While it may seem that the pandemic forced a pivot for many in the commercial real estate industry as Covid-19 altered the way people work and entertain themselves, that is not the case for everyone. Certain Toronto luxury real estate properties endured the storm, so to speak, and came out unscathed.
For some, the maintenance of building occupancy has been a mounting concern that has left a number of properties vacant and exposed landlords to a whole new assortment of perils. This has spurred some commercial real estate owners to repurpose spaces and include new amenities in order to facilitate hybrid working. As a result, the landscape has been evolving.
That, however, has not been a concern for The One in downtown Toronto. The lavish 85-storey skyscraper at Yonge and Bloor is located at one of the most important intersections in Toronto. Despite much of the sales process taking place during an unprecedented global pandemic–and a fundamental paradigm shift in employer-employee relationships–the property is showing incredible strength from sustained demand.
Commercial space at The One is fully leased and sold out. On the residential side of the development more than 82% of the units have been sold.
“There simply is not much left,” Sam Mizrahi, who is developing The One, said, noting that if they had not added 9 additional floors of residential space, then the development would be 95% sold out for the units and sizes that had been previously sold.
Adding 9 additional floors to bring The One to 94 floors speaks volumes to the demand for downtown luxury condominium living. The Toronto real estate and specifically the condominium market has only grown stronger despite naysayers.
Why is the phenomenon particularly exhibited in Canadian cities?
Canadian cities and Canadians, themselves, are resilient, and find the cultural opportunities and proximity to others enriching and important.
“The culture of Toronto remains vibrant and world-class. For families and companies to find their homes at The One is significant. Lives will be built and memories created. That means something, particularly since the pandemic showed how much humans need each other,” Mizrahi said.
The One could be interpreted as indicative of the strength of real estate in certain very central areas and more specifically to properties that cater to a specific niche, according to Mizrahi.
Now there is movement in Canadian cities as Covid restrictions are being lifted, friends and family are gathering in restaurants, pubs, theaters and other gathering places. Brick-and-mortar commercial properties are once again ready for consumers to walk through their doors. There is a resurgence of the joys of human interaction and commerce.
Hope on the Horizon
Commercial real estate has been forced to take a keen look at human behavior. What do people want and where do they want to live and work?
According to Sam Mizrahi, developer of The One located in downtown Toronto, there has been a sort of renaissance in the industry as human needs are explored more fully by those offering amenities.
“The attention paid to people’s changing priorities should prove tremendously beneficial to those working from home and living in cities,” said Mizrahi.
Also, as restrictions loosen, people are returning, and this is serving as a boon to the real estate industry in choice areas.