Condo mania hits as 1 Bloor St. goes on sale
After paying people thousands of dollars to stand in line for a week in bone-chilling temperatures, investors finally got a crack at what is arguably the hottest property in Toronto.
Condominiums went on sale Tuesday night at 1 Bloor, located at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets. About 90 people have been waiting in line, holding spots for realtors hoping to secure a suite in the luxury building.
The demand was so high that developers raised the starting price to their units Tuesday morning to $500,000. Others are priced at more than $8 million.
The night before, the price range for the units was from $300,000 to $2 million.
"I have not seen this ever happen before in Toronto," said realtor Anna Cass, standing at the front of the line. "I've never seen a builder raise their prices so quickly, but it's the law of supply and demand -- this is business."
But for some, price wasn't an object. One agent told CTV News he had a client who was ready to offer $24 million for the penthouse suite.
Anxiety turned to tension for some of the people waiting in line Tuesday morning as the crowds started shoving, trying to move up a few spots closer to the front.
"It's a real shame, business doesn't have to be like that," Adam Szalai told CTV News from his spot in line.
Police officers were on hand to monitor the crowd and maintain peace.
The doors opened around noon for people waiting in line to get a number. Those people were told to return after 6 p.m. to buy a piece of the property.
People waiting in line outside the sales office kept a record of the order of the lineup. Their patience wore thin when it appeared the sales office would not honour the list, but the builder changed his mind.
"It started so early it's unprecedented," said real estate agent Kathy Kalina. "I don't think there is anybody with enough experience to handle this. We're making the rules as we go along."
Bazis International, working on behalf of the Kazakhstan-based firm Bazis-A Group, will offer each agent up to three of the tower's 596 units. The remaining units will then be sold to the general public.
The tower, standing at 80 storeys, will be the tallest in Toronto. It is not expected to be built before 2011.
Cass said the wait will be well worth it.
"It was tense this morning and it seemed like it might not happen but it was totally worth it," she said. "It was something we've been planning for weeks and I'm so thrilled that it came through in a very honorable way."
With a report from CTV's MairiAnna Bachynsky