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  • Forget Prince Charming, Single Girls in the City Love King Blue!

    main_254“The Bachelorette is my favourite show.”
    As a relationship columnist Jen Kirsch never misses the famous dating program “ I love the rivalry, the romance, and of course the beautiful settings and locations.”
    Which is why when she decided to host “The Bachelorette” viewing party along with Jacob’s Creek Wine, she chose the model suite at King Blue Condos.
    “King Blue offers the ideal “single girl in the city condos”, luxury interiors, great facilities and of course a fantastic location!” says Jen “I invited some of Toronto’s inspiring and influential women for a girls night, with wine and delicious nibbles to watch the show with me.”
    Her guests loved the space too. “Chic and stylish surroundings! I love the King Blue Condo showroom. When can I move in?” said Gail McInnes, founder of The Stylist Box and Magnet Creative.
    “The décor is equally charming and sophisticated –  just perfect for a bachelorette’s fantasy suite.” added PR professional, Charise Garcia
    “You won’t be blue and you wouldn’t be a bachelorette for very long if you owned one if these sexy spaces” piped in Artist, Andrea Bolley.
    Reetu Gupta, Easton’s Group VP of Sales, Marketing and Development was happy to host “It gave us the opportunity to showcase our condos to young professional women with distinguished tastes looking for contemporary, chic and comfortable units.”
    According to an RBC homeownership poll, of the Canadians who plan to buy a home within the next two years, 49% are single women. Only 35% are single men.
    “Young professional women buyers are the fastest growing niche in the condo market.” says Reetu. “Female buyers are looking for condos with, more amenities; cafés, grocery stores, shops, a gym within walking distance. King Blue offers all of that with luxury interior finishes!”
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  • Retro Rad Pad: Westinghouse Lofts

    main_255King Blue Condos are the hottest new condos in Toronto, and now there is a new release within the King Blue complex, the urban chic Westinghouse Lofts.
    At an intersection that blends Toronto’s rich history with its exciting future, King St W and Blue Jays Way is the Easton group’s dynamic new project.
    Originally built as a warehouse in 1927 the Westinghouse building is a distinctive architectural landmark in the entertainment district.
    Now, this century old building is being reborn as a hip new urban address featuring luxury lofts that offer a retro vibe with choice modern day amenities.
    Warehouse loft conversions have become a trend in the Toronto real estate market. Urban lofts have gained popularity because of the chic cosmopolitan feel of industrial décor, extra wide flooring and stainless steel appliances.
    Westinghouse lofts gives you all of this and more with 9ft ceilings, high efficiency bathrooms and of course floor to ceiling windows starting from intimate studios right to the spacious two bedroom plus media, units.
    As part of the King Blue complex, Westinghouse lofts gives you the best of loft living with all the luxury and convenience of modern day condo living.
    With 2 rooftop terraces, a state of the art fitness centre, pool and 24 hour security you have the best of both worlds.
    Located in the most vibrant and cosmopolitan parts of the city, Westinghouse lofts offers what just may be the perfect urban loft lifestyle.

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  • Why a Toronto condo is your perfect Investment now!

    main_256Any savvy financial advisor will tell you the ideal time to invest is when prices drop.  You get more bang for your buck!  And of course the best place to invest is Real Estate.
    “In Canada specifically, we have very strong economic fundamentals such as job growth and net immigration which are tied to higher real estate prices, lower vacancies, and more stable and secure investments” states Mitch Parker, Founder of MP Private Capital.
    The Toronto market is showing two trends right now; overall prices for homes are up 3% in Toronto over the last year while condo prices are stabilizing.  With condos you skip the disappointment of bidding wars that come with buying homes and you can enter the market at a lower price point.
    Much has been said about the condo boom, but at the end of the day with more units up for sale, buyers are in the drivers seat, especially in the mid to luxury market.
    “The amount of choice in outstanding locations throughout the city is unprecedented” says Linda Mitchell Young VP of Sales and Marketing at Baker Real Estate. “Condominiums and Lofts like King Blue Condos and Westinghouse Lofts deliver the ultimate in style, sophistication, luxury, and amenities, at unprecedented value”
    As an income investment real estate is definitely the route to take, especially when you compare your returns with the low savings rates the banks are offering and the volatility in the stock market.
    “Condos are especially great for the first time investor, an out of town investor, or anyone that doesn’t want to have to worry about major repairs and high maintenance” suggests Mitch
    Rental rates are up 4% and the rental demands are unrelenting, especially with Toronto’s population increasing by approximately 24,000 a year.
    “Vacancy in down town Toronto is super low at the moment causing rents to increase and there will always be a need for rentals in the city.” Says Parker
    With the stabilization of pricing in the condo market and mortgages still at low rates you can scoop up higher-end projects at affordable prices.   The rental returns on luxury properties will cover all your carrying costs and more and if you target new projects, your dollars and choices go further.
    “Westinghouse Lofts is the hottest new property to launch. Starting at under $300,000 it’s a prime example of a wise real estate investment choice” advises Linda “Buying a new condo offers maximum appreciation in rental revenue”
    “Condos are in very high demand in the down town core and can be a great way to add extra income every month.” Adds Mitch Parker
    Location, location, location is the rule when you are looking for market value appreciation potential.
    “For today’s sophisticated buyer King Blue Condos is ideal” Linda tells us, “style, luxury, and top notch amenities, all within a superior urban environment at the epicenter of Toronto’s King West neighbourhood”
    It’s been said ‘buy on the best street’, and in the Toronto market, King Street is prime and growing. The most sought after locations will always see the best return on your investment.
    “Look for areas that are poised to grow in the next 5-10 years, invest with a long term strategy, and don’t be afraid to make the decision to invest.” recommends Mitch “There are ways to make money in the market both hands on and off so do your homework to find which opportunity will work best for you.”

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  • Now is the time to buy!

    main_257It seems everywhere you look right now you see a crane or construction sign.  The Condo market is booming!! If you are in the market to purchase you’re in luck.
    “The condo market is hot” says Barbara Lawlor, President of Baker Real Estate Inc. “The price gap between low-rise pricing and high-rise pricing is at the highest ever in our history making condos the only affordable entry point in the marketplace for home ownership.”
    At the moment, according to Bloomberg, Toronto has more skyscrapers and high-rises under construction than any city in North America, including three times as many as New York. But, as more Torontonians are moving downtown, experts foresee this demand for urban condos in hot areas like King West and Liberty Village not to wane anytime soon.
    People are now buying for lifestyle.  They want to walk to work, to restaurants, and to entertainment areas.
    “King Blue Condos is a great example of a premium condo” adds Ms. Lawlor “Brilliant location.  Restaurants, nightlife and boutiques all at your doorstep.  It offers the best of everything”
    We have seen a steady increase in the prices of these hip and happening condos, but interest rates have remained low making it the ideal market for both buyers and sellers. In other words, now would be the best time to invest in the downtown condo market.
    “If you can find a unit under $300,000 it would be a wise investment” says Barbara
    “Westinghouse Lofts are the newest release at King Blue.  There are only 98 of them and they are being offered at an amazing price point.  Great selection of 1-bedroom lofts priced under $300,000!”
    With no end in sight for the demand on downtown condos in prime locations, the prices will continue to rise. So, if you are thinking of entering the property ladder, now is the time to buy!

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  • The Ultimate Urban Living at Westinghouse Lofts

    main_259Floor to ceiling windows, stainless steel appliances, extra wide flooring all with modern condo living amenities and in the hottest area of the city…these are the Westinghouse Lofts at King Blue.
    At an intersection that blends Toronto’s rich history with its exciting future, King St W and Blue Jays Way is the Easton Group’s dynamic new project. The Westinghouse Lofts are all about living that funky downtown lifestyle in the most vibrant part of the city.
    Originally built as a warehouse in 1927 the Westinghouse building is a distinctive architectural landmark in the entertainment district.  Now, this century old building is being reborn as a hip new urban address featuring luxury lofts that offer a retro vibe with choice modern day amenities.
    The Loft lifestyle has become a trend in the Toronto real estate market. Urban lofts have gained popularity because of the chic cosmopolitan feel of industrial décor, extra wide flooring and stainless steel appliances.   Westinghouse Lofts gives you all of this and more with 9ft ceilings, high efficiency bathrooms and of course floor to ceiling windows that let in natural light.
    These loft style units will be open and spacious, from the intimate studios right to the spacious two bedroom plus media, units.
    As part of the King Blue development, Westinghouse Lofts gives you the best of loft living with all the luxury and convenience of modern day condo living.  Unlike some other basic loft buildings here you have some of the best amenities money can buy; 2 rooftop terraces, a state of the art fitness centre, pool and a porte cochere courtyard, you really do have the best of both worlds.
    Located in the most vibrant and cosmopolitan parts of the city, Westinghouse Lofts offers what may be the perfect urban loft lifestyle.

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  • Successful Investing In Condos, And Real Estate In General, Depends On Getting A Number Of Elements Aligned And Executing With Timing

    main_275It is confusing and quite frankly intellectually offensive to me to have enjoyed my front row seat in the peanut gallery of “CondoLand”, Toronto’s rather sad story of good intentions gone astray.
    Someone was quoting me some bible verse recently about “building a house on sand” and it struck me that possibly we should all go out with a shovel and dig down a little at pretty well any intersection (if you can find ground) and see the color of our sand.
    The condo industry itself has been allowed to materialize on an add hock basis!  Any yahoo with money jumped into the arena as a “Developer” whether they had any idea of the complexities of this highly specialized field or not.  Sadly, the majority of developers today do not!
    We’ve been building “cement boxes in the sky” to serve as residential filing cabinets.  In the almost four decades that I’ve been in this business I’ve seen room sizes cut in greater than half while prices have shot up exponentially by over 100%!
    I’ve lived through two “boom markets” from the late 1978 when I got into the business selling the prestigious Queen’s Quay Residences on the Harbourfront.  And I lived through the “Crash” of 1989.  Historically, the condo market in Toronto has cycled every ten years (roughly).
    That didn’t mean that I hibernated during the ensuing decade each time that it took to get itself back on track.  In 1989 I read the tea leaves and concluded that monied Chinese residents of Hong Kong would want to get their money spread around the globe prior to the Colony being returned to the Communist Chinese at the very moment in time when you could buy Toronto condos at as low as $0.50 on the dollar!
    That’s right.  We tend to forget the negative impact that over-saturation of condos coupled with escalating mortgage interest rates which, in 1989 caused the total devastation of the condo industry in Toronto and to many, many investors.  Interest rates shot up by double digits in a matter of ten days or so!  Imagine if that were to happen today.
    I’m no economist or futurist, but I saw what was taking place prior to that crash and I can tell you with all honesty I am seeing the exact same things these days.
    Are we heading for a crash?  Good question and surprisingly, one that you are not hearing publicly these days.  Once again we’ve been fed a good helping of social conditioning by moderating the condition as a “softening market”.
    I walked down King Street yesterday and couldn’t help but notice the horrendous number of condos in such compartmentalized areas.  The Fashion District (western component of the Entertainment District) has its own fair share of pre-construction development mixed with a number of high density condo buildings presently under construction.
    But entering the Entertainment District alone, crossing Spadina on King I observed the Application for Rezoning Signs on the low rise building that houses Winners and another Application sign on the brand newly constructed LCBO on the corner of Spadina and King (that explains why the penthouse at the Hudson came on stream recently).
    Immediately beside (to the east of) the LCBO is another sign announcing the intention of a developer to build another 39 story condo building.
    I should mention that on the north side of King on the east corner of Spadina is the Hudson by Great Gulf and immediately beside The Hudson is Charlie, another Great Gulf condo.  Charlie has just recently completed and occupied.
    Staying on the north side of King at the Mountain Outfitters is another Variance sign applying to change the site to accommodate residential condos.  And, yes beside it for the entire block leading to the Royal Alexander Theatre, Variance Signs to redesign that entire block with condos.  And Horhay Developments is building its 47 story residential condo immediately beside the Royal Alex across the street from Roy Thompson Hall.
    On the south side of King, going back up to “restaurant alley“, you will find three (3) more variance application signs for residential condos.  There is actually a strong movement from the restaurants opposing these applications but, money talks, condos are big money and therefore talk loud!
    At John Street we have King Blue, a two tower plus podium high density high rise (I’m “shorting” in stock terms) and just south of it is Bisha and 8 Mercer (two more high priced high density towers).  And back to King and John you have Danials’ Festival Tower with its twin sister tower Cimema about to occupy.
    Immediately in the space between these two towers is Pinnacle a third high priced, high density high rise on that one corner of John and Adelaide!  And immediately across the street from Pinnacle you will find another variance application sign!  Just down the street is Noir Condo and at least two others!
    It is important to remember that we’ve just walked along King Street from Spadina to just east of John Street, glancing down one street corner each way along the way and we’ve seen a virtual litany of filing cabinets in the sky!
    I’m always amused to read newspaper and Internet headlines pronouncing that the real estate and financial crisis is over, the real estate markets are rebounding and the stock markets are hitting all time highs!
    I had an investor call me recently ranting about me “being the only voice of truth in this industry” and I’ve got to say in all modesty that he is correct.
    I just participated in a documentary touching on some of the more obvious issues in the CondoLand.  The term CondoLand was coined by a leading Toronto magazine “Toronto Life” where the author had called on me for insight into this very complex and guarded engine of our economy.
    The documentary was not about me at the onset but as the producers became more and more stone-walled trying to research their film and realized that I was the only one talking straight to them, it seems that the documentary took on a track of its own and now they are coming back to town next week to do promotion photographs.  Why?
    That’s easy!   Because I speak the truth!
    I know that there’s people out there saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about.  That neither shocks or disturbs me.  I don’t say that I know any more about the future holds than the next guy.  I’m not saying that I’m so worldly wise that everyone should follow me.
    I am saying that I’ve been exactly here before.   I saw developers back in 1989 deny that they were slashing prices while they threw in the kitchen sink in give aways to get buyers to buy at the original prices specifically to be able to mislead the media and thereby, public that “prices were holding firm”.
    The condo industry is an industry built on deception.  The media gets fed a bunch of garbage by people with a vested interest in condos continuing to sell and integrate the disturbing numbers within the condo sector with numbers from the detached housing sector to embellish them, calm the markets and keep that uneducated or unsophisticated investor stumbling into their sales sites.
    If you have a understanding about tides, you are aware that they come in and they go out.  If they just came in all the time there would be catastrophic results, just as with anything else in society.  The laws of supply and demand regulate what happens in all walks.  The condo industry is no different.
    Our governments can artificially inflate the numbers with deficit spending and by propping up our money artificially but artificial numbers do not a rebound make!
    We are hearing the drum beat pulsing out the message of interest rate increases.  Why will interest rates have such an affect on the condo market?

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  • Executives put on their dancing shoes for charity

    1382024857main_277MISSISSAUGA — No one would have ever thought that something as innocuous sounding as the cha-cha could be so dangerous.
    Dancing with Mississauga Stars contestant Reetu Gupta knows full well.
    While training for her upcoming number, which will be performed during the event’s inaugural gala at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Nov. 8, the Toronto hotel executive learned just how precarious the Cuban ballroom dance could be.
    Three weeks ago, Gupta’s dance partner Brandon Lihou was teaching her a new pattern when he lifted her up and something just didn’t feel quite right after that.
    “I’m not sure whether or not it was the pressure or what happened, but my rib broke that night,” said Gupta. “The pain was quite immense.”
    The following day, Gupta’s doctor advised her to take six weeks off to heal. Her family, owners of Easton’s Group of Hotels, also tried to encourage her to take it easy.
    But taking the full recovery time would’ve derailed Gupta’s chance to participate in the competition, which she, and her three fellow corporate contestants, have been training for since May.
    With the persistence and acumen of the corporate world, she met the doctor’s orders in the middle and returned to the dance studio last night.
    “The way I look at it is that it’s just a bump in the road and it’s going to make me train harder and faster to make myself stronger,” said Gupta, who works as vice president of sales and marketing at her family’s business.
    She also didn’t want to let down the Community Foundation of Mississauga, the recipient of the funds raised on the Nov. 8 event.
    “This is for charity — this isn’t just any sort of competition,” she said. “I wouldn’t feel right in my heart if I bowed out at this time.”
    “I’ve made my commitment,” she continued, “and I definitely want to stand by that.”
    So far, Gupta has raised nearly $16,000 for the charitable organization.
    Other executives participating in the dance competition include Len Keywood, president of Cineplex Starburst; Boris Jackman, executive vice president of refining and marketing at Suncor Energy and Brenda Brown, vice president of human resources for Compass Group.
    Mirroring the format of the TV show, the dancers — each paired with instructors from Blueheel Dance Studio — will be critiqued by a panel judges, and the 350-plus guests in the audience will get a chance to vote.
    As the countdown to the night of the sold-out competition continues, Gupta is hoping to raise more funds for the cause — she’s also gained a whole new appreciation for the art of dance along the way.
    “I have the utmost respect for dancers. In the actual training of it, you realize how much dedication and balance that it takes,” she said. “The level of fitness is completely different for something like this.”
    For more information on the sold-out event, visit dancingwithmississaugastars.com.

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  • Westinghouse Lofts add to the mix at King Blue Condos

    main_278As a new release of suites comes on stream at King Blue Condos by Easton’s Group and Remington Group, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of the building’s layout and features. King Blue, designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects will consist of two towers; a 44-storey, 399-unit first phase on the southern half of the site, and a 48-storey, 408-unit second phase to the north. While sales on the larger second phase have yet to launch, phase one is being fully marketed, now including loft suites in the podium levels.
    While the north podium will incorporate two restored façades of the art deco 6-storey Canadian Westinghouse Building, it’s in the south podium where the new suites, dubbed the Westinghouse Lofts, will be located. A new museum called Theatre Museum Canada focusing on the history of the country’s live theatre scene will take up the second storey of the podium.
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    Occupying floors 3 to 8 in phase one’s podium, Westinghouse Lofts at King Blue will feature indstrial loft inspired units ranging from 455 to 953 square feet, containing high quality wood finishes and stainless steel appliances, as well as spacious 9 foot ceiling heights. The finishes further stray from the tower suites with granite countertops, glass shower stalls and designer vanities.
    Though renderings of the loft interiors themselves have yet to be released, a look at the floorplans for Westinghouse Lofts reveal a wide selection of suite sizes and layouts including many two-bedroom suites, while one bedroom units predominate. The two-bedroom+media space floorplan seen below is just one of the many new floor plans in our King Blue dataBase listing.
    While the marketing for King Blue is more directed at a young, hip demographic, the larger 2-bedroom suites on offer would would be a great fit for small families. Units at Westinghouse Lofts are priced ranging from $286,900 to $642,900. Judging by the buzz of activity seen at last week’s launch, it is safe to say that the brokers, investors, realtors and potential end-users have taken a keen interest in this new release.
    Although sales for Westinghouse Lofts are in full swing, and much of the future development’s podium space has now been spoken for, veteran hotelier Steve Gupta may still have plans for a hotel to be included in the project’s north podium. When approached for comment at the launch for Westinghouse Lofts, Mr. Gupta’s daughter Shelley could not comment.
    This rendering of the building’s courtyard, seen below, is just one of several new images of King Blue recently added to our updated dataBase listing, linked at the bottom of the article for those interested in exploring.
    We will be sure to keep you updated on Westinghouse Lofts and King Blue Condominiums as new details become available. Until then, visit the newly updated dataBase page, linked below, for additional information including building facts and new renderings. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related forum threads or voice your opinion in the comments section provided below.

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  • Easton’s Group unveils new, affordable suite design at King Blue Condos

    main_341Live on King West in Toronto and you’ll be situated in one of the most vibrant pockets of the city. From stylish restaurants to cultural centres, King Blue Condos will set you smack-dab in the middle of all the action.
    Though it’s a sought-after location (and arguably the new Yorkville) the project is still within reach for many buyers. The Easton’s Group of Hotels recently unveiled its 311-square-foot suite designs starting from $199,900. It looks like a luxurious lifestyle can still boast an affordable price tag.
    Condo seekers will also be drawn to the development’s latest incentive. If you purchase a suite, you’ll get up to $35,000 cash back with 10 per cent down on certain units.
    Care to learn more about the neighbourhood? For starters, you’ll be in the heart of the Entertainment District. This means you can attend a musical at the nearby Royal Alexandra Theatre or check out an exclusive exhibit at the Toronto International Film Festival headquarters.

    Whether you’re craving fine Italian food or pub fare, restaurant buffs will constantly want to dine out with the neighbourhood’s wide range of eateries. Sports fanatics can also slip on their jerseys and head to the Rogers Centre, which is only a short walk away.
    Aside from the surrounding conveniences, you’ll want to take advantage of the amenities housed inside the condominium. King Blue Condos will have a 5,800 square foot lounge and rooftop patio bar on the ninth floor that offers panoramic views of the city. Other appealing amenities include a landscaped terrace with a cascading waterfall, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and sixth-floor pool deck. Big on shopping? There will also be 35,000 square feet of retail space on-site.
    The suites will also be dressed in luxe finishes, like stainless steel appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows and chic porcelain floors.
    Studio prices start at $199,900 and one bedroom prices start at $299,900. Suites range in size from 311 to 1335 square feet.
    King Blue Condos is located at 355 King Street West. For more information call 416 599 1355.

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