CityPlace Recreation Complex


The Saturday Star featured a story about the fitness centre for CityPlace Harbour View Estates. I often am taking clients through this facility. It is the most extensive and elaborate set of condo amenities I have ever encountered. I like to call it “Summer Camp for Adults”.

Owners buy into membership in massive SuperClub, which also serves as the community centre


STEPHEN WEIR
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

When it comes to the art of filling a new condo, is it the building that picks the inaugural owners or the other way around?
At the Harbour View Estates complex just west of the Rogers Centre, you can credit brightly coloured medicine balls, private swimming lessons and an U.S.-style 10-pin bowling alley for attracting young, health-conscious buyers.
With more than 1,500 units in towers up to 49 storeys high (along with a townhouse block), Harbour View is part of the Concord CityPlace community.
A total of 20 highrises are planned for the 18-hectare site, located on the former CN Railway lands south of Bremner Blvd. and east of Spadina Ave. (
http://www.cityplace.ca).
Harbour View, at 11 Mariner Terrace, recently marked the opening of SuperClub, a $6-million, private, 30,000-square-foot health club — possibly the biggest of its kind in the GTA.
“This was the selling point for singles and young couples looking for that first condo,” explains Bryan Chartier, Core Architect’s director of interior design.
Core was both the architect and interior designer for the complex. Concord Adex Development Corp. was the builder.
“Undoubtedly, a number of buyers were attracted to the concept of a SuperClub when purchasing the condos attached to it,” Chartier says. “People are buying into a lifetime membership in an amazing club, as well as living in their downtown home.
“What we did was to design a community centre — the common ground for a small urban village. The biggest problem in living downtown is not knowing anyone — even the person right next door. This (health club) breaks down those barriers … and it is a great facility, too.”
Spanning 80 metres in length, the sleek structure features an impressive inventory of amenities for both active and passive activities.
Built next to the Gardiner Expressway, the SuperClub includes a 25-metre swimming pool, a full-size gymnasium, whirlpool, cardio, weight and conditioning rooms, a squash court, bowling lanes, a billiards room and an outdoor tennis court. For the armchair athlete, there are Gardiner-facing outdoor tanning platforms, an indoor golf simulator, a karaoke room, an Internet cafe and a juice bar.
The SuperClub concept has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The four-building complex appears to be populated by younger buyers keen on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The units, some of which are less than 570 square feet, have been snapped up at an average price of $220,000 for a one-bedroom. As of last week, there were only 11 unsold units.
“The strategy in designing this building was to provide a complex of equal or better value than commercial health clubs,” says Chartier, 38. “In terms of other condominiums in the city, there is nothing like it. Most condos come with a small fitness room with a couple of machines and a small pool.”
Although SuperClub sits on prime downtown land, it generates no revenue, since ownership has been turned over to the condo owners. In return, the club has given Harbour View the image of being a hip and healthy place to live.
The club is owned by the complex’s three condo associations and is operated by a management company.
It has only been open four months but is already a focal point for many of the 3,000 residents.
“The SuperClub has defined the purchaser,” says Core’s partner in charge: architect Deni Poletti. “This is more about being a social place than an impersonal health club. This definitely sets the complex apart from any other project in the city because it is just such an extensive facility.”
Poletti doesn’t expect a SuperClub like this to ever be built again in Toronto, since there isn’t enough open space available.
The building’s amenities are designed in an “international” style, with a strong North American influence. The pool, track, machines, squash and basketball courts are for use by both sexes. The change rooms are segregated by gender but the locker rooms are open concept.
“We actually see people meeting people in the SuperClub’s living room (a central meeting area with plush leather chairs, a library, a gas fireplace and three Internet portals) and not the change rooms,” says Chartier.
“That’s because you have to reserve your spots on the court and the machines. The living room has online reservations and it is where you hang out waiting for your time,” he explains.
“In small towns, the meeting place was downtown. For these buildings, the centre is the living room and the nearby juice bar.”
SuperClub isn’t for everyone. The size of the buildings around it creates its own weather pattern.
Sometimes, the ring of condos blocks the sun. At other times, the glass-faced structures reflect the sun so that it shines through the club’s north and south windows simultaneously.
“We are working on small condo buildings, where there are virtually no amenities, and the monthly condo fees are low,” says Chartier.
“The buildings around SuperClub only make sense if you take advantage of what is available … ultimately because you are paying for it.”

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