Thursday, November 22, 2007

Buyer pays US$25,391,021 for a Penthouse Suite at 1 Bloor St. E. in Toronto

This could be the most expensive condo in Canada! The buyer paid a whopping $25,391,021.73 US or only $25,000,000 Canadian dollars at November 22nd conversion rates! :-)) at the new building going up at 1 Bloor Street East.
'If you open your eyes underwater, you get a view of the city'
ROY VARACALLI, architect, on the unique infinity pool that sold a Hong Kong businessman on a $25 million suite

A Hong Kong businessman is Canada's newest King of the Castle – and he didn't even have to stand in line to buy his $25 million penthouse suite.

The unidentified buyer set a new benchmark for the country's priciest slice of downtown residential real estate this week when he bought the 7,500-square-foot suite at One Bloor East.

Toronto's newest fashionable address was the site of real estate mayhem when more than 100 brokers lined up, or hired others to stand in line for them, in the cold for more than a week for a chance to buy suites scheduled to open in 2011.

The building's 592 units were such a hot commodity that shoving matches broke out between irate brokers wanting to be first through the sales room door.

Architect Roy Varacalli says the penthouse takes up the entire 80th floor of the $450 million skyscraper, giving its owner an "absolutely spectacular" 360-degree view of the city.

If the buyer closes the deal within the prescribed 10 days, he'll trump Toronto billionaire Alex Shnaider, who revealed in August he plans to keep what he thought was Canada's priciest condo – valued at $20 million – in the Trump International Hotel & Tower he's helping finance.

But Shnaider said at the time his mansion-in-the-sky could be as big as 14,000 square feet, dwarfing the One Bloor East penthouse.

Varacalli said the One Bloor East buyer was sold when he heard the unit will have a 12-foot-by-20-foot indoor infinity or "vanishing edge" pool. The pool's infinity edge runs right up to a floor-to-ceiling plate glass wall at one side of the building.

"If you open your eyes underwater, you get a view of the city," Varacalli added. "The buyer got wind of it and he wanted it."

When the building opens, slated for 2011, the sky-high suite will be loaded with high-end features including an elevator that opens right into the penthouse foyer and a private outdoor garden.

It is also to have five outdoor terraces, with in-floor radiant heat to melt snow. The kitchen is the last word in ultra luxury, with a Cambrian stone top island, six-burner in-line gas stove, champagne pantry, steam ovens, under-counter crispers and a walk-in wine cellar. For party time, there is a separate caterer's kitchen.

The suite has three bedrooms, a library, music room, family room, nanny's quarters, floors made of wood, marble and limestone and 12-foot ceilings. It even has a cold room for fur storage.

And no close quarters at the bathroom sink here: the suite sports his-and-hers ensuite master baths.

Hers has a steam shower with heated floors and walls, a fireplace, wine fridge, lounge area and Agape soaker tub from Italy, made of stone and Corian, that fronts a solid glass wall.

"It's placed in front of a window so you can sit in it and look down on the rest of us plebs," Varacalli laughed. "It's pure opulence."

It will be One Bloor East's biggest, but not its only, penthouse.

The top three floors are set aside for top-of-the-heap suites. The two penthouses on the 79th floor have been the subject of $9.5 million offers.

Down on the 78th floor, three penthouses are still on offer for a mere $5.5 million to $6.5 million.

Interiors will be by Andrea Kantelberg, Toronto's top eco-designer, and feature sustainable green materials throughout.

The exterior, which has distinctive "wings" at the top, is designed with a unique sliding balcony-door system that reflects light and changes the appearance of the building depending on how the owners position them.

"What is interesting is that this puts the residents in charge of the design," Varacalli said.

Trump Tower currently claims to have the tallest condo spire on the drawing board, at 281.88 metres spread over 57 storeys. One Bloor East is to have the same number of stories in a slightly smaller package at 276 metres.

Aura, another condo project that was launched yesterday, is forecast to reach 243 metresVaracalli does nothing to tone down the edifice complex when he notes the Trump Tower gets some height from "that silly antenna on top."

He then jokes he'll extend the wings at his tower so it hits 282 metres.

One Bloor East's developer, Bazis International of Kazakhstan, has held back about 100 of the building's apartment suites for sale next weekend.

Apartments start at 585 square feet. The first three storeys are to feature retail space, with floors above that to include common areas and hotel rooms.

When the lineups started two weeks ago, suites were listed on a billboard at prices from $300,000 to $2 million.

By the time the sales office officially opened Wednesday, a new sign showed prices had inflated to $500,000 to $8 million.

The $25 million super suite was not among those put on offer to the queuing public.

While the price may seem crazy to many, Toronto isn't world class when it comes to superluxury condos.

Four 20,000-square-foot units at One Hyde Park in London, England, are rumoured to be up for grabs at $160 million each. There is talk that one has already sold. reports that financier Martin Zweig owns the most expensive condo in the U.S., a $70 million penthouse perched atop New York City's landmark Pierre Hotel, overlooking Central Park.

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A. Mark Argentino
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