New in Toronto real estate: 88 Scott
88 Scott is one of Toronto's newest mega-condos, slated for Wellington and Scott streets. "Mega," in this case, means more than 500 units, stretched out over 58 storeys with too many amenities to list (that's a lie — I list them below). Developed by Concert Properties, this structure will house all sort of different units at varying price points, with a location pretty much at the centre of everything. But the snazzy address and extra frills will come at a price, of course (which pretty much amounts to lots of money). Here's a closer look at 88 Scott.
Exterior: Glass, limestone/granite base
Number of units: 513
Number of floors: 58
Unit sizes (in square feet): 278 - 2920
Price range (approx): $250,000 to $1,500,000
Parking: $50,000 (For suites 700 s.f. or larger)
Storage locker: $5,000
Hydro/heat/water included?: No
Interior design: Union31
Number of elevators: 4
Amenities: Guest suites (2), fitness centre, 24/hr concierge, WiFi-enabled news/coffee lounge, outdoor terrace with barbeques, seamless-edge indoor pool, sky lounge on 46th/47th floor, sauna, games room...
Expected occupancy: October 2016
I'm swooning. It's probably just because I'm a sucker for virtual tours set to an expressive classical soundtrack, but swooning nonetheless. So yes, I sort of like this one. First off, the structure itself diverges from the all-too-typical glass rectangle in the sky (I'm looking at you, Tableau), thus offering a little visual interest and allowing for a collection of varied floor plans.
Speaking of, 88 Scott has all sorts of suites in different shapes and sizes (and consequently, price points) that actually seem conducive to living. That's right — functional layouts! (I never thought I'd see the day...) Most kitchens come with either a breakfast bar or island to offer extra counter space, and bedrooms are equipped with real hinged doors (yes, this is actually a point to be lauded). I could see a first-time homeowner more than comfortable in, say, 88 Scott's 595-square foot one bedroom/one bath, wanting only perhaps of a little more closet space.
But who needs closet space when you have the St. Lawrence Market just down the road, plus plenty of cafes, restaurants, and attractions galore? Well, I would probably still want another closet, but nevermind. Within walking distance to various forms of transit and quick drive to the Gardiner, 88 Scott's location pretty much can't be beat. The area is active without being atrociously overcrowded (although, maybe Scott might help to change that), with a more sophisticated nighttime crowd than, say, over at Richmond and John; that is, unless you have a thing for Hummer limos.
The plan also seems to excel in terms of the small touches. Custom roller shades come standard in every suite, for example, and the building will have designated bike parking and pet wash stations. And though I can hear you naysayers already, I'll ask you this: have you ever tried to wash a sandy poodle in a bathtub? Didn't think so.
In my hasty brochure-reading foolishness, I thought 278 square feet referred to the size of the parking spaces in 88 Scott's underground lot. Not so. Believe it or not, that is actually the size of the building's smallest units, which will surely give its residents further reason to lament their bachelor lifestyles. Of course, the size is only relevant to those who actually choose to buy/rent/live in the studios, but it does raise the existential question of how small is too small for permanent living quarters. I'd wager that if your futon can't actually extend into a horizontal bed, it's time to upgrade.
So let's say you can upgrade to, say, the 595-square foot one-bedroom unit mentioned in the previous section. Then you're golden, right? Actually, yes, since you're looking at paying more than $400,000. And keep in mind that's the preconstruction price. And I'm also being extremely modest (you're looking at an extra $20,000 or so for a unit on a floor with any sort of view). In any case, you're looking at a bare minimum of $670 per square foot. Not exactly ideal for first-time homeowners. And while you could make the case that you're getting good bang for your buck in terms of location and amenities, you're certainly not getting a whole lot of room.
And then there are all of those extra costs. While most new projects start out with artificially low maintenance fees, not all of them have multiple lounges, entertainment rooms, and fitness options. Rising maintenance fees, coupled with the additional cost of heat, water, and hydro, likely means that living at 88 Scott won't be cheap. Not that residents would really be under that impression in the first place.
Ah, farm-fresh produce within minutes every weekend. Curse you, St. Lawrence North farmers' market and your pure-maple-syrup powers of seduction. If you've got the dough (key) and you like the area, I don't see how a would-be homeowner could resist. Plenty of floor plans mean you can pick the layout you want, and the centre-of-everything location means you can pretty much walk to whatever you need. Please stockpile some of that syrup for me.
What do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.