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Building Better Condo Buildings with Matt Kingston of Minto Developments

Podcast Featured Image 23

In this episode, Andrew la Fleur chats with Matt Kingston, VP of Land Development about design features that make a great condo building and how Minto goes above and beyond to make buildings that people love. They also discuss Minto’s newest project Minto Westside and Matt gives his advice for investing in condos.

Matt Kingston Interview Highlights

00:38 Major Investors Purchasing Entire Condo Buildings
8:13 Who is Matt Kingston & How Did He Get Started in Real Estate?
9:38 The Main Role of VP of Land Development at Minto
10:18 Is There a Condo Bubble in Toronto?
11:41 The Low-rise & High-rise Condo Markets
14:00 What Makes Minto a Good Developer to Invest With?
20:30 Number of Elevators
22:38 Minto Westside
25:47 The Grocery Store & Hotel in Minto Westside
28:11 How Will the Hotel Affect You As an Owner?
33:15 Matt Kingston’s Personal Investment Strategies
34:25 How to Reach Matt Kingston


Minto Developments

Minto West Side Investment Analysis Video

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Matt Kingston on LinkedIn

How to Leave a Review for The True Condos Podcast on iTunes

Matt Kingston Interview Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to the show. Thank you for listening. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for your support. Today on the show, we’re going to be interviewing Matt Kingston.

Matt is the VP of Land Development over at Minto. We’re going to be mostly talking on that interview about Minto Westside which is a really cool new project coming up at Front and Bathurst. Before we get to that interview, I just wanted to again talk about something that’s in the news; but actually in this case, this has not really made the news yet. Certainly it will if this trend continues.

We’re seeing a major new trend, something really big that we haven’t seen before in the Toronto condo market, and that is major institutional investors, developers, buyers coming in and purchasing out entire condo buildings all in one shot.

There’s three examples of that I want to give to you that has happened very recently to set the table for just what I want to talk about, but the first is at Greenland which is a Chinese developer. They’ve come in, and they purchased the King Blue Condo Development. The entire project, just boom, one shot, “Here … Few hundred million or whatever it is, and we’re buying the entire thing.”

They’re now marketing that project under their own name. It’s their first project in Canada. They’re a major developer. They’ve got huge, huge buildings and sites all over the world. The second example of what I’m talking about is just actually very, very hot off the press. This is just in the past few days. There is a project called “The Selby Condos” by Cityzen and Diamondcorp over at Sherbourne and Bloor. That project recently had a sales event. They reportedly sold about 200 units at this sales event.

Then subsequently, the purchasers were informed that all those deals were null and void because the developer had decided to sell the entire building to a private equity group apparently out of the US. Again, the details on this are very limited at this point, but it is confirmed that the entire building, The Selby Condos, was purchased by a private equity group. That’s 562 units, and presumably, they’re going to be doing a rental building there in conjunction I guess in some way with a developer or developers building it for them. I’m not sure, but it’s a major, major play that’s happened there.

The third example is something that’s completely unconfirmed. More of a rumor than anything, but it sounds like it’s from a reliable source from what I’ve heard, and that is there’s some kind of a Chinese investor group that’s looking to make a significant purchase within a major Toronto project somewhere in the $30 to $40 million range, and again, looking to do a rental play there. Huge institutions, huge money coming into Toronto swooping in and purchasing out entire buildings or huge chunks of buildings all at one time. What exactly is going on here? Is this a good thing for the market? Is this a bad thing for the market?

I’m not really here to answer that question right now. I don’t know. Certainly, there will be a lot of discussion about this over the months to come. If this continues, then how will this affect our market? What will make of the individual purchasers? Ultimately, what does it mean for the future of the Toronto condo market and future of real estate in our city that this is starting to happen? Again, I don’t have answers to all these questions, but I do want to make three quick points on this if you wouldn’t mind just indulging me here.

The first is that the secret is out on Toronto. What I mean by that is that the great returns that we’ve been enjoying as condo investors for a very long time here, purchasing units and renting them out, enjoying our strong rental market, taking advantage of the immigration and the demand for people to live downtown in particular. The secret is out. People around the world have taken notice, and they want a piece of this action. Again, Toronto is a very unique city in the global scene. We shouldn’t take it for granted. Certainly, the world is really starting to take notice of what’s happening in Toronto here.

The second thing is that your window of opportunity is closing. I’ll put a caveat on that. Maybe. I don’t know. I can’t predict the future, but certainly. If there is a case to be made that if these big institutions are coming in and buying up entire buildings, there certainly a potential case to be made that prices are going to be on their way up significantly in the years ahead that if institutions begun start taking over the market on a large scale like that, it may become much more difficult for the individual purchaser and the individual investor to get good deals and to get into projects, and keep enjoying the returns that we have been enjoying as prices perhaps begin to become out of reach for our people.

The opportunity that we’ve had and we’ve been enjoying for the last number of years, things may be changing. Again, the case of these people at The Selby. They thought they were getting a great deal and a good opportunity to get into condo investment there, only to be told that a major institution has come in and purchased the entire building out from under them, so they’re going to have to try to find somewhere else to invest that money. It’s becoming a much more competitive environment even for … As a buyer. That’s the second point.

The third point would be that … Again, I’ve said this on previous podcast possibly, but people that are way smarter than you and me are betting on Toronto. Specifically, they’re betting on the downtown core and the rental market here. These billion-dollar, multibillion-dollar institutions representing just billions and billions of capital, they’re looking to deploy and to invest. They can go anywhere in the world. They are choosing Toronto. They are choosing the Toronto condo market.

Again, it goes to the fact that people who are saying the condo market is a bubble, or things are going to crash, or it doesn’t make sense to invest in condos, basically they’re all claiming that they are smarter than these billion-dollar institutions who are coming in and purchasing entire buildings. Take it for what it is, but in my mind, that is complete validation that what we’re doing here is very smart investment. Okay. I hope you enjoyed that little piece there from me.

Like I said, you’ll be hearing more about this trend. I think it will probably hit the mainstream media soon, and watch for articles and things about this. It’s a very interesting trend that we are seeing, but you heard it first on The True Condos Podcast. Without further ado, let’s get to my interview with Matt Kingston of Minto.
Speaker 1: Welcome to The True Condos Podcast with Andrew la Fleur, the planks to give the truth on the Toronto condo market and condo investing in Toronto.

Andrew la Fleur: It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show, Matt Kingston. Matt is the VP of Land Development for Canada for Minto Developments. Welcome to the show, Matt.
Matt Kingston: Thank you.

Andrew la Fleur: Matt, love to chat with you today. Looking forward to this conversation. I’m really excited about the project Minto Westside. Of course, we’ll got to that. Before we do, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in real estate?

Matt Kingston: I really locked into real estate. I had a few friends that were working in the industry. When I got back from studying, one of them got me an internship with a developer here and really fell in love with it really quickly even though it was not really what I had studied in school, and …

Andrew la Fleur: What did you study in school? What is your background before real estate? Take us back there.

Matt Kingston: Economics and law.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. Yup.

Matt Kingston: Things that really I don’t think serve you very well in our world, but was lucky enough to get in with a really great developer. Then, Toronto is just an amazingly exciting place to be working in this field.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely. Have you been with Minto all along? Have you worked with other developers as well? What’s your career look like so far?

Matt Kingston: This is the third company I’ve been working at. Minto, I’ve been here just under four years working on a couple projects in the downtown as well as a few projects in our Oakville portfolio as well.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. What’s the main role that you do as VP of Land Development? What does that mean exactly?

Matt Kingston: It’s basically … For our company, we have a … We’re lucky enough to be in a few different markets across Canada. One of the things we have to … Or we tried to do is to deliver the same kind of experience to customers in all of those markets and to really push for what we feel is important and what differentiates us to the builder. My role is one where I work with the individual people in the different municipalities who have the day-to-day relationships to ensure that there’s a standard level of quality and the expectation setting done by each of them.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay, great. Why don’t we talk about …? I always like to ask people in the industry like what their take is on the question that everybody wants to hear, is there a condo bubble in Toronto? What’s your take on that whole discussion?

Matt Kingston: I think everybody has a different opinion on that, but right now, there is a huge amount of influx of people coming to our city which I think everybody sees in terms of migration; but there’s also this real change and shift in people’s thinking about where they want to live and how they want to live. I know … I’m a Casper right between millennials and Gen-X. There’s an … A lot of my friends had made the choice not to move to the 905 and out of the 416 to get more space. They cognitively said, “I want to live downtown. I’m going to live in a little smartly designed space and a little less space in order to have a better lifestyle.”

A lot of that means … A lot of strangulate in people living in condos downtown where they would have typically bought a single-family home in Burlington or something. It’s really amazing how fast that change has come, and I think that it’s obviously directly related to the supply and the fact that we’re not going to have many more houses built in the GTA or the pace of that is going to be a lot slower than what it was over the last 30, 40 years.

Andrew la Fleur: I know Minto does a lot of … You guys are massive builder where you do low-rise and high-rise across the country even in … You’re in the US markets as well, right?

Matt Kingston: That’s correct. We have a Florida operation.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. How do you see the low-rise and the high-rise markets interacting with each other, or are they related, are they not? Obviously, we’ve seen low-rise detached housing prices particularly just skyrocket in the GTA. Condo prices have just been creeping along, increasing at a slower pace, but still increasing. What do you see in terms of the high-rise versus low-rise market?

Matt Kingston: I think there’s never a time in our lives that we’ll see where there’s not a market for a single family home, but it’s just the question of what will that price be. I think definitely people’s expectations of what they see and their aspirations always outline to that single-family home, but it’s the reality of what we can afford and how much we want to conspicuously consume. That leads us to the reality of what we end up living in. There’s definitely a relationship between the two and between low-rise and high-rise.

I think we’re living in a … We’re seeing a big shift to living … To wanting to live closer to the downtown, in Toronto specifically, but in those areas like Oakville, Burlington, Oshawa, Stouffville, et cetera around the GTA where we’re building and looking at sites, there’s still is a market. We’re seeing a change. We’re starting to see a little more really well-planned development with a little more density in more centralized locations. I still think high-rise in the suburban area is a little tougher. You do see it in some specific markets like Markham, and Mississauga, and Vaughan; but definitely, there always be a market for low-rise housing.

People I think increasingly are looking at alternative forms of transit. They’re looking at wanting to live in a neighborhood to have that ability to walk to get things even in the 905. The condo market I think is here to stay. I don’t think it’s something that’s going to fade away. Yeah, I think … But the same is true of single-family. People are still willing to make that trade off to get more space as well.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. We’re not going to see the end of suburbia or the end of the single-family home anytime soon. I definitely agree with that. Let’s talk … Let’s shift gears. Talk about Minto itself as a developer, as a company. What makes Minto unique, or what makes them a good developer to invest with if you’re …? We’re talking to condo investors. If condo investors are listening right now, maybe they aren’t familiar with Minto or they haven’t bought with them before. What makes Minto unique?

Matt Kingston: Personally, when I was looking for a place to work or having had worked at different places in the past, one thing that was struck me right away was our commitment to actually being a green builder. There is a lot of green washing out there in terms of seeing some builders advertise themselves or position themselves to say that they’re seeking LEED certification as an example versus actually LEED certifying a building. We have an actual green team. We have LEED APs that we have on staff, and these people, it’s their job and it’s their passion to actually make that real.

That’s really refreshing I think in our industry, and what that translates at someone who buys from us is the confidence that when you get your home or your new condo, you’re buying into something where the technology is cutting-edge. When you move in, it’s not something that’s already still dated and irrelevant. It’s an amazing thing I think in terms of … We’ve all heard the stories of condo fees in Toronto going up by huge amounts of money once you move in.

There’s a few really good examples of Minto projects like Minto Midtown which is a quite large development and could be one where you’d see those astronomical prices relative to the fact that there’s these huge gyms and swimming pools, and all these other features, and they’re still … They haven’t gone up more than 5% since the time that those registered roughly six years ago. It’s a really impressive story about those types of things, and that’s the largest LEED Gold Certified building in North America right now.

Andrew la Fleur: Wow. Largest in terms of number of units or largest in terms of square footage? Wow. Okay.

Matt Kingston: Yeah, and there’s … That to me was a really amazing thing, and then, we just have … There’s a real passion for innovation with Minto, and it’s stuff that people don’t really see like integrated HRV fan coil units. In-slab ductwork, meaning that you don’t have bulkheads in your units. In-slab sprinkling which we introduced at 30 Row as the first project in Toronto to have them.

We search for these products in Europe, in the States, and we don’t mind being the first one to bring them here and actually get them approved, bring them through the process of approval with the province as maybe required and actually do them because we think of the right thing to do for customers. It’s really energizing to work for a company that actually does kind of thing.

Andrew la Fleur: That’s great. Can you break it down? Sorry. You mentioned a couple of things there. I don’t know if there’s other things as well you want to talk about, but specifically, you mentioned the HRV units and the in-slab work, so let’s talk … Let’s break … Explain what you mean by those two things a little bit more because those are the kind of details I think the average … Certainly, the average investor who maybe never even stepped into the units that they’re buying maybe doesn’t appreciate or even end-users who are moving into the suites themselves.

They don’t know that these are the things to look for and things that maybe separate the … A top builder like Minto from just an everyday builder who’s not paying attentions to these sorts of details. Can you break down HRV? What is that, and why should we care?

Matt Kingston: An HRV or an ERV unit, it’s a Heat Recovery Ventilation system. What that does is it actually … It pulls heat off of pipes running through your apartment, so that you’re not wasting radiant heat. It does a couple of things. By using the system we use, you’re actually getting fresh air brought into your suite from the outside. You’re not getting your fresh air from your hallway which actually comes up through your garage, so that’s … In terms of air quality, it’s a huge improvement for everybody. Then in terms of energy usage, it also is a much more efficient system that gets to you.

You’re basically … You’re saving money, and you’re having a better quality of life by using a system like that. That’s just something that Minto roughly about 10 years ago brought into Canada. It was something that wasn’t being used here yet. It was a huge cost premium to do that, but that was something we felt was needed, and it was ahead of the LEED Certification Program.

Andrew la Fleur: I did not know that. Minto was the first builder to bring in that system?

Matt Kingston: Yeah. It’s pretty … We were, and then … In Canada.

Andrew la Fleur: In Canada, sure.

Matt Kingston: It’s used elsewhere, but not here yet.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah.

Matt Kingston: In terms of in-slab ductwork or Eco Duct, it just means the bulkheads that we all see in everybody’s unit when you walk through a condo, it’s due to the fact that you have a concrete slab at the ceiling, so it’s tough to … You have to run beneath it with your ductwork. Again, at a cost premium to deliver something that looks better, we’ll actually run that ductwork in the concrete slab, so you don’t end up with a ton of bulkheads in your unit.

There are some things you cannot run in the slab, but what we’ll do is anything that you’re allowed to do by code that your instructional engineer and your mechanical engineer would sign and approve, we actually put those things in the slab wherever possible in order to just give you a more generous headroom in your unit and less bulkheads.

Andrew la Fleur: That’s great. Yeah, because we’ve all had … Any seasoned condo buyer, investors had those moments where you walk into the unit you bought, and you see these bulkheads everywhere that you were not … Again, when you’re buying a floor plan or you’re buying a model suite where they don’t even have … They don’t even have ceilings in many cases. You walk into the unit, you say, “Whoa, there’s bulkheads everywhere. Where’s my 9-foot? Where’s my 10-foot ceiling?” Oh, well. It’s just this little section here in your living room, but most of it is all bulkheads.

Matt Kingston: Absolutely, and that’s the very common story. Right? It’s the same as condo fees being raise over time. Yeah.

Andrew la Fleur: I know that your passion also about even details and building something simple as number of elevators. Can you speak about that?

Matt Kingston: Absolutely. In Toronto, you do have elevator consultants, and every developer uses them. They make recommendations, and their recommendations are usually based on wait time. It’s appropriate that no one should wait more than a minute for an elevator. We personally … We wait for those recommendations just like everybody else, and we go through that process, and that’s a cost that everybody has. Once they’re done, we just … We, a lot of times, disagree and actually increase the amount of elevator service because we feel it’s not appropriate to do just the minimum with those types of things.

We really do care about the ultimate livability and how you’re going to live there, what it’s going to be like when you’re living there. It’s something where we take it very seriously. A lot of Minto employees live in Minto buildings, so it’s something very front of mind for us, and it’s something that we try to go over and above the lowest common denominator or standard.

Andrew la Fleur: Right. Yeah, because we have seen … That’s been one of the criticisms of some people about some condo buildings in terms of the condo boom that we’ve been experiencing. Are these buildings just being slapped up at the lowest common denominator? Massive buildings with insufficient number of elevators being used, but obviously, that’s again something that Minto is like, “Whatever the minimum is, well, we want to do better than that,” it sounds like.

Matt Kingston: We want to … We think that our product like we … We believe that we’re a value-add builder. That’s how we would define it ourselves. We think we can do those things, those details better, and actually pay attention, and think about how people will live ultimately, and give them a better quality of life, give them better experience, and give them better design. Ultimate, that’s what we try to do. That’s where we think we differentiate ourselves in the market.

Andrew la Fleur: Great. Let’s talk about Minto Westside. Of course, the latest project that I mentioned earlier in the interview. I’m very excited about the building, and a lot of my clients are as well. What can you tell us about this building? I know it’s been your baby for a while, so I know you’re passionate about the building. What can you tell us about Minto Westside, and what are you most excited about this building?

Matt Kingston: I think it’s an exceptional project. It’s hard not be bias because as like you said, it is my baby. I think our team has really pulled off something special here, and there been a lot of launches lately, a lot of new projects in the city. I know that people like to look at location. One of the key drivers is the transit score or the ability to be on a subway location. For me being someone who’s from Toronto who is born here, and grew up here, and got to see an exceptional amount of change in the city over the last 35, 40 years, this particular project to me is exceptional because of where you’re situated.

You’re in an actual neighborhood, and you’re in a place where people want to live, want to play. That buzz word of “live work”, it really rings true here like this is really a place where you can live, and work, and play all in one place. I know people throw that in their marketing, but it’s really true here. In terms of the design of it, I think it really is a standard design. It’s a striking building, and it will … In terms of what it looks like, it will stand out from the crowd ultimately. I think it’s going to be a place when it’s fully done that’s going to be pretty special and recognizable from the skylight.

Andrew la Fleur: What are of your …? I know it’s a massive project, a lot of amenities and features in the building. The suite finishes are very nice, but what are some … What’s the highlight of the building for you in terms of the features of the building and the amenities in the building?

Matt Kingston: I think there’s a couple things that set it apart. We wanted to deliver a gym here that was one where you didn’t need a good life membership anymore. We levered the fact that you’ve got … You do have such a large project, so we delivered a gym here that is just as good as you would get at any other like place you would pay to actually go work out. I think that was some key to be given who I know is going to end up living here in terms of the demographic. The rooftop pool to me is … it’s a pretty special thing because it’s just as sexy as any other rooftop pool or more so that you’ll find in the city, but it’s really your private pool.

It doesn’t have that connotation where you’re going to have people from the outside trashing the place or whatever. It’s a pretty special private experience up on the roof, being able to look at the Toronto skyline, see the lake, and enjoy that view forever. The overall like the fact that it’s going to have a grocery store at grade, the fact that there is going to be a hotel integrated to the development. Again, it’s the size and scope of this give things to the end-user here like the person who’s going to live here that are pretty exceptional, especially in a King West context.

Andrew la Fleur: Great. Now, you just took my thunder a bit there, but I wanted to ask you about the grocery store and the hotel because there’s a lot of different rumors and people are talking about different things on the internet and different websites out there about what is or is not coming into this building. I don’t know if you can give us any special scoops today here, but what can you tell us about the rumors of a …? Some people is saying it’s going to be a Whole Foods in the building, a four-star boutique hotel. These are the things that people are talking about. I know nothing is obviously confirmed yet, but what can you tell us about those two things and the progress of whatever negotiations might be ongoing behind the scenes there?

Matt Kingston: Absolutely. We have 55,000 square feet of retail at grade on this project which is … That’s a huge amount of space. A typical Loblaws, or a Whole Foods, or a Longo’s, or a Sobeys, anyone of these major grocery stores runs about 35,000 to 40,000 square feet in a typical kind of store. You can imagine, this is … It’s even bigger than that would be. It’s about 125% bigger than that, so there will be a grocery store on the ground floor. We are dealing with four major grocery retailers right now. It’s all about timing, so we haven’t got anything I can give you.

I wish I could give you the absolute. I can guarantee there will be a grocery store. That will happen on the ground. Who it will be? Again, it just depends on timing. In terms of the hotel, again we’ve got a … We are in short strokes right now with the four-star hotel operator who’s actually building another site right now in Toronto under a different brand, but they love the neighborhood. Obviously, the success of The Thompson Hotel is something that they’re looking at closely.

It just speaks to me to how much confidence there is in the livability of this neighborhood and just that in general, the cool factor of what’s here. There will be … At this point, I can’t be 100%, but it looks like there will be a hotel at the northwest corner of this site fronting on the Niagara at Bathurst.

Andrew la Fleur: That’s great. There you go. That’s more information than we’ve got anywhere else, so appreciate that. Some people look at a hotel in the building as a positive, some people look at it as a negative because of the experiences of other hotel condominiums in the city. What can you say? Let’s assume there is going to be a hotel in the building. What would you say to somebody looking at buying into building about if there’s a hotel, how it would look, operate, and how it would affect you as an owner. a positive, negative way? What do you say about that?

Matt Kingston: Absolutely, so we’re … I did mention we do care about how things are going to look and feel ultimately. When we designed this project, we actually designed four unique lobbies, one at each corner of the property. In terms of that pedestrian or first experience when you step out of a cab or you arrived at the doorstep, each building as its own lobby which are …

Andrew la Fleur: Wow. Four lobbies, four lobbies. That’s incredible. I did not know that.

Matt Kingston: Yeah. Each one will have its own distinct both from elevator service, so in terms of how much … How you’re going to enter the building, how that will look and feel that welcome home, and then the ability to actually have a much more convenient elevator system. We do have those four unique lobbies. The hotel will have its own which is going to be … I believe in the last iteration we were running, just over 3,000 square foot or 4,000 square foot on the ground floor. It will be separate. Anybody visiting the hotel, it’s not as if they will be coming through your lobby. In fact, it’s at least 100 meters away from your entrance, so it does feel very separate and distinct, and then …

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. It’s just … If I can just interrupt, Matt, like when you say 100 meters away, again, it just keeps striking me the size and scale of this project. Many people don’t understand how unique of a project it is when you say things like 55,000 square feet of retail, 100 meters away. It’s just … It’s such a rare opportunity to be able to as a builder, but also as an investor to take part in a site like this that’s really going to be very unique just from a sheer size and massing perspective, isn’t it?
Matt Kingston: Absolutely, and that would be unique even if we were in Liberty Village or up at Yonge and Sheppard or … But in a King West context, there is nothing like this, and there never will be.

Andrew la Fleur: Nothing. No.

Matt Kingston: It’s pretty exciting to me in the sense that what you’re getting as a result of that, all the benefits from that, it’s pretty special to have that and to be in King West which is known for its more boutique, small, well-designed, and high-priced units. This is … It has those benefits, but it also has those things you would come to expect from these large-scale developments on more peripheral areas that aren’t as attractive from a neighborhood perspective as this would be.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely. Yeah. Going back to the hotel, sorry to interrupt you there.

Matt Kingston: No, no.

Andrew la Fleur: Getting more specific, I assume … Will the hotel be integrated with the condominium, or will it be really its … Will it be separate?

Matt Kingston: It’s very much separate. From the lobby up, it is a separate … Completely separate like you don’t have common corridors with it. You don’t have shared amenities with it. You don’t have a shared lobby. It has its own elevators. It’s completely unique and independent. Aesthetically, it will blend seamlessly into the rest of the building, so you won’t see it as something that’s a distractor to the aesthetic of the project.

People won’t know that it’s … Sorry. It won’t look in a negative way. It will really compliment the rest. Then from an actual livability perspective, it won’t … We’re designing it in such a way to be cognizant about the fact that we don’t want that to impact people’s lifestyles or people quiet enjoyment of things.

Andrew la Fleur: From a financial perspective, it sounds like it’s also a separate entity.

Matt Kingston: That’s correct.

Andrew la Fleur: In terms of cost sharing, and amenity sharing, and condo fees being affected by what’s going on in the hotel?

Matt Kingston: You do have … You have … In terms of the garage, there will be a shared facility agreement, so they’ll pay their fair share of the garage parking that they use, or the ramps, or the common corridor thing, but it is a unique financial entity that will pay their fair share and won’t burden or unfairly burden. I should … Like the other uses in the site, the other residential uses.

Andrew la Fleur: Right, right. In line what you said earlier, I think is an important point that anybody staying at the hotel will not have … If the hotel is coming in, they’re not going to have access to the amenities, the pool, and things for the … That are just strictly for the condominium residents.

Matt Kingston: Absolutely. If you wanted to go to The Thompson to the rooftop as anybody can do, you can go there.

Andrew la Fleur: Right, right.

Matt Kingston: Yeah.

Andrew la Fleur: Good. That’s great. I’m actually more excited about the project than I was before because I learned some new things here. Your own … What are your own investment tips or strategies? Do you have any advice for the condo investor out there in general? I know you’ve purchased properties and things yourself. What do you say somebody should look for in an investment if they’re looking to buy?

Matt Kingston: Location, location, location. There’s no magic I think to real estate in this particular incident, I think. In Toronto right now, investors are extremely savvy. They’re extremely well-read, well-travelled. Like in terms of the Toronto market, they’ve seen the different sites, they know the different markets, they know the different neighborhoods. I think you want to find a neighborhood that’s livable.

I think you want to find one that has some character to it and be in a location where you know there’s strong demand for rental if that’s what you’re looking to do and be casual positive. Right? There’s no magic to it, really. I think you want to find that thing that makes it positive casual and it’s in a neighborhood that you know people aspire to be in.

Andrew la Fleur: Good advice. I would not disagree. Stick to the fundament. Sometimes, people make it a little bit too complicated, but that … There’s really not much more to it than that. Thank you very much for your time today, Matt. I really appreciate it.

Matt Kingston: Thanks.

Andrew la Fleur: If people want to find you online or … What’s the best way for people to reach you?

Matt Kingston: I am on LinkedIn. If people want to find me and reach out to me, absolutely, they can do it through that venue. There’s the ability to email me as well at

Andrew la Fleur: Great. Thank you very much, Matt. I appreciate your time again. Maybe we’ll have you on the podcast again soon.

Matt Kingston: Awesome. It sounds good. Thanks so much, Andrew.

Andrew la Fleur: Bye for now.

Matt Kingston: Take care.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. There you have it. That was my interview with Matt Kingston from Minto, VP Land Development. Hope you enjoyed that. Just in summary, I think you hopefully got some great stuff about what to look for in a building, the details that really matter, the things that separate the top developers from the not so good developers. I think Minto Westside is really a very unique project as we talked about. Just the footprint of the project alone makes for such a unique retail space at the base. Such a unique amenities. Just such a massive exciting great project right in at the corner of Front and Bathurst and in great area.

It’s really what I like to say, it’s like the millennials’ dream building, so the millennial generation. Really, the people driving the rental market and who will continue to drive the rental market for the next 5 to 10 years. It’s a dream building for them because it’s really … It’s in the coolest neighborhood downtown in King West. It potentially is going to have the coolest grocery store in Whole Foods, and it’s potentially going to have the coolest hotel in whatever this four-star boutique hotel brand that comes into the building. It’s also very affordable. Look at the prices there.

If you’d like to receive them, just send me an email, You look at the prices there. They’re just extremely affordable units, one-bedrooms. Plenty of one-bedrooms priced under $300,000. For something of this quality and this type of a building in the neighborhood, it’s just fantastic opportunity. Anyways, enough about Minto Westside. If you would like to leave me a review for the show, I’d greatly appreciate it. Just head on over to iTunes and leave a review. It’s always appreciated.

Thank you very much for listening. I hope you enjoyed the show as always. If you have any suggestions for … Or ideas for the show, feel free also to drop me a line. is my email once again. Until next time. Have a great week. Bye.