What defines a “boutique” condo?
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is this a selling point, and does it add value?
Some boutiques are special, and others are just full of discount crap like this:
I feel as if I’ve written a similar post before.
I may have even given a dictionary definition of “boutique.”
But this time around, I’m not going to explain the definitions and intentions of “boutique” condos but rather speak to the watered-down version of boutique condos that we see today.
Watered-down versions. Would you expect anything less?
As years go by, everything that’s hot goes cold, and everything that’s cheap gets expensive.
Everything that’s “in” goes out, and styles, fads, and trends will certainly change.
According to this logic, it follows that something as cool, unique, and special as a “boutique” condo will eventually be exploited and over-marketed.
I think we’ve reached this point.
By my own definition, a “boutique” condo is a low-rise condo of no more than fifty units.
It’s hard to pin-point the number of floors or units; what if a condo had fifty-one units?
Examples of boutique condos in my neck of the woods can be found at 261 King Street and 180 Frederick Street.
Abbey Lane Lofts at 261 King Street is a very cool condo of only 29 units and it rises seven stories above King Street where the neighbouring retail building is two stories in height.
Lofts on Frederick at 180 Frederick Street is an even smaller building at only 12 units in a three-storey brick building.
These are true boutique condos.
Do you know what’s not a boutique condo?
Post House Lofts.
Before I get to the meat and potatoes of this blog post and use Post House Lofts as my grinding stone, I should say that I’m eager and excited for this project to launch. I love the location, I like the design of the project from what little I have seen, and I love the idea of incorporating the history and charm of Toronto’s first post office (located on Adelaide Street and currently used as a museum) into a new condominium development.
However, a boutique condo, this is not.
Here is one of the advertisements that Post House has put forth:
You can clearly see that they are marketing this building as boutique condominium.
And why not?
Boutique condos have a certain cache that can be turned into cash for any developer. In the words of George Costanza, “Oh it’s got ca-che, bay-be! It’s got cache up the ying-yang!”
But if we let The Alterra Group get away with calling this project a “boutique” condo, then the word has lost all meaning, if it hasn’t already.
Post House is going to be a whopping twenty-one stories and will contain 275 units.
My building is 332 units and “boutique” is the furthest thing from my mind when I think of my 17-storey home.
I consider my condo to be a “mid-rise” building as it’s not huge, but it’s far from small.
So how can The Alterra Group get away with calling Post House a “boutique?”
Easy. There’s nothing to stop them.
And the best part is – Post House Condos is actually being called “Post House Boutique Condominium,” just to rub salt in the wound.
There’s really nothing to stop marketers from doing whatever the please, except perhaps for the ever-present threat of being charged with false advertising…..which almost never happens.
Personally, I think common sense should prevail.
I mean, does this look like a boutique condo to you?
It certainly doesn’t look like a boutique condo to me!
In fact, it looks almost like a high rise!
You know what would be a boutique condo? A building that is the same size as the old Post Office itself, or the old Bank of Upper Canada building that is featured in the above photo as a grey building, even though it’s yellow. I guess when you’re calling a twenty-one storey building “boutique,” changing the color of a building for photo purposes is the least of your worries…