By Bob Purcell

It was a developer’s conundrum: How can you show a potential condominium purchaser the spectacular lakefront panorama from an 18th floor suite when workmen haven’t even broken ground for the building’s foundation?

But with a little marketing magic, the folks at Malibu at Harbourfront found a unique solution: invite the clients to take a hot-air balloon ride up to where the 18th floor will be when the project is completed next Summer.

“Smart buyers know one thing for certain,” said Malibu president Rony Hirsch. “If there is an opportunity to purchase your suite at pre-construction prices, then go for it. You will likely never get a better deal.”

Hirsch added that now is the perfect time to visit Malibu at Harbourfront’s sales pavilion, look at the model suites and then choose a suite that meets your needs and budget.

Pre-construction savings at Malibu at Harbourfront represent up to $50,000 off selling prices for comparable suites in other projects in the Harbourfront area, the Malibu president maintained.

The development, on the west side of Bathurst Street, just a short walk from Lake Ontario, will consist of a 30-storey tower of traditional suites plus an 11-storey podium with some two-storey beach lofts. Its location at the western fringe of Harbourfront is close enough to the action and excitement of the area but – at the same time – is not subject to the traffic and crowds that can impact on the quiet enjoyment of a home. A showcase grocery store is planned right across the street from the Malubu.

Peter Sarno, the play-making Vancouver Canucks centre, shopped long and hard with his fiancée, Toronto lawyer Stefania Scarpato, before choosing to buy a condominium at Malibu at Harbourfront. The couple checked a host of other projects in downtown Toronto before making their decision.

“We drove along the Lakeshore one day and stopped at Malibu,” Sarno said. “We liked the feel, the location as well as the design of the building. The suite layout was exactly what we were looking for the the price seemed very reasonable.

“What impressed us,” he added, “was the friendliness of the sales staff. Our representative made us feel comfortable. She didn’t pressure us at all.”

Major decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly or quickly. Peter and Stefania estimate they made at least 20 visits to the presentation centre to work out all details of their new home.

“The view is fabulous,” Peter says. “We also really liked the appliance package and the floor treatments Malibu offers. The $10,000 in free upgrades was very welcome too. After visiting a lot of projects, in the end we felt that Malibu offered the best value of all the condominiums we had seen in downtown Toronto.”

Peter and Stefania plan to marry early in the New Year.