He may be the newest member of Elad Canada’s executive team, but Dror Duchovny is no stranger to the business. Prior to his current position, Duchovny held various roles within the company from sales to asset management. His latest role as the Director of Marketing and Business Development will see him lead the marketing strategy for the final phase of Elad Canada’s master-planned Emerald City community in North York.
BuzzBuzzNews recently caught up with Duchovny to hear more about his experiences in real estate, the upcoming launch of The Peak at Emerald City, as well as future plans for the company.
BuzzBuzzNews: What is your professional background? When did you get into real estate and how did you get involved with Elad Canada?
Dror Duchovny: I grew up in Israel and am a lawyer by training. My family has always been involved in real estate on a smaller scale. After I moved to Canada in 2008, I spent some time working with a local developer on a small conversion project. I then moved to the Altus Group and worked in the Valuation department appraising income-producing properties.
In 2012, I joined Elad Canada’s investment and disposition team. At the time, Elad was focusing on selling its diverse income-producing portfolio, and I was part of the team that executed over $1 billion worth of transactions in all asset classes.
BBN: Prior to becoming Director of Marketing and Business Development, you had various roles within Elad Canada. Could you tell us about these positions?
DD: After completing a substantial part of the sales process, I was promoted to Director of Asset Management and worked on our office and retail portfolio, leasing the properties and preparing them for sale.
In 2016, I led the sale of the commercial interest in Westmount Square and the Nordelec building in Montreal. Last fall, I was given the opportunity to oversee the marketing and sales for the company’s condominium projects. Since then, I have been working on the launch of The Peak, the newest addition to our master-planned, mixed-use community Emerald City, at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue East
BBN: What made you want to transition into a marketing position with the company, and what do you want to achieve in this role?
DD: The company is now focusing its main activities as a developer. We share a passion for seeing a community through from the early stages of a land acquisition to a fully thriving neighbourhood complete with places to live, work and play. The opportunity to take on a role aligned with the company’s focus was fascinating and challenging for me. Being at the forefront of the company’s new direction is exciting, and my goal is to bring new developments to fruition with maximum benefits for both Elad and our homeowners.
BBN: Emerald City is one of Toronto’s most ambitious master-planned communities with several residential towers already completed and occupied, with several more under construction. What was the vision for this project at the outset, and has it changed since its launch?
DD: From the very beginning, the professionals at Elad envisioned Emerald City as a master-planned, mixed-use community that would offer the opportunity to live in beautiful and convenient surroundings at this significant intersection in North York. That vision remains intact, and the success of the six towers in the first two phases (Blocks) indicates that we are offering the right product in the right price at the right time.
As we complete towers, we ask for feedback from our homeowners on everything from finishes to layouts and designs. We take their comments seriously, and each consecutive condominium responds to the ever-changing needs of our clients. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive and pleasant experience from the moment buyers enter the presentation centre until after they move in. We value our close relationships with our clientele. Some of the purchasers in the first phases also bought in the second Block, which is a testament to the purchasers’ confidence in our product.
Master-planned community also means that we invested in the overall community – we built a new recreational facility (the Parkway Forest Community Centre), an aquatic centre as well as new infrastructure and contributed to a sense of place with public art installations. The idea is that our residents are not living in a standalone building; they are part of a larger concept of “home” where a sense of belonging fosters neighbourliness.
BBN: Elad Canada has just announced the next phase of Emerald City as the 33-storey The Peak at Emerald City. How does this tower compare to the previous phases?
DD: Like the towers that have come before, The Peak will offer outstanding architecture, superb amenities and high-quality standard features. Our market research told us that many buyers are looking for larger suites, so we have included more one-bedroom-plus den, one-bedroom-plus flex and two-bedroom layouts. The Peak carries on the tradition of excellence we have established at Emerald City.
BBN: Can you provide more details about the building? Who are the architects and interior designers?
DD: The building’s exterior is by WZMH Architects who also designed the previous condominiums at Emerald City providing a harmonious cohesiveness to the overall plan. The Peak’s contemporary design is symmetrical and pleasing, and it will fit in well with its surroundings. Its name comes from the fact that it will be the tallest building in Phase 3 and sits on the highest point of the block (Block C).
For interior design, we have retained Tanner Hill Associates who have come up with outstanding designs for the recreational and common area amenities.
BBN: What can we expect in terms of amenities?
DD: There will be some amenities that are exclusive to The Peak, as well as some shared spaces with the other two condominiums to come in this phase. The Peak will include an attractive lobby with concierge services and a pet room where people can clean their pet’s paws after coming in from the outdoors. The building will also feature a party room and concierge services.
Shared with other condominiums in the block will be an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub; a family lounge with TV, and table tennis as well as a landscaped outdoor terrace for barbecuing and dining.
BBN: What are the suite layouts like and what kind of end-users/buyers do you expect to attract?
DD: The Peak will include approximately 372 units. Suite configurations will feature one-, one-plus-den, two-, two-plus-den, and two-plus-flex condominium suites, ranging from 475 to 962 sq. ft., as well as four two-storey three bedroom townhomes.
We expect to attract a diverse mix of end-users including couples, young families with children and even some empty-nesters who appreciate having more square footage. With prices starting from the high $200s, there is something for everyone. This is an appropriate target demographic as the Community Centre offers programs for people of all ages. And the value is amazing, given its proximity to the Fairview Mall and only minutes to Shops at Don Mills and Bayview Village. People will always want to live in this community.
BBN: How many more towers or phases can we expect to see at Emerald City?
DD: Emerald City consists of three phases of three condominiums each. The Peak will be the first in the third phase, or Block C – the community’s final phase. In this phase, we propose to build two further condominiums - 24-storeys and 13-storeys, respectively. They are designed as a mirror image of Block B, which will create a striking streetscape.
BBN: What’s next for the company? Can you tell us about any new projects in the pipeline?
DD: Elad is focusing on doing more large master-planned, mixed-use communities and is looking for opportunities in the GTA. In 2015, we partnered with Freed Developments to purchase the Galleria Mall at Dupont and Dufferin, and we have currently submitted a rezoning application.
We have proposed a master planned community designed to enhance community facilities for the neighbourhood while creating an upbeat atmosphere with innovative design and architectural features for residential — including affordable housing — retail and office spaces.
For more information on The Peak at Emerald City, call 416 492 0001 or visit emeraldcitylife.ca.