’s why people are really talking about Sugar Wharf, cause they’re right in the center of it.

Roy Bhandari: Of the best jobs that Toronto has to offer, the tech jobs, and the financial core jobs, you’re gonna be steps to all of this. This transitions just very nicely to, what I think is something that makes this project very, very special.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve talked about a lot of this stuff already, but this one piece that really makes this project special, and that’s the PATH connection.

Johnson Cheng: Have connection is paramount.

Roy Bhandari: Huge.

Johnson Cheng: Because you and I know that there is a myriad of different projects.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: I’m not saying that they’re bad. All I’m saying is that when you have this PATH connection, it makes a world of difference. Imagine a hot day, you don’t have to sweat, and you can just walk to work.

Roy Bhandari: I’m sweatin today.

Johnson Cheng: There’s a lot of things, a lot of convenience, that we don’t really take into consideration, but when you think about it, it is really what defines, really luxurious living and having the convenience, and that’s what path really signifies. You could walk to work in the summer, in an air conditioned experience.

Roy Bhandari: And in the winter?

Johnson Cheng: In the winter it’s going to be heated. So what we’re talking about, this PATH connection is what we call the Sky bridge. It is elevated, it is fully enclosed. So in the summer it will be air conditioned, winter it would be heated, and you have this protection year-round. Of course you walk on the street on a nice day, but if you don’t want to, you have options. At the end of the day, it’s a gift to all the residents who are in a PATH connected community: options.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: Whereas other residents who don’t have the options. [inaudible 00:11:44] is that when you have options, you value it. People will see that and have demonstrated in Harbour Plaza that rent [crosstalk 00:11:51], and everything. It is so more superior because of that options.

Roy Bhandari: I was gonna say a lot of times when we sell condominiums, one of the things we always talk about is how close it is to the PATH, because it is such an important feature. But being directly connected is amazing, and we see it on the resale side …

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: … condos with PATH out-preform on a rental, days on market, sale price, out-preform.

Johnson Cheng: There’s more desire there.

Roy Bhandari: For sure. It’s a huge feature.

Johnson Cheng: It’s just more desirable.

Roy Bhandari: Its a huge feature that you either have, or you don’t, and very few condominiums have that feature.

Johnson Cheng: Absolutely. Within the downtown waterfront, there’s only two pieces of property that we have PATH connection, between Pinnacle and Menkes …

Roy Bhandari: Amazing.

Johnson Cheng: … and Menkes’s have a much bigger track of land, and they’re the dominate player in this entire waterfront development.

Roy Bhandari: I want to switch again now. Waterfront.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve talked about all this stuff, but we haven’t even talked about this being a waterfront condominium in one of the best cities in the world. That alone carries so much weight.

Roy Bhandari: So, can you break more down on the waterfront aspect?

Johnson Cheng: Actually, when you think about waterfront, where we are in Toronto, the Toronto waterfront, it’s not a beach front.

Roy Bhandari: Correct.

Johnson Cheng: It is actually a composition of the boardwalk, the sidewalk. We talk about Martin Goodman Trail, and living on the waterfront. What it means to me, is that everything that I would want to do on a daily lives, when I do it on a waterfront, it just make it so much special. After dinner, go on a stroll with my wife. When you walk in the water front, it’s just so much more special. On the weekends, I want to go to Centre Island, I don’t need to pack my back, and drive on downtown. Everyone can do that. But when I’m on the waterfront, I’m steps away, and those are the things that really define spectacular.

Roy Bhandari: Right.

Johnson Cheng: In the essence, when you’re in the waterfront, and you have to have connection, you’re not detached from the core. You’re not detached from the hub of activity, you’re still there. But when you get back to your home, you get the sense of retreat. You get the ability to really recharge, refuel yourself. In fact, that’s what everybody wants. They want to really work very hard, because we’re in a very competitive environment, whatever field or industry you’re in, you have to work hard to get to where you are.

Roy Bhandari: Absolutely.

Johnson Cheng: At the end of the day, you want to have some downtime. You want that relaxation. Far above anything else, and that’s what living on waterfront offers- that refuel opportunity to really break away from it. The sense of retreat, but you don’t have to go anywhere cause your retreat is when you get home, whenever you get off work. That is the amazing things of being on waterfront is having everything there at your doorsteps.

Roy Bhandari: Absolutely. What’s amazing to me about this project, we’ve chatted now for 10, 15 minutes, about all this amazing stuff that’s happening in the neighborhood, with the PATH connection, and we haven’t even talked about the project yet. That’s kind what makes this all so special. This is a massive planned community …

Johnson Cheng: 11.5 acres.

Roy Bhandari: … This is the next pillar that we talked about, and why people are so excited. It’s a massive planned development. 11 and a half acres, this is Harbour Plaza on steroids.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: Everything they’ve done at Harbour Plaza, they’re bringin it over here and improving, and making it better, makin it better, makin better …

Johnson Cheng: I often use the phrase that, the very DNA of Wharf, what makes Harbour Plaza great, that is the very foundation of the Sugar Wharf project.

Johnson Cheng: So what we have spread over 11.5 acres, if we look and say, “Okay let’s look at say 4 quadrants…”

Roy Bhandari: Yes.

Johnson Cheng: One of the quadrants closest to water is where we have the office.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: 25 stories of Platinum Leed certified building, and it will be the home for the future LCBO head office, and the balance of the density is when we rent out to multi-nationals. What kind of companies? Technology, finance, creative arts, we’re talkin about people who want to be the leader of the industries in Toronto. And those are the industries that is really pushing to move forward.

Johnson Cheng: On the quadrant that is north of the office tower, that is the Phase One of the residential complex. We would put two towers there, each about 68 to 70 stories.

Roy Bhandari: Amazing.

Johnson Cheng: Big. 750 units, combined in total, we’re looking at 1,500 units, sitting on top of a podium, and there’s gonna be multi-force of amenities.

Roy Bhandari: I was gonna touch on the amenities, because …

Johnson Cheng: There’s a huge aray of amenities. We’re putting everything that we have learned from Harbour Plaza, people want a really nice lobby. Double high ceilings, grand luxurious feel, it’s there. Whether you’re coming off the new extension streets from Harbour Street on the east tower, or you’re coming off Cooper Street, for the west tower, you’re always greeted with a very grand lobby. The measure is that we want that wow factor.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah for sure.

Johnson Cheng: Is that when you walk in there and you just respond and say, “Wow.”

Roy Bhandari: Lobby’s becoming more, and more important in every building.

Johnson Cheng: It is so. It is the test that whether this building has it or not. Trusting.

Johnson Cheng: The other defining moments are the amenities that one could enjoy. We’re looking at the condominium lifestyle, say, “I live in these four walls, but I enjoy much more, beyond my borders.” That’s what we’re doing with amenities. We learned from Harbour Plaza that people like the kids’ room. We’re doing two kids’ room.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, amazing.

Johnson Cheng: People like the party rooms, so we make it even bigger, more modular. People like the courtyards. We make it even bigger, and everything is just so much more. People like the WiFi lounge that we have at Harbour Plaza, we create even bigger space for people to rework and collaborate together. So, I gave everything that we have learned at Harbour Plaza so much better.

Johnson Cheng: The other quadrant right to the west of Phase One, would be another track of land, that we’ll build a big podium where we’ll put three towers on there. That’ll be Phase Two.

Johnson Cheng: In front of that, right bordering on the Queens Quay, we’re gonna put a two acre park.

Roy Bhandari: Amazing. So good.

Johnson Cheng: Now it’s not just a green space, it’s actually an animated park, we’ll introduce retail, we introduce artwork, we introduce water features. Again, that would be the central focus for the entire community, where they can really enjoy the indoor, outdoor space experience, and really call that their home.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: It’s very, very …

Roy Bhandari: I love the park feature. If you …

Johnson Cheng: Yeah, it’s very user experience focus.

Roy Bhandari: … think about downtown land, two acres in this, they could be three towers easily. To gift that back to the community is an amazing …

Johnson Cheng: Yes, that’s what defines lifestyle. That’s what defines quality of life. In the end, the reason why people are talking about Sugar Wharf is that, not just 11.5 acres, the sheer size is amazing, it’s actually what you do with that size. What do you do with that land mass? What do you do to really inject different elements into it to make it so that people say, “One day, I really want to live here.”

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: And one day I can see it, and if I can see it right now, I bet you, other people in the years ahead, when all is said and done, they will also want to rent here, buy from me, rent from me, and if I want to sell it, it happens.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve used the word special a lot in this chat, and it really is special. It’s not just special for the buyers and the sellers, but even myself, and my brother, and my team, this is a once in a lifetime kind of project. It’s not everyday you get to sell a project like this. So, this is exciting for us as well. We’re excited to bring it to our clients. I think it’s an amazing opportunity. [crosstalk 00:19:10]

Johnson Cheng: It’s a project that really redefines something. It is a project that really defines. Every so many years, Menkes would embark on a project that is truly spectacular.

Roy Bhandari: It really is, yeah.

Johnson Cheng: We roll back many years ago, they embark on a journey called the Four Seasons Residence.

Roy Bhandari: That’s right.

Johnson Cheng: Amazing.[crosstalk 00:19:27] Even to this day people talk about all the things that were put into it, [inaudible 00:19:32], everything. It’s how everything puts together. Let’s not forget, Four Seasons Residence is actually built by Menkes.

Roy Bhandari: Correct.

Johnson Cheng: They didn’t just contract out to other people. They actually built it in-house, themselves. So, all the learnings, all the craftsmanship, was part of their DNA now. It doesn’t go away.

Roy Bhandari: But they’re a commercial builder as well, right?

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: So they take all the best practices …

Johnson Cheng: Commercial, residential, and interior finishing is all Menkes staff that does it. It’s not farmed out to other people. So that was a defining moment.

Johnson Cheng: Harbour Plaza, again, an defined moment to really catapult them into another level of understanding of what the city really wants.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: Now, the very beginning, the Genesis of this whole unveiling of the downtown waterfront, and that’s why the entire company, Menkes, is so proud, that they have this opportunity. Truly, it’s an opportunity.

Johnson Cheng: Think about it Roy, in the years ahead, you look at a postcard of Toronto …

Roy Bhandari: Yup.

Johnson Cheng: … you will see the handiwork. They will forever inshrine into the postcards. And that …

Roy Bhandari: Absolutely, we’re changing the postcard right now. That’s what we’re doing. We are changing the downtown Toronto skyline.

Johnson Cheng: We are adding more and more pieces. We are unveiling more and more of the story. Toronto’s an exciting place because there’s so much going on.

Roy Bhandari: I know how passionate you are about the project. It’s so great to see, and …

Johnson Cheng: You can’t help but have passion.

Roy Bhandari: … you really can’t.

Johnson Cheng: It’s just so exciting.

Roy Bhandari: So, we unpacked a lot. We talked about the pillars, the big reasons people are so excited. We talked about Menkes as a developer. We talked about the waterfront location, direct PATH connection, all the future growth already amazing [crosstalk 00:21:09]

Johnson Cheng: I forgot to talk about the technology.

Roy Bhandari: Technology, yeah.

Johnson Cheng: … the infrastructure. Because we realized that we are creating homes, a community for the future, it was important that we understand where the future is going. Now, right now, we talk about 4k TV, we talk about 4k media consumption. Next year, we’re looking at 8k, and in the years ahead, we really don’t know how many k’s it’ll be.

Johnson Cheng: So we realized the backbone of all the technology is what? Is data. Let’s talk about bandwidth. We’re talkin about connectivity.

Johnson Cheng: So, at Sugar Wharf, we’re actually inlaid fiber optics, multi-strand fiber optics into the entire community. Whereby, we’re really, when I say future-proofing, that’s what it really means. Is that, we give you a backbone and those are things that you and I as a layperson cannot go to Rona, Home Depot, and buy something and just install it. It’s not plug and play. It is a infrastructure that only builders with the foresight could do. That’s the amazing story, is that a lot of people miss that point, is that we’re not buying into something.

Johnson Cheng: I want to make sure that in the three, four years down the road, when it’s completed, it really stands the test of time. I don’t want to be able to get into the building and only find out it’s outdated. The technology’s not there. It’s not catching up, and I rather be in another community, another building, than this one. We don’t want that to happen, and that is why we’re future-proofing this community.

Roy Bhandari: Amazing.

Roy Bhandari: So, what did we miss? We talked about the Menkes, we talked about the location, we talked about the commercial growth, all the millions of square feet of new office space that’s coming in. We talked about the building itself …

Johnson Cheng: The next step! What is the next step?

Roy Bhandari: … what is the next step?

Johnson Cheng: [crosstalk 00:22:54] I think it’s great that you’re here, your brother’s been spending time here with your clients, it’s really allowed the clients to really understand where the future is going.

Johnson Cheng: The amazing thing’s that I’m not selling one unit. I’m not selling a condo unit. I’m selling the dream of the downtown waterfront.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: It’s not just a dream, cause there are things happening already. The CIBC square is under excavation already, they’re in building already. We’re building the future LCBO future head office already. We’re working on the Waterfront Innovation Center already. So, a lot of things are happening already.

Johnson Cheng: So, the buyers, everybody, got to really embrace, and understand. You cannot embrace something until you understand it, until you see it. Right now we have models so they could really have that experience. Personal, upfront, in the center, they could experience this.

Johnson Cheng: The second step would be, go down and take a look.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: Go down and take a look at Harbour Plaza. Challenge yourself: is Harbour Plaza the real deal? Is there a South Financial Core? Are there people working there? Do you see people running back and forth, and not just during the games or Jurassic Park, but actually everyday workers? What type of workers are they? Are they construction workers, or is it really the technology, the knowledge workers that we talk about?

Johnson Cheng: And you see all that, go into where Sugar Wharf will be, the current LCBO retail space. Park there, take a look, and then close your eyes, you could really envision the office building. You could see people running around, enjoying the space, enjoying their lives, enjoying the community that Menkes have created. Then I think they’re really ready, and the next step is to contact you, and really work out the budget.

Roy Bhandari: That’s my favorite part of the …

Johnson Cheng: Work out the budget, because no matter what you buy at Sugar Wharf, you’re bound to make money.

Roy Bhandari: I agree.

Johnson Cheng: True enough, five years ago, I talked to a lot of your buyers, and there were some people that didn’t believe.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Johnson Cheng: A lot of people say, “No, it’s no possible. You cannot put this elevated walkway in there, your garden in there.” They go check it out and say, “Nah, it’s not doable.”

Roy Bhandari: It’s funny you say that, because we looked at Harbour Plaza, and back in the day when we sold it, the returns our clients have made there are incredible.

Johnson Cheng: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: We were selling it at $570, $600 a foot, and we had emails from buyers saying, “This is too expensive. This is too expensive.” Now we look back, and how funny it is, because they’ve been incredible returns.

Johnson Cheng: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: We’re expecting the same for Sugar Wharf …

Johnson Cheng: Absolutely!

Roy Bhandari: … I think it’s an amazing project, and we cannot wait to bring our investors in. I wanna thank you so much for your time today.

Johnson Cheng: Well, thank you. It’s been an amazing journey. This is the start of this ride. It’s amazing.

Roy Bhandari: Absolutely. For sure.

Johnson Cheng: Thankful to be part of this.

Roy Bhandari: Thank you very much Johnson.

Johnson Cheng: Thank you Roy.