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Security system combines past and future (National Post)

altBy Grace Macaluso

img_article_pastfutureBob Forrest is borrowing from the past to come up with a security system for the future. When his downtown 19-storey condominium complex opens its doors in 2003, the entrance will feature a doorman. You can have all the fancy technology money can buy says Mr. Forrest owner of The Forrest group of companies. But at the end of the day your security is only as good as your people.The doorman is part of a more comprehensive security system at the Avanti, located at 38 Charles St E plains include a concierge and closed-circuit television surveillance of common areas, such as the lobby and underground parking garage.

After location and affordability security it’s a major selling feature for Toronto’s two predominant purchasing groups-young urban professionals and empty nesters, says Mark Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing at Concord Adex Developments. Empty nesters are always away a lot and young professionals are either spending long hours at work or leading busy social lives, says Mr. Cohen.

High-Tech Features dominate the security system planned for city palace, a 20.25 hectare project being develop d by concord Adex. The master –planned community on the railway lands will house 8,000 high-rise units and townhouses and between 12,000 and 15,000 resident s who will have access to a fiber-optic network that gives them the visual access to common areas. “They’ll all become watchdogs through their watchdog monitors or computers,” Mr. Cohen says. A 24-hour concierge service is the nerve centre of the system that allows for visual and audio access to such areas as the underground parking garage, lobby and pool.

“That means you’ll have a live body his eyes and ears open,” Mr. Cohen says. The garage will also feature “panic buttons” that give residents in need of assistance contact with the concierge. As well, elevators will be programmed so that visitors and residents can only go to their designated floors. “Both residents’ and visitors’ access must be granted by the concierge,” Mr. Cohen says.

A 24 hours concierge service is basic security feature at all Tridal condominium developments, says Jim Ritchie, vice-president of marketing and sales. “The concierge is our focal point for security,” Mr. Ritchie says. “He has an elaborate computer system that allows him to monitor traffic in and out of the building.”

Linda Mitchell, vice-president of sales and marketing at Monarch Construction, says a concierge service is a security feature that appeals to buyers. “It’s an expectation, especially with more and more single women buying,” she says. “Security is a draw. When we advertise, we always mention our 24-hour concierge.” At Monarch’s Waterview condominium project on Humber Bay Shores, residents will have card access to the main entrance as well as remote control access to the garage.

Windows and doors in ground-level suites will have contact and motion detectors. Like CityPlace, the 1,500 units at Waterview will be wired using high-speed fiber-optic cables. The network, which will enable residents to control lighting, heat and appliances in every room, will also allow them visual and audio contact with the concierge she adds.

National Post