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Condominium Profile: The Pinnacle
The Eight Member Shared Facilities Committee is Key to the Success in Managing the Pinacle Centre's Impressive List of Amenities
By James Russell | Other articles by James Russell
Driving or walking south from Union Station, you can't miss the four spectacular towers that make up the Pinnacle Centre. What is not apparent to the casual passerbyer, however, is the Pinnacle Centre's impressive list of amenities and, more importantly, the success of its Shared Facilities Committee in managing those amenities.
Interestingly, the block-wide section of Toronto's waterfront the Pinnacle Centre occupies was, as far back as the '20s, fathoms under the placid surface of Lake Ontario and only fifty or so years ago, it was a dirt field complete with an eastbound onramp to the Gardiner Expressway.
Today, the Pinnacle Centre's multi-acre footprint is comprised of TSCC 1788, 1834, 2030, and 2204. Or to Canada Post, 33 Bay Street, 12 Yonge St, 16 &18 Harbour St, and 16 Yonge St.
The list of amenities managed by the Pinnacle Centre's Shared Facilities Committee include:
- Banquet Hall
- Two BBQ areas
- Business Centre
- Cyber Lounge
- Meeting Room
- Party Room
- Combination Racquet and Basketball court
- Squash court
- Mini golf course
- Seventy-foot swimming pool
- Tennis court
- Two private screening rooms
- And two state-of-the art fitness centres
As the amenities are spread out between three of the four towers, the residents of the Pinnacle Centre's 1,930 units have the use of a series of above and below ground corridors which allow them to travel from building to building without ever being exposed to the elements. Additionally, rather than an impractical paper-based appointment system, given the large number of units in the complex, residents can book amenities on-line through the Pinnacle Centre's dedicated portal.
The Pinnacle Centre's Shared Facilities Committee, which meets monthly, is made up of two board members from each of the four towers. "Before they come to the Shared Facilities Committee meeting, they have to discuss these items at their Board meeting so when they come to the Committee meeting, they come with (their respective Board's) decisions and the Committee makes the final decision," says Elsa Salillari, one of the Pinnacle Centre's hardworking Property Managers.
Although the four towers were built, one at a time, over a span of seven years, 'sharing' existed from the very beginning. "When Tower A (16 Yonge St.) was built (in 2006) there were already shared facilities," says Naseer Abbasi, District Manager at Del Property Management.
"One of the biggest challenges we had is that when Tower A was built, they (the developer) built a certain number of amenities and then Tower B came on board, and they built more amenities," Naseer, then goes on to say, "So, as they were building these amenities, they were feeding these amenities from the mechanical plant in that particular building." A common arrangement for many of the GTAs condominiums who are then faced with the challenge of ensuring that, in Naseer's words, "each entity was being properly sub-metered and they are getting their share of chargebacks from the shared facilities."
The agenda items of the Pinnacle Centre's eight-member, Shared Facilities Committee meetings mostly concern the amenities and common elements exclusive to the Pinnacle Centre's residents. The larger meetings are necessary when issues such as landscaping, courtyard maintenance, repairs to specific sections of the parking garage ramp, and snow removal must include the retail owner as those expenses are shared five ways rather than four.
"If you ask me," says Naseer, "we are absolutely blessed with great Boards and great (Shared Facilities) Committee members. The key that we experience from their side is the objectivity they bring to the table in these shared meetings. We hardly ever see them making subjective decisions because what may be good for one tower may not be always good for another tower, but when you bring the objectivity and collectivity into the decision process that is when you have successfully shared facilities like the Pinnacle Center'."
Because of the sheer number of units, and residents, in the complex, "We usually do the social events just with Buildings A and B (12 & 16 Yonge)" says Elsa, who then adds, "The same thing happens with Buildings C and D (16 &18 Harbour and 33 Bay).
Each building has their own professionally designed newsletter which vary from two colour one-pagers to four colour two pagers. In addition to the usual notices concerning upcoming social events, elevator maintenance, window washing, safety tips, etc., each of the four condominium's newsletters includes a section devoted to news and announcements concerning their share amenities.
The average age of the Pinnacle Centre's residents is not atypical for newer waterfront buildings, "I think they're a more younger generation, we rarely see kids here in the building," says Elsa. While, Huda Abbasi, Property Manager for 16 and 18 Harbour Street and 33 Bay Residences, completed in 2009 and 2011 respectively, says "This is the most multi-cultural building I have ever walked into. I have managed quite a few, high end to every end, but when I walked in here, I was pleasantly surprised."
As we wind down our interview Naseer points out, "When we talk about (successful) shared facilities as managers we always ask, 'What is the magic?" Clearly that 'magic' comes from the "objectivity and collectivity" Naseer attributed to the Pinnacle Centre's Shared Facilities Committee's impressive success.
As we humans must share this rock and water planet, third from the Sun, perhaps the world's leaders could learn a thing or two from the Pinnacle Centre's successful Shared Facilities Committee.
Even magic can be taught.