Development giant Great Gulf Group has announced plans to construct Canada’s tallest condo towers, which are slated to reach as high as 92 storeys, in Toronto’s entertainment district.
The buildings, which are projected to cost over $1 billion in total, were announced despite several indicators that the market appears to be entering a period of relatively subdued activity.
Figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed that condo sales in the region declined by 30% year-over-year in Q1 2018. Average prices rose by 9% in the same time frame.
However, Great Gulf CEO Jerry Patava is optimistic that demand for condos will remain robust in Toronto, which he said is characterized by healthy immigration.
“That’s a lot of square footage, 1.7 million or 1.5 million square feet of residence is a lot to sell but you know obviously, the building itself is spectacularly designed and the location is great,” Patava told Bloomberg. “But if we don’t get our presales, we’re not building our condo.”
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Even a potential 10% drop in prices triggered by unemployment, a decline in immigration, or a considerable interest rate hike does not faze Patava.
“We can withstand that kind of downturn, we’ll just cut back on production and look in the U.S.”
The announcement is just the latest in Great Gulf’s multiple developments in Toronto, such as a 34-storey condo tower at Yonge and St. Clair and a 46-storey building at King and Spadina. Pre-sales for both projects are expected to start next year.
“We are very selective in what we acquire in the downtown core,” Patava said. “We spent a year and a half before we bought the site working with Frank Gehry just to make sure we can build it right.”
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