As soon as the doors opened at 4K Spadina Avenue, the frenzy began.
It’s been one week since owners took possession of their new units at the latest addition to CityPlace, and every day brings 6-8 new lisings onto MLS for rent or sale.
But surprise of all surprises: these units are moving!
First thing’s first: take a look at the artists rendering above of 4K Spadina Avenue. What do you notice? Or rather, what do you not notice? Something is missing, right? How about buildings to the east, south, and west of this one?
After all, it is CityPlace…
I guess when you overdevelop an area so much, you run out of numbers for the addresses and are forced to use “4K” and “4G” like they’ve done in this new complex on the west side of spadina just north of the Gardiner Expressway. 4K Spadina Avenue is a brand-new, 16-storey building by Concord, the developer of CityPlace. This new condominium is significantly smaller than most of Concord’s other monstrosities, and is dwarfed in size by the buildings immediately south and west of it.
Nevertheless, my personal experience with this building in the last week has proved, against all rational thought, that this building is (gulp) one of the hottest buildings in the city at the current moment.
However, that is due to extenuating circumstances, and not because the infallible blogger you see before you is wrong about the atrocity known as CityPlace.
Last week, I received an email from a young man who was referred to me by a past client. This young man explained that he would be moving from Ottawa to Toronto, and wanted my help finding him a place to live. The only issue: he needed December 1st possession.
I questioned why he only gave himself two weeks before he was scheduled to start a new job in Toronto to look for a place to live, but that soon became a moot point as he told me that his budget maxed out at $1300.
I knew that units in this price range were few and far between, but to find something for December 1st would be near impossible.
There was a unit at Radio City and a unit at 105 Victoria Street, but the former was a 460 square foot bachelor and the latter was just so awful that I couldn’t rent it to somebody in good conscience.
Then, I stumbled upon 4K Spadina Avenue.
“What the hell is 4K Spadina?” I asked aloud in my office to nobody in particular. Not to my surprise, nobody had heard of this building.
It seems that CityPlace’s newest devil-child opened its doors in mid-november, and since half the building was probably purchased by speculators and investors (is there a difference between the two?), our timing was perfect.
I told my new client that he had one option in the city of Toronto, and it was indeed 4K Spadina.
There were about 15 units available for rent between $1290 – $1400 per month, and he met me last Monday to view as many as we could see.
I figured that with 10-12 units on the docket, surely we’d find a layout that he liked. After all, he had two weeks to find a place, negotiate a deal, make moving arrangements, and transfer his life from Ottawa to Toronto.
But as luck would have it, the first four units we saw were the exact same layout, and the layout was awful.
Here is the floor plan:
The hallway from the front door to the living space is so long and narrow and it’s a complete waste of space.
There is no window in the bedroom, thus no natural light.
And the living room is completely combined with the kitchen so unless you mount your flatscreen TV over the cooktop, I have no clue how you could make use of this space.
It was like Groundhog’s Day, except we didn’t have anybody present to play the lovely and ageless Andie McDowell…
After seeing the same unit four times, and a couple of bachelors, we finally found a layout that would work:
This layout had a bedroom that actually faced the window, and the living space was separated from the kitchen and worked perfectly for a young male bachelor with a couch and a TV….aka the essentials.
We drafted an offer, and I called the listing agent.
But as luck would have it, the unit had already been leased. In fact, this listing agent represented three other units, all the same model as this one, and they were ALL leased within two days of coming onto MLS!
All told, there were nine units leased in the first two days off MLS alone, and who knows how many other units were leased privately.
We made a run at another unit which had the same floor plan, but the owners were greedy and wanted nothing less than $1400/month even though all the other units had been leased for $1300.
My client was maxed out, and stressed out to boot.
We had drafted three offers and all three units had been leased out from under us.
4K Spadina Ave? Really? Are you kidding me?
It’s like I didn’t get the memo that this building was “in.” It’s kind of like the time I didn’t get the memo that having a girlfriend was “in.” Boy, did I ever waste 1994 to 1998…
Persistence finally paid off (not in my girlfriend story above) when an identical unit came onto the market last Thursday around 4PM, and after a quick phone call and the use of something called a facsimile, we had an offer in the hands of the listing agent complete with all the credit checks and employement letters needed to seal the deal.
My client finally got the condo that he desired, and it was the twenty-first unit to lease at 4K Spadina Ave in the space of one week!
So one lingering question remains: WHY?
Why the high demand for units in this building?
Well, I think it came down to timing. The age-old reason for why real estate generally holds its value so well: “People gotta’ live somewhere!” There aren’t a lot of condos for lease in the downtown core these days, and for anybody looking at a December 1st possession date, 4K Spadina came along just at the right time.
4K Spadina Ave is truly a renter’s paradise.
So how come nothing has sold in the building thus far?