the DAV­ISVILLE FAC­TOR

J. DAVIS HOUSE SITS IN A TRENDY NEIGH­BOUR­HOOD, BUT TAKES ITS DE­SIGN CUES FROM LO­CAL HIS­TORY

National Post (Latest Edition) - - POST HOMES - Jen­nifer Feb­braro

Dav­isville has al­ways been Yonge and Eglin­ton’s qui­eter, lesser-known cousin. But code­vel­op­ers Mat­tamy Homes and Bid­ding­ton Group are bank­ing on buy­ers who are in on the se­cret. J. Davis House, Mat­tamy’s first condo de­vel­op­ment, sits just a few steps north of Dav­isville and Yonge and suites are quickly be­ing ab­sorbed by pur­chasers who fell in love with the neigh­bour­hood long ago.

De­signed by Graziani + Co­razza Ar­chi­tects, the ninestorey, 191- suite struc­ture takes its in­spi­ra­tion ( and logo) from its his­toric lo­ca­tion. Dav­isville Vil­lage was named af­ter the area’s first post­mas­ter, John Davis. The orig­i­nal post of­fice build­ing in which he worked still stands on the north­east cor­ner of Yonge and Dav­isville, though in its cur­rent in­car­na­tion, is houses, per­haps pre­dictably, a Star­bucks.

Davis was also the largest em­ployer in the neigh­bour­hood, found­ing the Dav­isville Pot­tery fac­tory. His­tor­i­cal de­tails like this are echoed in the in­te­rior de­sign of the pre­sen­ta­tion cen­tre, where large ce­ramic pots are on dis­play. “It’s a nod to John Davis and also meant to sym­bol­ize the his­tory,” says Renato Ia­monaco, se­nior as­so­ciate re­spon­si­ble for the in­te­rior de­sign at Graziani + Co­razza. An­other trib­ute is the tiny sym­bol of a wa­ter pitcher float­ing just above the J. Davis logo.

Graziani + Co­razza marry his­toric and mod­ern fin­ishes through­out the build­ing, but most spec­tac­u­larly in the large, atrium-style lobby. “We wanted to let the vol­ume of the space speak for it­self,” Ia­monaco says. With a two-storey height and floor to ceil­ing win­dows, the lobby ex­ploits the look of sun­light on nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like brushed bronze, mar­ble and stone. “The lobby has a clas­sic, time­less feel — not overly or­nate or trendy. It’s what this neigh­bour­hood de­mands — up­scale, clas­sic, clean and mod­ern.”

John Chimi­enti, se­nior as­so­ciate at Graziani + Co­raz- za, ex­plains how the ar­chi­tec­tural vi­sion for J. Davis ger­mi­nated: “When we were first vis­it­ing the site, we re­ally looked around at the lo­cal build­ings, where brick was a main ma­te­rial,” he says. “So we wanted to in­te­grate the use of ma­sonry and those his­toric ‘ punched’ win­dows to re­flect the streetscape, some­thing rem­i­nis­cent of a Chicago in­dus­trial look.”

Chimi­enti says the build­ing’s bou­tique size and lo­ca­tion are what sets it apart from other de­vel­op­ments. “What re­ally dif­fer­en­ti­ates this pro­ject is the scale. You have a mid- rise build­ing with far fewer units than you would nor­mally find in condo tow­ers, like at nearby Yonge and Eglin­ton,” he says. “It’s couched in a res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood and that makes the lo­ca­tion that much more ex­clu­sive for peo­ple who want to live mid­town.” There’s also plenty of green space close by, in­clud­ing Ori­ole Park, Fiona Nelson Par­kette and Al Green Sculp­ture Park.

“We find most of the pur­chasers here are end- users,” says Linda Robin­son, vi­cepres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing at Mat­tamy. “Once peo­ple buy here, they want to stay. They like the prox­im­ity to Yonge and Eglin­ton — but not the hus­tle and bus­tle.” With the Dav­isville sub­way sta­tion close by and ac­cess to lots of lo­cal spe­cialty shops, the buy­ers ap­pre­ci­ate the con­ve­nience.

That’s what at­tracted buyer Ted Arni­o­tis, a 24-year-old pro­fes­sional, who works at the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment not far away at St. Clair and Av­enue Road. Yes, he plans to walk to work. Plus, “I bought a one- bed­room fac­ing the east side,” Arni­o­tis says, “I like know­ing that my view will never be ob­structed.”

Arni­o­tis ap­pre­ci­ates ac­cess to the city but more peace­ful views, so he chose to face houses rather than Yonge Street on the west side. “I love the tree­line here and the views of the houses. It’s where I grew up and I wanted to stay here. But most of all, I’ll ap­pre­ci­ate the 170 feet of ter­race.”

Be­cause Arni­o­tis’ in­te­rior space is rel­a­tively small at 520 square feet, out­door space was crit­i­cal. “I’m al­ways bar­be­cu­ing and en­ter­tain­ing friends. It re­ally ex­tends my liv­ing space, and that cinched the deal for me.”

Robin­son sec­onds Arni­o­tis’s take. “We re­ally un­der­stand the need for peo­ple to have that out­door space — es­pe­cially if they’re down­siz­ing from a l arge house with a back­yard or gar­den. But it’s not just empty nesters who in­sist on that out­door space, it’s ev­ery­one. That’s why ev­ery suite here has ac­cess out­side.”

Aside f r om t he pent­houses ( the de­tails of which are not yet re­leased), the largest ter­race rings in at 1,210 square feet on the south­east two-bed­room-plus-den suite. Some other units fea­ture Juliet bal­conies.

Three fea­tures and fin­ishes pack­ages show­case nat­u­ral pal­ettes (in white, off-white, dark brown and black). Rang­ing from 390-sq.-ft. stu­dios to 1,275-sq.-ft. two-bed­room­plus- den units, suites boast nine- foot ceil­ings, floor- to­ceil­ing win­dows, wide-plank lam­i­nate floor­ing, Euro­pean cab­i­netry and stain­less steel ap­pli­ances. Prices be­gin in the mid $200,000s.

Graziani + Co­razza be­lieve they also know a lit­tle about their so­phis­ti­cated, ur­bane buyer: Each kitchen comes with a built-in wine fridge.

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