Talking “XO Condos” With Lifetime Developments’ Brian Brown

Brian Brown of Lifetime Developments Interview

Lifetime Developments is giving new homebuyers and investors a sleek development at the intersection of the very best of Downtown Toronto. Dine and drink at boutique eateries and bars, and sample fine artisanal products from a mix of local retailers just minutes from the front door. XO Condos at 1221 King Street West is an exciting development coming to the heart of Liberty Village, King West, Parkdale and steps to the majestic Lake Ontario.

We know that this is a project that our clients would just love to learn more about so we sat down with Brian Brown, Principal from Lifetime Developments, to discuss why XO Condos is garnering so much attention from buyers and the real estate industry alike.

Check out the video below or read through the transcripts for all the details.

XO Condos By Lifetime Developments - The Cool 10 Interview By GTA-Homes: TRANSCRIPT

GTA-HOMES: Welcome back to the Cool 10! I’m here at the uber-luxe Bisha Hotel and Residences by Lifetime Developments to discuss their next project, XO Condominiums. We’re sitting down with Brian Brown, a principal to the developer, who you’ve seen here before on our episode about Panda Condos. Today, Brian will be sharing all the ins and outs of XO, set for the popular and eclectic Liberty Village neighbourhood. Here’s what he had to say.

XO Condos by Lifetime Developments

(00:40)
GH: What was the vision for XO Condos in this neighbourhood?

Brian Brown: Well, the nice thing about XO is that it's coming to a neighbourhood that's at the very beginning of some great transformations. So it's the southwest corner of King and Dufferin and we also have the northeast corner which will come out probably in a year after, after we launch XO But from a buyer’s standpoint, from somebody that's looking to buy real estate or to move to a neighbourhood that's changing and getting in early, now is the time really for King and Dufferin so what we see King and Dufferin today, look like, versus what it's going to look like ten years from now. It's gonna be very different.

(01:21)
GH: XO is a unique name, what does it symbolize?

BB: XO came from, well the “X” actually came from the notion that this building is really at the intersection of a bunch of different neighbourhoods-- really at the edge of Parkdale, of King West, Queen West, Liberty Village and if you head south for two blocks on Dufferin you get into exhibition stadium. So that's where the X came from. The O came from the passion that this neighbourhood really has for its evolution and when we had a bunch of community meetings and we were talking about the development you could tell that the people that live here were very concerned about change, open to change, but at the same time it was their love for the neighbourhood and their love for what was going on that really drove them.

New Development in the Liberty Village Neighbourhood

(02:15)
GH: Tell us about Turner Fleischer Architects. Why were they chosen for this project?

BB: Turner Fleischer's great from an architect’s standpoint because they understand both how to design a beautiful building but also how we're going to build it, which is very important for us So that we go through a construction process as cleanly and smoothly as possible and then we're actually able to deliver what we say we're going to deliver.

(02:38)
GH: XO is coming to a prime downtown location. Can you give us some details?

BB: From a location standpoint, you know we've got two different streetcar lines that intersect our property right at the corner. So we've got the King line and we have got the Dufferin line and From a transit score, we actually get a hundred which very few sites can actually say that they have a hundred. And in addition to that, the smart track station, the LRT station will be built at Atlantic and King. So from a transportation side of development, it's a great opportunity because a lot of people that are going to live in the building are going to work in the core, that are going to work in Liberty Village, they're going to want to get to Union Station. King and Dufferin is very, very well connected to all those places.

(03:34)
GH: How will XO stand-out in this changing neighbourhood?

BB: Well, it's the next one and that's what I like about development. It is that it's always, you know, the next site is always going to change, then it's just a little bit more and a lot of the growth is happening along King Street. More to the east from this site, more in the entertainment district, but all that growth and changes have moved this way west past Bathurst and more to Dufferin now so we see it as the next evolution, the next neighbourhood that's on the cusp of change and from an investor standpoint, that's what you want to see. You want to get that property. Just before all the change happens because that's when prices start to go up.

Lifetime Developments dedicated a space to Kids Zone at this building

(04:21)
GH: What are the important factors you take into consideration when creating an Urban Condominium like XO?

BB: We we spent a lot of time talking to the architect, the interior designer, and really pushing them to deliver us great units where we pay attention to bulkheads, pay attention to spaces and how they're going to be laid out from a furniture standpoint. But the suite that people buy, that's just one part of what they're buying. They're really buying into an entire building. They're buying the lobby, they're buying the amenity space. So we pay a lot of attention to that. The lobby is so important because whether it's yourself walking in or your family or you know, just a visitor. That's the first impression that they're going to get of where you live. It's your front door so the lobby is always something that we pay a lot of attention to. Amenity space, you know, this is gonna have a great dining area, a great social lounge, great fitness club, but knowing that we're also going to be attracting a lot of young families to this building we dedicated a space to Kids Zone, so it's got both indoor and outdoor facilities, but it's really there for very young toddlers and kids that want to play in an area outside of their suite.

GH: What do you love about Liberty Village and what do you see for the future for King & Dufferin?

BB: So we see a lot of similarities between Liberty Village and King and Dufferin. We were, our first development in Liberty Village was actually in 2004 which was the Liberty Market building and we followed that site up with delivering Market Lofts. Probably about five years after that when we first invested in Liberty Village, it was very much like King and Dufferin actually. King and Dufferin is a little bit more advanced than what Liberty Village was at that time, but you know it was in a lot of ways there was a lot of similarities because it was a neighbourhood that was starting to mature and starting to grow and investment was coming, streets were changing, people were planting trees and making it more of a welcoming neighbourhood. A lot of changes happening at King Dufferin and we see a lot of this growth that happened in Liberty Village, which is, you know, there's not a lot more land in Liberty Village to develop so a lot of that growth now is happening just outside of Liberty Village. The benefits to those people living at King Dufferin is the fact that it's at the crossroads of all these neighbourhoods. So you get the great restaurants, you get the great shopping that's along King and Queen, you get access to the financial core very quickly, you get all the facilities that are in Exhibition Stadium, so it's a great neighbourhood.

A lot of changes happening at King Dufferin and we see a lot of this growth that happened in Liberty Village,

(07:19)
GH: Tell us about the unique neighbourhood amenity park?

BB: You know one of the amenities that I didn't talk about was actually something that comes to-- residents get the benefit of it, they don't actually have to pay for it and that's this park. There's a park that's immediately south of the building and it's not a small park. It's actually 20,000 square feet so it's a good urban park and It's got a splash pad and it's got a play area. The city recognized that this neighbourhood needed a good park and about two years ago they bought, or two or three years ago, they bought a house that was just immediately north of the park and they tore that down and expanded the park and did a major renovation and with our building, with our development, we're actually giving additional land to this park and expanding the park further. The great thing about it is that it's really, it's the backyard of this building, all the units that are on the south side of the building overlook the park and It's a facility that there's no question in our mind is going to get heavily used by the residents of the building but the benefit for the resident is that its not part of your maintenance fees. So you get the benefit of it you don't have to look after it. You don't have to have a board meeting about it. It’s something that you get to enjoy.

The unique neighbourhood amenity park?

(08:38)
GH: Who is living at XO? What lifestyle can buyers expect from this project?

BB: We see a mix of people. There's going to be a lot of young people that are starting families, a lot of people that work in the financial core. We see a lot of families though as well. And that's something that naturally, we've seen more of an evolution or change that's happened over the last five years, that people who have bought their first condo like the lifestyle of living in the condo. They buy for location but at the same time they don’t want to move out when they have kids, so we see a very broad mix of people living at this building.

(09:25)
GH: How can someone get Priority Access to XO Condos?

BB: Well, the best thing to do is to stay in touch with you. You and I have developed a great relationship over the last 5-10 years and it's because of our relationship that we've had some great launches and you've been able to support your clients. So the best thing is for them to stay in touch with you.

I'm Brian Brown and this has been the Cool 10.

Brian Brown with Brigitte Brigitte Obregon and David Vu