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Industry Profile: Steve Gupta Talks King Blue – Part 2

King Blue Porte Cochere

“It doesn’t make you a better human being by making more money, it makes you a better human being by being a better human being.” – Steve Gupta

In part two of our interview with Easton Hotel’s Steve Gupta, we focus on his plans for King Blue Condos at the corner of King St. West and Blue Jays Way. (NIH): What made you jump into the condominium market?

Steve Gupta (SG): I’ve always had this passion – how do I build something and bring my experience in hospitality, construction, and rentals, and create a home that is better than most for someone. In the ‘80s, I used to say ‘under promise, over deliver,’ but now I live by the ‘exceeding expectations’ motto. It’s a passion to exceed those expectations, which is exactly what we are going to do with our King Blue Condos. We will give a lot more than others give. I have to compare my product with similar product types. I can’t compare a Ford with a Mercedes. You can’t compare a condo with the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons, but the bricks and mortar are the same. I’ve always believed that if your shell is good, then you have absolutely no worries. I would not be able to sleep if I built something that was not worthy enough to put my name on it. I feel if I have to sleep there, if my family has to sleep there, others have to sleep there, it better be good. That’s how I build.

We will build these condominiums with the best quality and structure that is possible. Truthfully, we will deliver a lot more than the price we charge. I have a strong feeling that we will deliver a lot more than people will expect. The location is an AAA, centralized location. The facilities that we are adding there will be excellent. We are adding 13,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Our plan is to bring a mini Yorkville or Bloor Street here. We have plans for 10 to 15 stores.

We will have a state-of-the-art rooftop patio. This patio will be something that has not been seen in Toronto; believe me, I have done my research and there’s nothing like this here. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the great builders in Toronto. They know who I am and I know them. But being the new kid on the block, I want to make a mark; I want to ensure that I build something better than anyone else. Starting out new, I have to prove that we are the best all over again. We have to be the A Student. I’m confident we will get there. I do things differently. People do different things; well, I do things differently. That’s important to me. That’s the reason I feel this project will be the best the city has seen in years.

NIH: Is it fair to say that your hotel standards will transfer over to your condo standards?

SG: A few other things that we will provide outside of the retail and rooftop patio will be party rooms. I know I’ve said this already, but the rooftop patio will be stunning. The quality and care that we are putting into it will be just like a five-star hotel.

NIH: You seem very excited about the rooftop patio. Take us through your plans.

SG: This is a concept I had. Our architect was quite bright and was able to put my vision on paper. I kept on saying, ‘Maybe we should do it this way, or what about this?’ We spent a lot of time on this rooftop garden; we really want to do something different. We are creating a really exciting, open space here. It’s almost 6,000 square feet of space, I’m already excited to see it finished.

NIH: What are some of the other highlights of King Blue Condos?

SG: On the second floor, we are planning a 9,000-square-foot theatre museum. It will be open to the public for a small fee. Mr. Mirvish has generously offered to lend his huge paintings for the exhibition. We also have a theatre for movies and such, which will be for the residents. Then, we also have a gourmet kitchen, so you can bring over guests and cook for them. We are doing things very differently.

The other thing that we are doing different than anyone else is the ground floor; an open area that will allow the residents to drive in, drop off packages, all surrounded by storefronts and retail. It’s really incredible. No one in the city has this. We also have a walkway that will allow for residents to walk the ground floor and open-air retail, which is all contained within the building. It’s fantastic.

NIH: Did you look at this site because of the success of your Hilton across the street?

SG: Not really. We had been looking in this area for quite some time. We looked into the 905 area quite a bit, but the 905 area code is somewhat sporadic, so we looked for an opportunity that allowed us to do something big. That’s why, when this plot of land came up, we jumped on it. We were fortunate enough to get it. We feel that this is a big jumping-off point for us.

NIH: What makes King Blue Condos so attractive to buyers?

SG: I think that number one is the location, and number two is the design. Number three will be the services that we will provide. Every condo does this to an extent; however, what we are doing is raising the level. We have a much larger scale to our amenities. Some people have a rooftop patio that can hold 15-20 people; ours will hold 500 people. That’s the difference that we will bring to the market.

NIH: Is it fair to say purchasers will get resort-style living at King Blue Condos?

SG: It is a resort lifestyle, because in the middle of the city you won’t find a rooftop patio that is 5,000 square feet. You won’t find a pool this big. It’s right on King Street with a great address. I would say that with the driveability and walkability on the ground floor, plus all the restaurants that you can walk to, there is not a development like this in Toronto. You can’t ask for anything more.

NIH: What’s next for Steve Gupta?

SG: This will be the first of many. We have a few big projects that we are working on. One is at Dundas and Jarvis, which is still in front of the City. They will be similar size, slightly smaller. We will have a lower price range, but we will add some excellent value to that area. We plan on, once again, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

We would like to thank Steve Gupta of Easton’s Hotels for taking the time to sit down with us.  We are now even more excited about King Blue Condos and the future of the Entertainment District!