Dark & Dreary?

Condos | January 5, 2011

One of my favourite condos in the downtown core is The Hudson at King & Spadina, but with Charlie Condos being built right next door, it pretty much kills the ambiance of an east-facing unit at The Hudson.

Three condos – Charlie, Glas, and The Hudson – are all being built within a few feet of eachother.

The result will be a very dark and dreary space for the owners whose condos face the other buildings…

I think that was a fair assessment, was it not?

For a guy that lives on the second floor with absolutely no “view” to speak of (although I do have a 440 sqft terrace so SHAZAAM!), you might not expect me to put much of a value on a view or to argue in favour of owners who can see the city lights from the 22nd storey.

But as I said in the video – a view is a selling feature like your flooring, ceiling height, or balcony, so you’ve got to scrutinize it like you would any other valuable attribute of your condo.

I have no idea why or how owners of south-facing units at Glas thought it was prudent to purchase a unit across from a giant parking lot that was already pre-selling Charlie Condos back in 2008.

This isn’t CityPlace garbage we’re talking about; these are higher-end buildings in the heart of King West at the corner of King & Spadina!  I would hope that you’re not paying up to $600 per square foot to stare at another building that is 22 feet away!

I hope this doesn’t sound cruel, but I’m going to say it again: complaining owners with east-facing units at Hudson or south-facing units at Glas that are upset with the condo development should have done MORE research to begin with!

Just learn from your mistakes…

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14 Comments

  1. DB

    at 11:25 am

    Precisely, as someone who faces north in Spire I know that something will one day replace Goodhandy’s “Canada’s Pan-sexual Playground” and that Irish pup that for ages has had a random sign advertising golf gear. In fact, condo documents even refer to the building as “Spire South” so it is reasonable to suspect that something will be there one day. But for now it is great and there is not even a white sign advertising a zoning change application. Anything that may block my view is at least 4 years away so until then I’ll enjoy.

    People just like to complain and act self righteous. David’s assessment is accurate.

  2. Bob

    at 12:27 pm

    Well, it’s going to be even more crowded than that within those couple of blocks east of Spadina on King. There will be another high-rise building going up east of Charlie, on the other side of Charlotte St, by Lamb Development. They’re going to sell in the summer.

    We have to accept that it’s going to be like that for downtown living, I guess.

  3. Craig

    at 1:26 pm

    I agree in general with your postl, that buyer beware about what they’re getting into when they buy in an undeveloped area. What you don’t mention (and which is surprising considering your recent posts about buying pre-construction) is how often sales reps for new developments will outright lie about the plans for vacant areas adjacent to the building your considering.

    Visit any sales centre and have a look at the shiny brochure which paints a picture of a future that doesn’t exist. For all we know, the sales brochures for Hudson and Glas could’ve depicted a park going into this plot of land. For sure there would NOT be any reference to any new construction going in. To an unexperienced buyer, not working with an agent, who walks into a sales centre, they are likely to believe anything told to them. They don’t realize that any of the plans not just for the adjacent lands, but the design of the building itself can be changed without their consent.

    As you have bought in WestSide Lofts, I recently noticed that Urbancorp is putting in another new development directly east of your building. It will likely kill what little view there was for east-facing residents and turn their street into an alleyway facing into other units. Were you aware of this new development when you bought your unit?

  4. IanC

    at 1:52 pm

    I work on Peter Street, and saw that there is a notice on the NEW LCBO at King and Spadina – another condo is being proposed for that site. No surprise!

  5. Wooba

    at 3:49 pm

    You make a good point David but you make it sound like the adjacent units should be vacant because you’d have to be stupid to buy them. SOMEONE is going to buy them. Even if they know what’s coming they are still going to complain.

  6. johnny chase

    at 4:45 pm

    Geez Dave – your pretty hard on the purchasers for not ‘knowing better’ about the furture developments in the area and the risk of losing the views depending on the exposure of the unit.

    Shouldn’t their agents take the blame if that risk wasn’t disclosed to them?

  7. David Fleming

    at 5:27 pm

    @ Johnny

    Yes, the agents should take the blame. Perhaps I’m naive in assuming that an agent would say, “Hey, what do you make of that giant parking lot next door? Think that might obscure your view?”

    I guess I’m blaming buyers because they have the final call. Buying a condo next to a parking lot is asking for an obstructed view.

    @ Craig

    “To an unexperienced buyer, not working with an agent, who walks into a sales centre, they are likely to believe anything told to them.”

    True.

    Not to sound harsh – but caveat emptor – any ‘unexperienced buyer’ who takes it upon him/herself to NOT work with an agent and walk into a sales centre and buy without a lawyer/agent team reviewing the purchase will likely reap what he or she sows…

  8. meow

    at 6:26 pm

    How about the grange on Mccaul that sat with beautiful views of the Grange park for 30 years and then, BOOM a giant floating building got built on top of the OCAD and blocked all their views.

  9. George

    at 9:45 pm

    My agent pointed out such planned new developments when showing me condos. I very much appreciated it, and that as much as anything else helped me to trust my agent. If your agent isn’t pointing out anything negative then they are not working for you.

    For me, the view is of secondary importance. I hated dealing with the noise and dust from construction when I endured it for a year in my old place. You can never have your windows open.

  10. Franki

    at 8:04 am

    Hey David a friend of mine paid just under 600$ per sq foot for a south facing suite at parade. I just thought it was funny, and unobsructed lake views……according to plans.

  11. Matt

    at 10:24 am

    Totally agree. My partner and I bought a pre-construction (I know what you’re thinking David). However, we got a great deal on it and if we walk in and hate it, we’ll either rent it out or sell it.

    That being said, when we were choosing the unit in the building it would have been easy for us to select one with a bright and sunny south view.
    But it was clear to us that it wouldn’t be long before that view would be blocked by a new development. So we compromised by choosing a northeast facing unit that while not as sunny, will have a view of a trees and residential housing.

    The point is that people need to use common sense and look at the big picture when dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on something.

  12. toronto

    at 11:14 am

    If anyone in their right mind think that a downtown vacant lot is going to be vacant lot for ever really needs to open their eyes.No view is safe unless your smack on the shorelines or there is parkland in front.Of course buying a condo takes research,you can call city hall and ask them about planning for a piece of plot near your condo but thats it,thats why sometimes it better to buy a condo area that is already built up so you know exactly what your getting instead of pre construction.

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