When South Beach condominiums in Etobicoke's Humber Bay Shores area originally went on sale in 2008, there was some real scepticism on UrbanToronto about the project's Miami Art Deco-inspired architecture and branding. Coming from a developer and property manager that we were less familiar with, and with a design fronted by an (albeit renowned) interior design agency instead of a well-known architect, the UrbanToronto crowd was not so sure that South Beach would come off as promised by the vivid renderings. That's not to cast aspersions on the seasoned Arsenault Architect, who would be responsible for creating construction drawings from the scheme: our experience was that come completion, few exteriors measured up to the advance hype. The presentation centre, schemed out, like the project by II By IV Design Associates (that's 2 by 4 if you're not sure) had some serious wow-factor however, and it looked even better than the renderings. Subsequently, as the Amexon Development Corporation project has continued to come together, we have in fact seen the initial promise realized in quite an impressive way. A 2012 tour through South Beach's amenities led by Dan Menchions of II By IV showed us that this condo successfully realizes its goal to feel like a resort more than any other we had visited in the city.
Back in 2009, based on the then-unrealized plans, South Beach Condos received the 2009 ‘Most Outstanding High Rise Building’ award from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA). Now, substantially complete, South Beach has received international recognition too, with recent wins at the International Property Awards. The IPA is a UK-based organization which assembles panels of independent commercial and residential property industry professionals to judge projects within their area of expertise. Developers, architects, designers and other real estate professionals from across the globe are invited to submit their projects to the IPA for appraisal. Awards are given out to recognize excellence at regional and international levels, and are either rated as Highly Commended or Five-Star for the best in each category, depending upon how high the projects score when judged against a set list of criteria.
South Beach took three awards for Canada, including two Five-Stars and one Highly Commended. The Five Star Best-Of awards come in the categories of High-Rise Architecture and Mixed-Use Architecture, while the Highly Commended came in the Mixed-Use Development category.
The Mixed-Use category awards reflect South Beach's combination of two 27-storey residential towers with the 16,000 square foot commercial low-rise gateway building running along Park Lawn Road. It's that low-rise building which remains incomplete for the moment, although it is getting close. A marble-clad gelateria should open when the weather warms up, with other restaurants following in coming months.
We plan to be back for more at South Beach to tour about as more components are completed. In the meantime, you may be interested in the many more renderings in the UT dataBase listing linked below, or join in on the conversation taking place in one of the associated Forum threads. Links to related South Beach stories are found below too!