As has been well-documented, large urban centers around North America continue to draw increased numbers of millennials and young families who are attracted to the convenience of cities and, in many cases, what they offer in terms of art and culture.
The re-emergence of city centres as attractive living destinations, and the resulting increase in population growth, has provided many urban areas with a new set of questions. An important one is the matter of how best to provide residential space for young professionals and others moving into the city, while encouraging revitalization in a way that balances a respect for the past with an eye toward the future.
The criteria for intelligent real estate development is complex and multifaceted. Given its complexity, it’s useful to highlight developers focused not only on building quality, well thought-out developments, but also mindful of the type of cities they are creating for future generations.
Toronto is among the major metropolitan areas in North America that is experiencing a development renaissance. The city has ten new skyscrapers that will change its downtown skyline over the next five to ten years. In addition, a key driver in the development of the city’s downtown core and its surrounding neighborhoods is the condominium boom, one so sustained that developers still cannot keep pace with demand.
It would make sense, therefore, to find builders eager to quickly produce a new development, earn maximum profit, and move on to the next project. But, Sam Mizrahi, President and founder of Mizrahi Developments, and a developer who’s been working in the luxury condominium market in Toronto for nearly a decade has a far different approach to construction.
Mizrahi’s approach to real estate development begins and ends with one philosophy: produce the highest quality construction possible.
A self-proclaimed micromanager, Mizrahi remains obsessively committed with a guiding principle that inspired him to first establish Mizrahi Developments and begin building condominiums eight years ago: build high-quality luxury condos that offer a classical sense of elegance and an ability for residents to truly and in a detailed way customize their living spaces.
Sam Mizrahi outlined his guiding principle in a Star article from 2013, “Luxury homes demand a high level of detail because you’re catering to a detail-oriented clientele. They want to have exceptional value, craftsmanship and quality. And that’s something that resonates with me.”
Mizrahi’s developments like those found at 181 Davenport and 128 Hazelton have been called ‘timeless’ and ‘iconic’ and grace some of Toronto and Ottawa’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. Displaying a merger of elegance, form and function, they serve as an ode for a developer who sees luxury living as a customizable oasis. Mizrahi firmly believes residents should be the ones authoring the design details of the condominiums they will live in.
With such attention to detail, it makes sense that Mizrahi Developments was the first Canadian builder to implement and adhere to the stringent ISO 9000 and 9001 guidelines. Designed to establish a global standard for quality management across a spectrum of industries, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO 9000 is considered the gold standard for business practices.
Drafted in Switzerland to ensure that customers around the world receive consistent, high quality products and services, ISO’s standards are based on a number of quality management principles, including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management and a process approach to continual improvement.
While the ISO 9000 is a voluntary program, businesses that choose to adopt and follow the program’s standards can apply to earn the ISO 9001 certification, which demands routine third party audits to ensure they are strictly adhering to the certification’s many regulations.
As Mizrahi Developments website notes, this rigid standard demands that the development company hold itself to the highest degree.
“No one is asking that companies hold themselves to this standard and subject themselves to the kind of scrutiny ISO 9001 certification entails. No one is asking them to run their business practices and procedures through this fine-tooth comb several times a year and undergo spot audits to ensure everything is running according to plan. It’s only done if you’re fanatical about quality and precision.”
For Sam Mizrahi, the ISO 9001 certification is not only a matter of pride (Mizrahi Developments remains the only Canadian builder with the designation), it also reinforces his mission to offer high quality construction with no room for exception.
Sam Mizrahi describes the benefits of being ISO 9001 certified in this way: “(ISO) allows micromanagement of the construction process. [It] streamlines the custom construction process by codifying all potential design changes, and creating a roadmap that a builder can follow to carry out the job efficiently and cost-effectively. So when (clients) want to change colours, walls, countertops, kitchens, or floors, we already have a process in place.”
In addition to having ISO 9001 certification, Mizrahi Developments also integrates green practices and environmental initiatives into their properties. One of which, the GreenHouse Certification, ensures that each unit in its developments provides a restorative spa-like environment with superior ventilation and filtration systems that protect residents from bacteria, pollens, irritants and environmental pollutants.
Today, Sam Mizrahi is using his principles of building timeless construction to develop Canada’s largest mixed-use residential skyscraper. The One will be an 80-storey building located at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets, one of the most significant and valuable intersections in Canada. The One is slated to usher in a new era of global attention for Toronto.
“We are now an international city, but we really don’t have architecture or design that puts us on the map like other cities,” explains Mizrahi. “We’ve got the CN Tower, which is phenomenal, but there haven’t been any developments or buildings that have become landmarks in the city and stand for what the city is now and how it’s evolved the way other international cities do.”