Sale of the Week: for better or for worse, this $659,000 penthouse is a sign of Kensington Market’s gentrification
The Property: A fourth-storey penthouse that spans almost 1,300-square-feet. Its design uses space efficiently by stacking the bedroom atop the kitchen and bathroom, though its main attraction is a 700-square-foot rooftop terrace. The building itself is set back from Nassau Street, making it a quiet oasis removed from bustle of Kensington.
The History: This former site of William Houston Public School (’20s) and George Brown College (’60s) was converted to condos in 1999. There’s still a functioning—albeit small—library here in tribute to the site’s scholastic past. The former owner purchased the building in 2001 and lived in this unit. Now moving to the west coast, she had a hard time letting go of #407 after giving it her personal touch—a custom Scavolini kitchen and floors of engineered maple.
The Fate: The young professional buyer is expecting to stay for the long haul—a move that will likely pay off in this market. For better or for worse, Kensington is evolving. It’s becoming a trendier place to live for members of the professional class, who are drawn to its funky character and relatively wallet-friendly properties. With signs of gentrification starting to show, this was a solid investment made as area prices continue their controversial climb (so long as the buyer doesn’t mind the protests).
The Sale: The new resident was itching to buy the moment he found a place that met his requirements for a conversion condo: soaring ceilings and downtown-adjacency. The listing price was a hard one to set due to the dearth of similar condos in the area—but the uncertainty has, at least, kept condo prices notably lower in this ’hood than in King West or Liberty Village. Prices likely won’t stay down as the area becomes more popular. City bylaws restrict high-rise construction in the Market, making condos like this one something of a rarity.
By the Numbers:
• 700-square-foot terrace with view of a residential neighbourhood
• 100 per cent of asking price
• 14-foot ceilings
• 8 days on the market
• 2 bedrooms
• 2 bathrooms
• 1-car underground parking