Developer Frank Mazzotta tells the story about going to Germany to check out a high-tech underground parking system for his planned luxury condominium building in Yorkville.
“I stood in the middle of the main street in Munich in winter to see how well the system worked in snow and sand.”
Another time, he took “hundreds of pictures” of buildings on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to show architect Richard Wengle what he liked.
Mazzotta’s search for “the very best the world has to offer” is all part of what he calls “the Armour Heights difference.”
“We are custom builders, not cookie cutter-type builders,” explained the president of Vaughan-based Armour Heights Developments, which he founded in 1988.
From suite size to floor plan and finishes, every facet will be personally tailored to accommodate purchasers’ wish lists. With price tags of $3.5 million to over $20 million, suites will be “fully, fully loaded with what people in Forest Hill and Rosedale are used to,” whether it’s a large dining room, high-end kitchen or expansive closets, he said.
Whatever people want, “we’ll tweak it to make it work,” Mazzotta said, citing one client’s desire to create a small, tucked-away kitchen to facilitate a grand space for entertaining.
“Frank was very open, saying, ‘Tell me what you want and I’ll take care of it for you’,” Lillian recalled about the “always smiling” developer when they bought a two-bedroom, 1,800-sq.-ft. suite last summer. The couple plans to downsize from their Richmond Hill home in a few years.
Among their adjustments at 89 Avenue are a bigger living room and smaller laundry area to provide an enlarged pantry and kitchen space.
But what really sold them on the “beautiful, classic” structure, Lillian said, was the “exclusivity” of the bespoke building with just 35 units, its location, and the developer himself.
Delli-Benedetti, an interior designer who worked for Mazzotta 30 years ago, said he’s always had a reputation as a “very good builder.”
From her husband’s perspective — he owns a homebuilding company – the calibre and level of customization will make their new condo “like we had built it,” she said.
The project’s location 2-1/2 blocks north of Bloor St. means “I can just walk out the back door onto Hazelton (Ave.) where it’s quieter and there’s less traffic. I won’t have noise and congestion,” she said.
She’ll also be living in a stylish, walkable neighbourhood populated by upscale grocery stores, fine restaurants, cafés, fashion boutiques, luxury-brand shops, art galleries and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Delli-Benedetti calls the 24-hour valet parking system a “super-bonus” because she won’t have to venture underground.
It’s a convenience residents can expect whether they drive a Rolls-Royce or Lamborghini, according to Mazzotta, who researched the specs of luxury and exotic autos to ensure they can be accommodated.
The fully automated parking system from German manufacturer WÖHR works like a “giant jukebox” in which you punch numbers to have a “big elevator” park or retrieve your car from its subterranean space, he explained.
Mazzotta said neither he nor Wengle wanted to inflict another glass tower on the city so they’re “bringing a little bit of New York to Toronto” in the form of a tall, slender building clad in limestone and brick.
With no retail or commercial component, 89 Avenue Yorkville “will be a very quiet, discreet, discerning place you can call home,” Mazzotta noted.
Wengle describes it as “a pre-war modern design with punched windows, quiet sophistication, conservative but rich with layers of detail.
“We’re trying to bring the elegance back to the city,” he said, noting the importance of “creating a presence at pedestrian eye level, like London or Paris.”
That will be achieved through the use of Alabama limestone in “warm grey with lovely veining,” bronze accents, “a gorgeous canopy with beautiful metalwork,” and marble/granite surround at the entry, Wengle explained.
On a personal level, he adds, he’ll be walking past the building to his Avenue Rd. office “and I want to feel proud about it.”
The interiors by world-renowned Toronto designer Brian Gluckstein will feature herringbone-patterned wood flooring, custom-designed cabinetry, coffered ceilings and solid wood trim and doors. (Mazzotta points out that suites will have built-in humidifiers for the benefit of all that wood.)
The building will feature “cutting-edge technology” that includes facial recognition access, home automation and security systems, and highly efficient heating, cooling, air and water purification systems, he said.
Buyers can choose units covering half a floor to a full floor, or a two-floor duplex, according to Mazzotta. There’s also a three-floor townhome with a fourth-floor terrace at the back of the building.
89 Avenue Yorkville
Developer: Armour Heights Developments
Location: 89 Avenue Road
Architect: Richard Wengle.
Interior designer: Brian Gluckstein
Project: 20-storey building with 35 condo units and one three-level townhome. Condo suites from half- to full-floor and duplex, 1,800 to more than 3,000 sq. ft. From $3.5 million to $20 million+
Amenities: indoor swimming pool, fitness studio, outdoor lounge with fire pit and barbecue, indoor lounge and dining room with catering kitchen, pet wash
Tentative occupancy: March 2024
Source: Toronto Star