National Post (Latest Edition)


Sky towns and penthouses have just been released at the 52-Storey united bldg., north america’s largest heritage retrofit

- Iris Benaroia

Sky towns, penthouses just released at the United Bldg.

It’s not surprising that boomers are driving the rightsizin­g trend, of finding a home that properly fits one’s lifestyle. Who else would be concerned about vacuuming vacant bedrooms or tending to a too-large garden?

“They’re selling their mansions and looking for more of a thrill — living atop a tower (that’s) cosmopolit­an and has an internatio­nal feel to it,” according to barbara Lawlor, the president of baker real estate, who specialize­s in pre-constructi­on highrises.

A just-launched clutch of luxury units at the united bldg. fits the descriptio­n, including 11 two-storey sky towns and 27 penthouses. The site — at 481 university Avenue, at dundas Street West — is home to the historic Maclean-hunter building.

When the 709-suite building is up in five years, the sky towns will range from 900 to 1,400 square feet and cost $1.8 million to $2.8 million. Penthouses, on the 50th, 51st and 52nd floors, are sized from 900 to 1,540 square feet and priced at $2.7 million to $4 million.

The building is 89 per cent sold.

“There is investor interest and end-user interest,” says Lawlor. “The sky towns that we have sold are end users. They love the floor plans and the location and the luxury finishes. even though it’s a five-year build, people are planning ahead.”

Other buyers are those who want a pied-à-terre or who work in the area, including health-care profession­als from the nearby hospitals, the Financial district and the university of Toronto.

Ambitious at 52 storeys, davpart Inc’s. project is the largest heritage-retention residentia­l building in North America: designed by b+h Architects with heritage consultant­s era Architects Inc., the design incorporat­es elements from the 1928 Maclean-hunter building and its 1961 expansion.

“The design of this building draws from the energy of its location at the intersecti­on of the city’s primary cultural, institutio­nal and retail anchors as well as its preserved architectu­ral cultural heritage,” says Mark berest, b+h Architects principal in marketing literature for the project. “It is a tribute to Toronto’s cosmopolit­an character.”

When built, the ground floor will house commercial and retail space up to the 10th floor and a sidewalk shopping colonnade with

covered archways, classic mullioned windows, brass details and pendant lighting. Lawlor likens the area, which stretches along dundas, to the “fine shopping colonnades that you would see in London and New york.”

up above, the sky towns feature interiors by Tomas Pearce and come fitted with glass railings and brass handrails on the staircases, Miele appliances, expansive windows and nine-foot ceilings. “There is also outdoor space from both the lower and upper level,” Lawlor says.

In the penthouses, meanwhile, there are 10-foot ceilings, backlit wine displays and custom kitchens with leather-like wrapped lower cabinets and waterfall islands. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and an ensuite with a soaker tub and designer vanity.

“In the penthouses, you’re getting the best corner, the incredible views and a wraparound balcony looking south, where you can see the cn Tower and lake views,” Lawlor says.

residents will have good proximity to the city’s amenities, she says, noting the direct access to the St. Patrick subway from the building, where residents can catch the train to see a symphony at roy Thomson Hall or a show at the ed Mirvish Theatre.

The building’s own amenities on the 5th and 13th floor are “a cut above the typical tower,” says Lawlor. There’s a golf simulator, a bocce court, a Zen garden, a dog run and an all-season reflecting pool with warming pavilions.

For more informatio­n, visit the sales centre at 481 university Avenue or www.theunitedb­

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 ??  ?? The United Bldg. at 481 University Ave. includes 11 two-storey sky towns and 27 penthouses with premium views of the city.
The United Bldg. at 481 University Ave. includes 11 two-storey sky towns and 27 penthouses with premium views of the city.
 ?? PHOTOS courtesy DAVPART INC. ??

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