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Home of the Week: Penthouse with a corporate pedigree

THE LISTING 3600 Yonge St., Penthouse 36

LISTING PRICE $3,850,000

TAXES $21,836.67 (2015)

MAINTENANCE FEES $2,917.76/month (2015)

SIZE Interior: 4,049 sq. ft.; terrace: 2,965 sq. ft.

LISTING AGENT Janice Rennie and Katie Rennie, Sales Representatives, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

The foyer of the penthouse at 3600 Yonge St. (Print Market)

If you’ve ever wondered what the home of a president of a big corporation looks like, it probably resembles Penthouse 36 at 3600 Yonge St.

The condo used to be the home of the president of Toyota Canada Inc.

“We used to see a lot transfer packages where corporations would woo and move executives a lot more,” listing agent Katie Rennie said. “But it’s unusual now for corporations to get into real estate.”

So now this presidential suite is on the market and looking for a new owner.

The penthouse kitchen. (Print Market)

The back story

The penthouse is in the newer of the two buildings that make up Governor’s Hill, which is nestled in the west part of Toronto’s affluent Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood near Yonge Street and York Mills Road.

Both built by Tridel, the first building – at 3800 Yonge St. – went up in 1990, with the building at 3600 Yonge St. following about a decade later.

The original owner of Penthouse 36 bought the unit from plans but flipped it before living in it. That’s when it was snapped up by Toyota as an executive perk.

The suite is the largest penthouse in the building at just under 4,100 square feet of interior space. It features three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, an open living and dining room space, a kitchen, a private lift to bring you up to the second level, which has access to the terrace. Sitting on the east side of the building, the suite features views of Hoggs Hollow’s forests to the east, Yonge Street looking north and the ravine to that shields the west side of the building.

A living space on the main floor. (Print Market)

The master suite takes up the entirety of the second floor, consisting of a sitting area looking east with a kitchenette (including a skinny dishwasher, sink and mini fridge), a walk-in closet, a bedroom area and a master bath that has a Toto Washlet toilet.

“Of the 17 penthouses, only two have come to market [in recent years],” Ms. Rennie said, adding that many of the residents in the complex are in the 50-70s age range.

“Most of the time when you see sales come up, it is because someone has passed away or needs more care.”

Given that there haven’t been many precedents, Ms. Rennie referred to those two sales – which happened in 2009 and 2011 – to determine the price of this unit. From there, she settled on an initial price of $4.2-million “to see if that outlier was out there.”

The unit overlooks Hoggs Hollow. (Print Market)

But after a few weeks, they dropped the price to $3.85-million to account for the fact the new owner may want to make some changes.

“It’s very much of the 2000 sense of luxury,” she said. “That sensibility has changed a bit but there’s beautiful flexibility within the space that exists to really add your signature.”

For example, the larger bedroom on the main floor had been used as an entertaining room under the corporate owner – it’s listed as a “karaoke room” on the features sheet of the listing – but it could easily be turned into a bedroom “wing” with some modifications.

“Were you to re-envision this and make this a proper bedroom, you’d have to re-envision the layout a little bit, too,” Ms. Rennie said, adding that you’d likely want to expand the closet and add a door to close off the south end of the condo to make it more private.

The master bathroom features a Toto Washlet toilet. (Print Market)

Nevertheless, Ms. Rennie recognizes the market for this kind of penthouse is small. In October of this year, only 11 of the 2,702 condos that sold were priced at over $2-million. But she believes this unit will appeal to established people who are looking to downsize.

“Often, it’s a lateral move and you’re not taking money out of the market,” she said.

“This becomes a lifestyle choice. You’ve lived in a house. You have the financial means. But you don’t want to care for your roof or eavestroughs any more.”

The wrap-around terrace is one of the unit's best features. (Print Market)

The best feature

Ms. Rennie’s favourite feature of the unit is the terrace, which wraps around the upper level of the penthouse. At nearly 3,000 square feet, it features garden boxes for plenty of planting opportunities.

“If you want a condo, but you still want to garden, this offers a beautiful compromise,” she said.

But the biggest perk to living in Governor’s Hill is the access to the amenities. Residents of both buildings have access to each tower’s facilities, including: overnight suites for guests, two gyms, an indoor pool and whirlpool, an outdoor hot tub, saunas, several meeting rooms, a library, a games room and a party hall big enough to fit a wedding.

In fact, Natalie Kopman, a resident of Governor’s Hill for almost two decades, got married there.

Ms. Kopman, who is also in residential real estate, originally bought a unit at 3800 Yonge St. but upgraded to a bigger suite once 3600 was built. Her favourite feature of living in the complex is the fact the building’s staff are extremely helpful.

“You really feel like you’re living in a hotel,” she said. “You don’t have to lift a finger if you don’t want to. They park your car if you want … they’ll even bring up your groceries.”

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