Bring on the feathers, chandeliers and custom cocktails, Brad Lamb’s in town and he’s throwing a party.
The lucky folks on a curated guest list experienced just that and more, when Toronto condo developer Brad Lamb previewed the luxury life awaiting buyers at Television City.
Two condo towers-30 and 40 stories of glittering glass are proposed for the CHCH TV site on Jackson Street at Caroline.
For the sales centre sneak preview, a giant tent glowed in front of the historic mansion that was the formal entrance to CHCH TV.
Invited guests included family, friends and as Lamb told me, people he’ll do business with, “the city, hydro, gas, concrete suppliers, investors, lenders and banks.”
But the crowd I surveyed in the big top looked nothing like the attendees at a typical Hamilton shindig. Beautiful women appeared, like lesser Kardashians, strapped into tight black dresses, flicking their long straight hair, the men bounced between David Beckham clones or Chuck Schumer. It felt like Floyd Mayweather might arrive at any moment. No one appeared in a Tiger-Cats jersey.
Who were these people?
“I do mergers and acquisitions, Paul Stern told me. He’s from Toronto, but he’s liking Hamilton and he’s on the verge of reserving a couple of condos in Television City because “Hamilton is about to explode.” Stern buys and sells car dealerships with Dealer Solutions Group, Rick Paletta, also an invited guest and investor, owns 10 of them.
“Most of my investments are in depreciating assets,” Paletta, founder of Car Nation Canada said, “I wanted to invest in something that appreciates.”
In the tent booze flowed, and stylish food was provided by The French. French founder Jason Cassis was on the guest list. “If there’s one takeaway here for me it’s- this is how to sell something.”
He’s so right. In the old mansion the sales centre glowed like the Emerald City. Swanky mock ups of a kitchen, living room and bath were plunked where the old CHCH switchboard used to be. Floor plans of the condo units-named after TV stars were perused by potential buyers. You can buy the Bob Barker Studio condo for under $300,000 or the Andy Griffith Penthouse for over a million dollars.
In a way the whole evening reminded me of the way CHCH used to be when I started working there in the 1970’s. The station was thriving, and there was money, bold ideas, risk taking and great parties.
The concept of Television City is brash and energetic. Developer Brad Lamb shared his Hamilton vision with me in an interview.
When did you get interested in Hamilton?
I have been watching for many years.
I read of the GO Train station at the harbour, so I said to my head of commercial, take me to Hamilton and show me this station I want to see it.
I looked at it, I was blown away, we drove around for a couple of hours. This city has changed so quickly, James Street blew me away. It’s organic, a small step, kind of thing, which is how it starts.
I looked at real estate prices rising.
I was convinced the city was ready.
There’s no other project like this in the city, interest has been huge.
This will change Hamilton, some say for the worse, because it means expensive prices, but it doesn’t mean that in all cases.
This is a luxury condo project for the middle class, we offer a better quality of home that people haven’t seen before in this level of high rise house.
How are dealings with City Hall with your proposed 40-story height?
This whole area is being rezoned up to 30 stories. So we’re at 30 and 40, so we are asking for some relief because of the fact we are keeping this historic house and we are going to build a park in front.
My sense is people want this I don’t believe I’m delusional.
West Harbour Go Station only has partial service. Do you have any influence with the province to get full service?
I hammer the Premier whenever I can. I have zero influence with the provincial government because I am not in favour of the action (on real estate sales) she’s taken in the last six months.
But I’ll tell you something-I’m one of the first Toronto developers here and then they’ll be a host of big guys coming, billionaire developers, richer than me, and they’ll be doing large scale developments. They’ll be bidding on the waterfront. Those people have huge political sway, they’ll probably get what they want in terms of more frequent service. It’ll benefit Hamilton and it’s needed. You need to commit to building and service will come.
When will people be moving into Television City?
Five years, move in.
As I left the event, two cops were talking to the party organizers. People in adjacent apartments were complaining about the noise. They were asked to turn it down. I waited for a ride while the DJ starter to spin Closer by The Chainsmokers. The music was as loud as ever.
Television City (televisioncity.ca) sales centre on Jackson Street West is set to open later this month.