80 John Street - Festival Tower

By: Perry Baria

80 John Street - Festival Tower

Tags: Toronto, Real estate, Homes, Sale, Festival Tower,

I have buyers looking for a condo at 80 John St - commonly known as the Festival Tower.  The building is in an amazing location, smack in the middle of the theatre district (search here for other condos in the area), surrounded by restaurants, streetcar at your door.  But for those who live in this building, why would you ever leave??  It has the most amazing amenities including a complete spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor hottubs, aromatherapy steam rooms, a full array of spa treatments, and more cardio and weight training equipment than any normally athletic person needs!!! 

Beyond that, there's the uber-luxe theatre with seating for all your friends, and their friends too.   The Festival Tower has all the toys you can imagine, so whether you're looking to rent or buy there, be prepared to stay, because once you've experienced life here, its hard to settle anywhere else. 

So, back to my buyers...They're particularly interested in the spectacular, unobstructed, never-to-be obstructed, no-potential-of-obstruction-ever views.  (The Festival Tower has some absolutely stunning views... right now!)  So, for those of you who know this particular location, you'll know this is a challenge, especially when there are parking lots surrounding the building, low rise buildings directly to the east, signs for "SaveRestaurantRow" to the south.    For those experienced with buying condos, you'll know that if you're interested in a view, the first thing you should do upon entering a condo is go up to the nearest window and look down.  If you see a parking lot, keep moving!!!  An impending condo development will soon be your neighbour!!  Interestingly, what gives King and John its appeal for those wanting to live there, is it proximity to all the great restaurants, bars, and the general buzz in the area.  If its only going to be condos, it's going to be a very dull area to live in, so I hope everyone looking to tear down Restaurant Row has considered that.

Also, anyone curious about the price per square foot??  The answer is, depends when you bought into the Festival Tower.  There are some that sold for close to $900/square foot in 2011.  What are they worth today... ahem... well, a little less. 

Buying new construction is not "the deal" it once was.  I've always been an advocate of touching and feeling your real estate.  Not everyone agrees, but I guess you'll have to find an agent who can make a compelling argument for paying $850+ per square foot when surrounding buildings are all offering rebates and incentives for a similar product.  And parking... Not so long ago a standard price for downtown parking ranged from $25K-$30K per spot.  Now, $55K... more than double in a new development?? 

Let me crunch the numbers, so you can figure out if buying new or resale makes more sense.  If you're looking for an objective opinion on the Festival Tower and other King Street Condos, please call me at 416-716-7073 or email me at perry@perrybaria.com.