When Pianosi Development Corporation constructs a new residential community, the team behind the family-run business is known to pull out all the stops. Just ask Kent Fortune, Owner’s Representative of Pianosi, who confirms the developer will only work on one project at a time to ensure nothing is overlooked.
It’s thanks to the company’s commitment to creating such quality projects that Perspective Condos has been garnering interest within the Etobicoke community. The new development will house two towers — one 19 storeys and the other 12 storeys — that will sit atop a five-storey podium. It will also feature 15,000 square feet of retail space.
We chat with Fortune about working with the Pianosi team, Perspective’s progress and how these experiences have led to the birth of his own PDI business.
BuzzBuzzHome: Start off by telling us about your background and how you ended up becoming part of the Pianosi Development team.
Kent Fortune: I’ve been working in the industry for a little over 15 years. I started working for Tarion and then moved on to work for various builders throughout the city. I came to meet the Pianosi Development team about four years ago through a mutual associate, so when they started on Perspective Condos they brought me on board.
BBH: What is it about working with Pianosi on Perspective Condos that excites you most?
KF: For me it’s refreshing to work with the Pianosi family themselves. They’re fantastic operators and really care about the products they’re producing and the people they’re producing them for. They’re honest and they always commit to delivering something spectacular. They don’t do this type of project often – they build a development like Perspective maybe once every 10 years – so when they do, they put everything into it.
BBH: Let’s touch on construction progress. What has been accomplished at Perspective in the past few months?
KF: The biggest thing is that we’re very close to topping off building two. We’ve almost finished the concrete structure and even though we sold it second, we’re building it first so that the crane is out of the way to make room for the next one. We don’t want the cranes hitting each other. We’re targeting structural completion by the end of this year. We’re also starting the windows soon and have begun our masonry work. Otherwise it’s progress as usual.
BBH: What makes Perspective stand out from other developments in the GTA?
KF: The nice thing about this development will be its retail aspect. We’re looking at a grocer, a pharmacy and hopefully an espresso shop. Perspective stands out from an end user perspective with its amenities, specifically the 6,000-square-foot rooftop terrace. Even though it’s a communal rooftop, it’s still private. There are three barbecues complete with sinks and prep areas. There will also be a big screen TV with seating. It really stands out.
BBH: We’ve been hearing a great deal about Perspective’s location and the views it will offer residents. Why is location so important?
KF: Aside from the fact that Perspective is close to the Humber River and James Gardens, the great thing about the project’s location is that it provides access to all major highways. You’re out to Eglinton, the 401 and 427. It’s a great spot to get around the city. Scarlett Road is also a private street that’s not on a major thoroughfare. It’s close to things without being right on top of them.
BBH: It’s clear that Perspective is catered to end users, but what is it about the location that will make residents want to stay in the area?
KF: Many people who are buying in our building are local end users. These are people who live here already and know the neighbourhood. They probably have a few generations of family here. They want something close. Maybe they’ve had a house for decades but now want to live in a condo without leaving the neighbourhood.
BBH: We also heard that you own a PDI company. Tell us more about the inception of the company and how it ties into this development.
KF: I started in this business working for Tarion and then moved on to work for developers in customer service roles. A big part of customer service in new construction is scheduling and conducting pre-delivery inspections. You’re walking homeowners through their unit for the very first time. While a large part of this is finding deficiencies, you’re also introducing a person to their home for the very first time. You’re there to make them feel like they did everything right. It’s the first time they see it and it really makes a lasting impression.
So I started doing that for a developer for over 10 years. My company is called Fortune Customer Care Professionals. We’re fairly new as a company and I just brought on my father as a partner, who worked at Tarion for 25 years. We’ve been going for about 18 months now. We’re doing about 1,000 inspections a year for various builders across the GTA and going as far south as Waterloo.
BBH: PDIs are often viewed as a daunting task. What tips do you have for homeowners when going through the process, especially first time buyers.
KF: It doesn’t hurt to pull out your documents and reorient yourself before the PDI. Look at your colour selections again — there’s often a long time gap between signing your Agreement of Purchase and Sale and making your colour selections to when you move in. Two years ago when you picked your tile, if you were deciding between blue and red, you might not remember that you picked the red. It really does do people well to remember what they bought. If a problem arises, you’ll be able to deal with it right then and there.
People tend to forget that PDIs are important and buying a home is also important. It’s not something you can do on a weekend or at 9pm at night. You don’t buy a condo every day, so it does involve taking some time off work. It can seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it’s a really important thing. It deserves your full attention.
Thanks for buzzing with us, Kent!