Sam Mizrahi replaced as construction manager of Toronto condo The One: Canadian real estate news for March 2

Sam Mizrahi replaced as construction manager of Toronto condo The One: Canadian real estate news for March 2
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Home of the Week, 61 King St., Port Hope, Ont.Maddox Media

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week and one home worth a look.

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Sam Mizrahi replaced as construction manager of troubled Toronto condo project The One

The court-appointed receiver of the luxury project – marketed as Canada’s tallest condo building and under development since 2015 – is replacing Sam Mizrahi as general contractor after it discovered management “deficiencies,” Tim Kiladze and Rachelle Younglai write. When receiver Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. took over in October 2023, it initially decided not to replace Mizrahi, who owns 50 per cent of the project. But after assessing Mizrahi’s management, the receiver says, it found “control deficiencies” such as no formal tracking of progress and unreliable monthly reports. In an e-mailed statement to The Globe, Mr. Mizrahi alleged that project-management deficiencies played no role in his replacement as project manager. Instead, he alleged the decision was made because his replacement, Skygrid Construction Inc., is a lower-cost contractor.

‘It will not be missed:’ Ottawa cancels first-time home buyer incentive

The federal government has discontinued its $1.25-billion program to help first-time home buyers, after failing to attract prospective homeowners for five straight years, writes Younglai. The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program provided shared-equity mortgages directly from the federal government for first-time home buyers. But the requirements were considered unrealistic in the country’s most expensive markets of Vancouver and Toronto – the program placed a limit on a property’s purchase price at $1-million, which is already above the typical home price in those regions. The mortgage industry has long criticized the program as ineffective. Mortgage experts say a better alternative is a 30-year amortization period for borrowers who have to get mortgage insurance.

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Condominiums under construction on Broadway Ave. in north Toronto, are photographed on Oct 5, 2023.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Occupancy fees a growing problem in condo-land

Buying pre-construction condominiums can be an expensive and drawn-out process, but the growing “occupancy period” is causing more stress than ever before, writes Shane Dingman. The length of time between when the buyer of a new condo is given the keys and when the buyer takes actual ownership of the unit is growing longer and more expensive. This gap leaves the new owners in possession of the unit and liable for costs – such as property taxes and interest payments – but with no legal status as owners. “It’s killing some of my clients,” said lawyer David Feld. “They can’t handle the big cheques that are $5,000 a month.”

Downtown or the suburbs? Weighing the options as office markets recover

Before 2020, high-demand offices located downtown were seen as essential to attract young talent – Toronto’s downtown office vacancy rates were only in the low single digits. But the equation changed in the work-from-home era of the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Wallace Immen. Suburban offices with ample parking gained an advantage amid social distancing as commuting by car rather than public transportation became more attractive, and downtown office vacancy rates rose as a result. But as many companies institute return-to-office policies, they must also weigh the risks and benefits of where they settle down – suburban offices might have more space and amenities, but could alienate workers with its distance from their homes and downtown.

Home of the Week: A careful refurbishment of a pre-Confederation home

  • Sam Mizrahi replaced as construction manager of Toronto condo The One: Canadian real estate news for March 2

    Home of the Week, 61 King St., Port Hope, Ont.Maddox Media

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61 King St., Port Hope, Ont.

The five-bedroom heritage house built in 1858 has been extensively renovated and modernized, but still retains much of its old charm. The home still has its original oak staircase and marble fireplace mantles, as well as its classic wraparound porch. The main room features an open living room which flows into the kitchen. But the most special part of the property is the refurbished coach house. Used as a garden shed for years, the owners heavily renovated it – adding skylights and new floors – to be used as a workshop and showroom.

What do you think is the asking price for the property?

a. $1,250,000

b. $1,499,000

c. $2,375,000

d. $2,999,000

d. The asking price is $2,999,000.