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When Shane Baghai launches his newest project this weekend, he'll be one step closer to his dream of creating energy self-sufficient buildings.

On Saturday, the first phase of St. Gabriel Village, a multi-tower development on Sheppard Avenue East near Bayview Avenue, opens for business with 23 luxury townhouses and a 19-storey tower crafted to advance the builder's admittedly far-away energy objective.

The tower's solar panels have been positioned to mesh with the architecture.

And four whisper-quiet rooftop windmills, each measuring six feet (1.8 metres) in diameter, won't be visible from the street.

Baghai said the power generated from these two sources of non-polluting energy would be used to help operate common areas in a condo building. He expects they'll reduce the energy costs of running the common areas — included in monthly maintenance fees — by 10 per cent.

Incorporating these two sources of power translates into much lower maintenance fees, Baghai says.

He pegs the monthly fees at 26.6 cents a square foot, well below the GTA average. He suggests savings would be even more significant as hydro rates continue to climb over the years.

Jeanhy Shim, president of Urbanation, a publication that follows the GTA condo market, says maintenance fees range from 36 cents to 40 cents a square foot in buildings where owners pay for utilities.

They jump to the low 40s when utility costs of everyone in the building are included in the monthly maintenance fees.

St. Gabriel purchasers will pay for their own utilities. Baghai says individual metering encourages people to pay more attention to how much energy they consume.

To help buyers save energy, the project comes with products that have energy conservation features, including the highest efficiency heating and cooling systems available and low-e windows to improve thermal performance.

Baghai says water-saving plumbing fixtures will be standard, including a combo toilet/bidet with a seat warmer and programmable water temperature. Energy-saving major appliances will also be part of the standard package.

The condo units cost $450,000 to $900,000 and range from 1,200 square feet to 2,100 square feet. Penthouse apartments are $1 million to $1.5 million.

Baghai says prices include so many upgrades "there's hardly room" to add more: granite and marble finishes, hand-woven Australian carpet, imported cherry and walnut hardwood and more. A consultation with an interior designer is also part of the package.

St. Gabriel is the type of development likely to attract move-down buyers, Baghai says. To help them adjust to the condo lifestyle from big houses, he says huge lockers (the smallest of them is 60 square feet) seemed "absolutely necessary."

Baghai is especially proud of the 23 townhouses that will sit on the northern border of the land.

These units cost $990,000 to about $1.1 million for 3,300 square feet to 3,500 square feet. They have 10-foot ceilings and two-car garages. There will be an an elevator in each of these three-storey units.

Baghai says Phases 2 and 3 would be released in June and September, respectively. St. Gabriel Village — all five towers containing almost 600 units — will be completed in 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^Oh well, at least Baghai's condos are somewhat "inovative". And its in NYCC, everything there is sub-par to mediocre.
 

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I would describe everything he builds as the excact opposite of inovative.

Throwing a couple of windmills on top of the building to generate a couple of watts of electricity is just lovely...buildings still look like shit mind you.






KGB
 

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Not to pretty, but I do admire his pushing the envelope for environmental and conservation measures. KGB, I would suggest that given what other developers in Toronto and for that matter across North America are doing in terms of energy conservation and other environmental measures that Mr. Baghai is actually being very innovative.

As is Tridel with thier Element project and the Enwave District Cooling that they are hooking into and a whole host of other conservation measures.

Hopefully more and more developers hop onto that bandwagon.
 

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He sure isn't a genious. But the other developers make him look that way because they are stupid, and don't do anything for conservation.

In other words, good on him; bad on other developers.
 

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KGB said:
I find this builder to be the most over-rated in the city. I hate almost everything he builds.





KGB
Really? My most overrated award would have to go to Tridel or Concord Adex.
 

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I wouldn't call Tridel overrated - their unmatched quality & service plus interior design (floorplans) more than makes up for thier bland repetitive architecture
 

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"Really? My most overrated award would have to go to Tridel or Concord Adex."


The basis for my opinion on Bagai goes back to where he got his rep...building mansions for rich people. They were those awful Mcmansions, and somehow all the people with lots of money and no taste thought a "Bagai" home was just the cat's ass. A "Bagai" home became a name-dropping selling point that had cashe. He applied the same thing when he moved up to condos, so people were willing to fork over more money for one of his condos because it had Bagai in the name. Nothing worse than a pretentious name without the actual product to back it up.

Tridel has the same cashe, but it's more for solid value and quality for the masses...which it is. There's nothinging terribly pretentious about Tridel.





KGB
 

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Really? My most overrated award would have to go to Tridel or Concord Adex.
Have you been in a Tridel Building?

You know there is a reason why they are the top selling condo developer in the GTA, consistently win industry awards year after years and are known for their high re-sale values.

Tridel is a solid investment if you are in the market to buy a condo - either to flip, invest for rental purposes or live in yourself.

Their after-sales service is exception and they have won several Ernest Assley Awards to reflect that (TARION Warranty Corporation - Formerly ONHWP - Ontario New Home Warranty Program).
 
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