Friday, April 18, 2014Mostly Cloudy 6°C
City

New in Toronto real estate: King Blue Condominiums

Posted by Robyn Urback / November 1, 2012

king blue condos torontoKing Blue Condominiums will bring a couple of new condo towers to King West. What a novel idea, eh? Easton's Group has unveiled its plans for two towers at King and Blue Jays Way — a project that will incorporate the restored Canadian Warehouse Building and the new home for the Theatre Museum of Canada at its base. King Blue boasts lots of amenities, lots of stylish finishes, and lots of extra fees, with room for thousands of new King Street residents and parking and lockers for just an elite few. Here's a closer look at King Blue Condominiums.

king blue condos torontoSPECS

Address: 355 King Street West

Exterior: Glass (brick podiums)

Number of towers: 2

Number of floors: 44, 48

Total number of units: 807

Type of units: Studio, one-bedroom, one-plus-den, two-bedroom, two-plus-den, three-bedroom, three-plus-media

Unit sizes (in square feet): 390 - 1335

Price range: ~ $247,900 - $980,000+

Parking: $55,000 (for two-bedroom suites or larger)

Parking maintenance fee: $89.85/month

Locker: $5,000 (for one-plus-den suites or larger)

Locker maintenance fee: $22.95/month

Maintenance: $0.52/sf

Maintenance fees exclude: Hydro

Architect: Page + Steele / IBI

Interior design: Munge Leung

Amenities: Rooftop pool with bar, lounge, party room, fitness centre, multimedia room, courtyard, 7th and 9th floor outdoor terraces, concierge, guest suites

Expected occupancy: 2016

king blue condos torontoTHE GOOD

Finally. Someone's paying at least a little bit of attention to that place where — you know — you might actually spend most of your time (not to say that King Blue's marketing material isn't absolutely doused with vapid "lifestyle" speak, but nevermind). The suites in King Blue actually appear to be livable, and yes, the bar really is now that low. But credit where credit's due. With the exception of the studio suites, all King Blue units include bedrooms with windows and actual hinged doors (see "bar is now that low," one sentence back).

There are little exceptional touches, too, including rough-ins for wall-mounted TVs, marble accents in bathrooms, and oak hardwood flooring as standard in all suites. And while the kitchens (read: wall of appliances) don't offer much by way of counter space, kitchen islands do come included with all King Blue units. It's still a 500-square-foot shoebox in the sky, but at least it comes with a spot to chop onions.

king blue condos torontoThe location of the King Blue is great in terms of TTC accessibility, because unless you want to fork over the cost of an Audi A5 for a spot to park your Toyota Camry, you're going to be relying on the streetcar. The Spadina car is just steps away with the King streetcar right outside your door, and you're close enough to St. Andrew Station that you could probably just walk over on a mild day.

And though the exact address of King Blue Condos is dangerously close to the Entertainment District heart (complete with obnoxious weekend limos and endless choruses of "OhMyGAWD heeey!") if you keep your eyes south and focus on Blue Jays Way, you'll feel more "Wellington" than stretchy weekend clubwear. Just ignore the odd spattering of Saturday evening sidewalk vomit.

And more an FYI than a distinct pro or con: prospective buyers should prepare to pay somewhere in the low/mid $600 range per square foot for a King Blue condo. That's not cheap by any means, of course, but it's also not as absolutely ridiculous as you'll find with some other new condo builds.

king blue condos torontoTHE BAD

King Blue Condominiums joins the sorry ranks of E Condos and INDX Condos for its poorly-veiled cash grab. Back when I was young and naïve, I used to believe that monthly maintenance fees were used for, among other things, garage and locker room upkeep. Apparently not. King Blue will be charging its residents close to $115 per month to purchase a parking spot and locker in the building, because sweeping out the locker room can get very expensive, you know. It's also exceptionally odd that lockers are reserved for units above a certain size, since residents of the smallest suites would be the ones, ostensibly, with the greatest need for external storage. Go figure.

King Street West seems the "IT" girl of 2012, with developers all pining to get their hands on a piece. There's King Blue Condominiums, of course, plus the two Mirvish towers planned for down the road, Theatre Park next door to them, and the condo slated for 321 - 333 King Street West, to name a few. The influx of residents hopefully means the area will get a decent grocery store sometime soon, but it certainly confirms that density is poised to swell by the time the occupancy dates roll around. Increased density, naturally, means more traffic, more sidewalk congestion, a greater stain on public transportation, and a terrible time for the pizza delivery guy with nowhere to stop on a Thursday evening. Plus, it sort of complicates things from a value perspective. How can one justify spending $400,000 on a fairly unremarkable box in the sky when there are literally thousands of others just like it down the street? Good luck, marketing department; I wouldn't take your job.

THE VERDICT

You could do worse on King West. You could also take the sum of your parking maintenance fees alone for a couple years and go on a really spectacular trip to Europe. Your call.

king blue condos torontoWhat do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.

Read other posts in this series via our Toronto Condos and Lofts Pinterest board

Discussion

25 Comments

jameson / November 1, 2012 at 09:36 am
user-pic
Wow I do not trust these renderings at all. They look incredibly misleading.
Spadina / November 1, 2012 at 09:49 am
user-pic
Typo: I think by "incorporate the restored Canadian Warehouse Building" you meant "reduces the perfectly useable and beautiful Westinghouse Building to a facade tacked onto a banal podium, like a billboard advertising our city's shitty, lazy approach to heritage preservation." Common mistake. The keys are like right next to each other.
mel / November 1, 2012 at 09:53 am
user-pic
^ hahaha
Joe / November 1, 2012 at 09:57 am
user-pic
What I really wish more of these places would show in their renderings is the view from street level, up close. What will it be like walking past this place? Will it just be a boring useless wall of glass like (I'm sorry) the Bell Lightbox? Or, will there be interesting variations and a chance for actual store fronts? I don't mind the condo towers in general, they're a necessary evil in a city that's trying to accommodate a huge influx of people, but it's the street level effect I with developers would consider more. Part of what makes all of our "cool" streets so is the organized chaos that comes from so many varied and interesting façades.
Sean / November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am
user-pic
Maintenance fees are typically charged for any square footage you own in a building (at least, that's what I've found to be the case). If you own the parking spot (or locker), you pay for the square footage. And given that the maintenance fee costs go to the owners' condo corp, I don't see how this is a cash grab by anyone. Presumably, if enough owners wish to change this they can vote to do so.

Glad to see they are including 3 and 3+ bedroom units.
Melastman / November 1, 2012 at 11:29 am
user-pic
I hate cheap condo furniture with chrome and pleather!
Sara / November 1, 2012 at 11:39 am
user-pic
"lockers are reserved for units above a certain size"

This is fairly common for developers to enforce. There aren't enough lockers for every unit, so they reserve them for the units that cost more.
TO_Blog_TRASH / November 1, 2012 at 11:51 am
user-pic
Yet another shitty, snarky review from Robyn. You were never young and are still naive.
Rob / November 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm
user-pic
I can't wait for the eventual condo review that reads like this:

Bad? Well, bachelor units start at 78 sf.
Grant replying to a comment from Joe / November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm
user-pic
I'm with you Joe. So much fuss about the number of storeys, and not much concern that the street level realm actually has something more interesting to walk by than a giant sheet of glass.
kn / November 1, 2012 at 01:15 pm
user-pic
dear city. there are numbers under 50. please use them when deciding the height of a building. thanks!
MrsPotato / November 1, 2012 at 01:29 pm
user-pic
I can't wait to see what it 'ACTUALLY' looks like ... those fountains, eh? HAHAHAHAAHAHAA!!!!

These development renderings are one big fairytale. Selling you something that will never ever exist.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from TO_Blog_TRASH / November 1, 2012 at 01:58 pm
user-pic
"Yet another shitty, snarky review from Robyn. You were never young and are still naive."

I beg to differ. Robyn's reviews started out as mere fluff. Now they're looking beyond the marketing material and asking serious questions. It's real journalism now.

Also, your ad hominem attack on Robyn makes you look silly. What got your back up? Are you a speculator?
Alex / November 1, 2012 at 02:01 pm
user-pic
Are these the condos with that terrible radio jingle? " I got King Blue, who could ask for anything more!" Something like that.

I agree with the street facade concerns. Most condos should focus on lots of street level retail, that's what keeps streets interesting and makes people actually want to live there.
Za-Munda replying to a comment from TO_Blog_TRASH / November 1, 2012 at 05:40 pm
user-pic
Why don't you sock it to her and BUY a unit! I think that way you definitely put your nose up at her nonsensical views.
Bob / November 1, 2012 at 05:48 pm
user-pic
Wrong timing and seemingly cheap project. There is way too much in the area as it is. I am concerned that with the amount of inventory that is scheduled to come on the market, whether this project will be feasible. The pricing is not reasonable as well. The only justification to the developer could give me regarding the price is that it is okay to pay a higher number now since the completion of this project will be in 2018. I mean come on!!!
n / November 1, 2012 at 09:16 pm
user-pic
maintenance fee do go condo corp to fix things developer missed out or cheapened out on. i can't understand why it is not possible to have a low-rise condo building (4 to 5 storeys) with no amenities and low maintenance fees (maybe 200 or 300) built in toronto. also, i don't agree that maintenance should be per sf, if i am a single guy buying a 3 bedroom apartment how am i spending more resources? i would like to see more smaller buildings with separate everything (or almost everything). also, maybe i dont want the landscaping and a 24 hour security guy sleeping in the lobby?
i am buying a house for sure...
CJ / November 2, 2012 at 01:16 am
user-pic
Urban development is to Robyn Urback what streetcars are to Rob Ford. Please find someone with a degree in Urban Studies to write these articles.
metric / November 2, 2012 at 04:59 pm
user-pic
FALSE! The Westinghouse building is going to be demolished, not restored. The facade will be wallpapered onto the new building in a freakish manner.
Wallybag / November 3, 2012 at 12:50 am
user-pic
Are these buildings "GAY FRIENDLY" and is my dog allowed to poop in the elevater.
Aaron / November 3, 2012 at 04:19 am
user-pic
All of these cheapo cash-grabs look the same, I have to look at the caption to figure out which one is which. The so-called 'heritage preservation" is so laughable that it's embarrassing.

A lot of questions are going to be asked in the not too distant future as to why so much utter shit was allowed to be built in such a haphazard manner.
mjb / November 16, 2012 at 07:35 am
user-pic
It would be a lot interesting to read about these projects if the "snark" was removed from the text. Grow up, lady.
New Launch Condo / February 10, 2013 at 05:24 pm
user-pic
Your style is very unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. I learn a lot of new stuff right here! I certainly love this. Thanks
Sandeep / April 9, 2014 at 04:56 pm
user-pic
I personally would not buy into a project where the builder is NEW and has never built anything. The high rise market is ever changing with builders cutting back on quality, so what makes you think that this builder can do it better than those in the area?

Good luck to those buyers looking to live in this project.

Steve G. replying to a comment from Sandeep / April 9, 2014 at 05:27 pm
user-pic
In reply to Sandeep:
I totally agree... Would you want to live in a building built by this guy: http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/3158621-hotel-boss-made-a-mistake-/
Also, the ad campaign is rather curious... the developers daughter, a struggling musician is featured... need i say more?

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal