Ghods Builders are behind an ambitious new project, 5959 Yonge St Condos, coming to North York. The two-tower condo community will animate the area and provide residents with an urban lifestyle complete with quick subway access and a long list of amenities.
Turns out, Ghods Builders grew up along with North York. We spoke with Ghasem Ghods, President and Founder of the company and Honey Ghods, Vice-President of Business Development about the family business, its evolution and their experience in the community.
BuzzBuzzHome: How did it all start?
Ghasem Ghods: We started Ghods Builders back in 1979 in Austin, Texas then we moved from Texas to Toronto in 1985 and started the business here.
BBH: That’s a long time! How did it become what it is today?
GG: We started with custom homes and townhouses in North York, then worked on some high rises as well.
Honey Ghods: They’ve been in the industry for quite some time. They didn’t start off with the highest. They started at the bottom and worked their way up.
BBH: Many of your projects are located in North York. Why focus on that area in particular?
GG: We’re so focused on North York because we live in North York. We did some developments in the east end, but North York is our community.
HG: It’s great to build elsewhere as well, but for us, we wanted to see something grow where we were when we first came to Toronto and where I grew up.
In the early 2000s, we built Symphony Square and Sonata, which are along the Yonge and Finch corridor. In that area, at that time, there really wasn’t much going on. We really wanted to expand and see North York grow.
My parents really wanted to see a community in this area. The same goes with the current project, 5959 Yonge St. It’s multiple towers so we’re really inviting a community to expand in this area.
BBH: What is it about building homes that appeals to you the most?
GG: I really enjoy the construction and the development process as well as the people. There are lot of interesting people that you meet when you build homes.
HG: At the end of the day, you go home. It’s your most important investment, frankly.
BBH: What are the benefits of running family business?
GG: It’s a very positive experience. I’ve worked with my wife from the very beginning and I enjoy it. Now my children work here. My daughter first and then my three sons, they’re all part of the business. I love to train them and teach them what I know.
HG: We grew up around the office. I did my homework here and we always went to every launch. It’s always been really exciting. I was born in Texas and then we moved here and the business started in a little home office. I’ve seen the transition that we went through and I’ve grown to appreciate it.
BBH: Tell me about the rest of the team associated with 5959 Yonge.
HG: Throughout the years, Mr. Ghods has worked with some of the best specialists in their field, whether that’s the architect or the marketing team. With 5959, we put them all together. We’re working with Kirkor Architects who have designed some many great buildings across the city.
What’s great about the group of people that work with us is they’re flexible and they understand. They’re in the market to improve it. Quality’s really important to all members of our team.
BBH: I’ve also heard you have some unique amenities planned.
HG: We’ve done tons of research around the world and looked at what’s a good idea for the market. We’re going to put in a two-lane bowling alley in each phase. Another unique feature is the LED court. It’s never been done before in a residential condominium development in the world!
This court is a slab of concrete with LED lights that go through it and there’s a glass plate that goes on top. You can bounce on the glass, it’s resistant and shatterproof. You can program the LED court so you can have soccer lines light up or basketball or volleyball lines. Kids can play any sport on it anytime. It’s really simple and low-maintenance. It works like a light switch and is programmable.
For the chai room, we wanted to create a place where you can relax, whether you’re doing homework or just sending an email to a friend. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be on the 30th floor of the building and have view of the city while doing that? But you don’t have to buy on the top floor to have that view.
Plus the two-storey atrium will have a lot of plants and greenery and water features too.
Can you tell me a bit more about the interior design?
HG: Our designers have worked very hard in putting together a specific theme. It’s very crisp and clean, yet very warm thanks to the colours of cream and gold. The chain-link theme gives it more of a modern edge.
BBG: What about the suites themselves?
GG: We’ve been working on them for almost two years to make sure the layout was going to work. We did a lot of research to come up with a unit that, at the of the day, every inch of the space is usable.
We also came up with a mix of units – anywhere from 570 square feet to over 1,000. We’re very excited about the layouts.
BBH: What do you think this project will bring to the area?
HG: We wanted to create a community, yet add to the existing community at the same time, similar to what we did at Yonge and Finch. Now, several developers have congregated in that area as well, and it’s great – the intersection feels so rejuvenated, there’s so much hustle and bustle. We want to embrace what exists there. It’s on Yonge St, it’s extremely convenient with subway access just three minutes away. It’s a great area.
Thanks for buzzing with us!