From their current offering of the micro condo at Toronto’s Smart House to their mega plans for the future, Urban Capital‘s David Wex and Mark Reeve have imagination, energy, razor-sharp reflexes, boundless appetite for innovation. Underpinning it all is a sense of responsibility when it comes to their clients, colleagues and the context within which they operate.
Since their landmark start in 1996 with Camden Lofts in the King-Spadina district, the founding partners of Urban Capital have revived many downtown Canadian locales with their fearlessly striking structures. Urban Capital stops at nothing to make architectural progress; new and improved is their default mode. Wex and Reeve are either applying cutting-edge, high design solutions to knotty old problems, or revitalizing a neglected neighbourhood where no residential developer has ventured. Essentially, the co-partners won’t see the nation left behind when it comes to state-of-the-art urbanization. Thanks to Urban Capital’s latest successes in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg, other countries need to catch up to Canada.
Wex, a former lawyer, and Reeve, a real estate veteran, are open about the secret to their harmonious partnership. As Reeve puts it, “On any project only one of us is in charge. It’s a business where one person has to know all aspects of the work and have clear authority to make decisions and direct traffic. As developers, we’re the conductors of a large orchestra of professionals. We need to start by picking great players and then conduct with an inspired, steady hand.” The two helm separately but consult each other constantly. Reeve’s specialty is the financing that keeps everything in equilibrium. Says Wex, “I tend to be fascinated by urban issues, architecture and design, particularly industrial design.” One senses the mutual respect between the partners, furthermore the admiration they’ve garnered from peers in an industry where so much depends upon seamless collaboration.
Micro condo madness
You may well have heard of Urban Capital in association with their recent breakthrough in collaboration with Malibu Investments – Smart House, Toronto’s first micro condo (and recent winner of the BILD award for Best Small Suite Design), where minimal square footage maximizes ingenuity. As sales figures show, Torontonians loves the way this hyper-efficient micro condo makes its premium Queen and University location affordable.
What’s next for two such quintessential innovators? Wex’s mind is immediately on the move. “Having worked on improved space planning and amenities, the ‘Smart Home’ so to speak. We’ll pay even more attention to energy efficiency. I’d like to take the product we’ve refined in highly competitive Toronto to new markets across the country, then maybe one day outside of Canada.” One thing is certain, Wex won’t relent in his intensely creative approach to business. Like all true revolutionaries, he’s a man of insatiable focus.
“As a mid-sized developer with two entrepreneurs at the helm, we can shift gears quickly. If a great site appears out of thin air we can jump on it. Makes life interesting! I have projects underway that should result in the development of more than 3,000 new units within five years,” Reeve specifies – ever the numbers guy. “Ten years out I predict 10,000 units.”
New markets, new architectural approaches, new interior features and layouts (taking the micro condo to new heights), and new environmental measures – that’s the Urban Capital vision. Meet two men intent on getting more and more out of their industry, ensuring we get the utmost out of our cities and homes.