Condominium and Industry Profiles
November, 9 2021 Published by Toronto and Area Chapter - By James Russell
Condominium Profile: 60 Absolute
From the Fall 2021 issue of CCI Toronto Condovoice Magazine, Volume 26, Issue Number 1
Absolutely the 'Best In Class'
The adjective, 'Best in Class' refers to a product considered superior to other competitors with the same category or segment. It is a phrase used widely in the technology, services, products and management industry but when Gino Sette, Chair of BAC speaks of 'Best in Class' he is referring specifically to the commitment that he and the other members of 60 Absolute's innovative and hugely successful Board Advisory Committee (BAC) have made to the residents, staff and Board of 60 Absolute.
"Our BAC contributes to continuously improving property standards by providing recommendations and guidance to 60 Absolute's Board of Directors on building improvements, communications and social activities," says the Board's President Leo Altobelli.
"We do the fun stuff," says Gino, "The Board does all the grunting and dealing with the numbers and making sure that the budgets are all in line but what we get to do is look at the entire building and community and we created a vision that we refer to as 'Best in Class'. That vision drives everything we do," Also on the Board Advisory Committee is Max Palumbo, Co-Chair; Snehal Pandya, Vice Chair; and members: Vicki Sette, Barb Kozakewich, Anthea Medford, and Philip Dawson.
The BAC is the eyes and ears of the Board, observing and analysing lobby operations, incoming parcel flow, recommending aesthetic improvements, communications and much more. And if that wasn't enough, the BAC also organises the building's social events. "We have a very vibrant community," says Vicki. That exceptional level of community participation is, in many respects, the direct result of the BAC's unwavering efforts to encourage the residents of 60 Absolute to take advantage of their many, many amenities. Social events include their Summer Sizzler, Halloween, Story Time with Santa and their annual BBQ, which is also open to the residents of their four sister buildings. Vicki and the BAC are particularly proud of their quarterly food drive, which this spring and summer, provided over 2,742 meals with 692 lbs. of food and $1,000 of monetary donations. Food from the drive is donated to the Mississauga Food Bank while toys collected in their annual Toy Drive go to the Toys for Tots campaign.
Located near the centre of Mississauga, the sixth most-populated city in Canada, 60 Absolute is instantly recognisable as the 'Marilyn Monroe' building for its sensuous curves and towering stature. The building earned that unofficial name while still in the design stage, but to this day, Norma Jeane Mortenson's birth name is foremost on people's minds when they behold this titanium-grey marvel of shape and form. Brent agrees and says of his decision to move to 60 Absolute in 2014, "I was drawn by the design." He subsequently purchased a unit on the forty-fifth floor where Brent says, "the view is spectacular". Standing 56 storeys, many of 60 Absolute's residents enjoy breathtaking panoramas that extend as far as Niagara Falls to the south-east and cottage country to the north.
The units in 60 Absolute went on sale in 2006 and welcomed its first residents early in 2012. Like Square One, its immediate neighbour and one of Canada's largest shopping destinations, the land that 60 Absolute occupies was once farmer's fields, likely growing corn or wheat. Before those settlers and their descendants, the land was occupied by the Mississauga, a subtribe of the Anishinaabe-speaking First Nations peoples, and before them, the rich, flat land was the exclusive preserve of nature's beasts, bugs and likely a glacier or two.
Despite its impressive design, 60 Absolute is more than 'just a pretty face'. Within its exterior is a well-managed community of residents who take pride in their building, their management, their staff and most of all, in their Board for its vision and commitment to achieving and maintaining the facilities, administration, and culture of their condominium as the 'Best in Class'. With 427 suites, ranging from 545 to 3424 sq. ft., 60 Absolute is part of a five-tower complex named Absolute World. Number 60 stands the tallest of the five not only in actual height - 175.6 metres – but in reputation having won the 'Best Tall Building Americas' award in 2012 from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the Emporis Skyscraper Award, also in 2012 for 'Best New Skyscraper for Design and Functionality'. Sixty Absolute earned both awards while the condominium was mere ink lines on the architect's easel. But for the residents and staff of 60 Absolute, it is their three-member Board of Director's vision and commitment to excellence that has attracted new residents to 60 Absolute and continually impresses current residents.
The Board's 'Vision' for their community is that 60 Absolute represent, "the Best in Class condominium living and owner satisfaction elevated by professional management and seamless delivery of building maintenance, services and care," Stirring goals backed by their commitment to:
- "Educate and Engage with Owners and New Residents"
- "Nurture Collaboration and Accountability with Our Partners"
- "Respect and Enrich Building Design and Culture"
In addition to Leo, the other two members of 60 Absolute's Board are Abe Dyck, Secretary, and Brent Perry, Director. Brent is the Board's BAC liaison while Abe works on several of the Board's sub-committees. Much of the Board's success in implementing their goals is, as Leo says with pride, "we have the same vision."
Of course, the pandemic placed an unexpected financial burden on 60 Absolute's budget, but effective fiscal management allowed them to not only maintain their financial fitness but provide monetary bonuses for their devoted, hard-working, front-line staff.
All three board members, as well as Kama Jedlewska, 60 Absolute's Senior Property Manager, attend 'combined' meetings with representatives from all five of Absolute World's buildings, Leo, however, is 60 Absolute's designated representative. "Although the shared committee board for the five buildings does not have an official name, we refer to it as either the Absolute Shared Facilities board or the Owner's Liaison Committee. The Committee meets monthly to discuss and deal with the items that are of a shared nature to the entire complex," says Leo. Shared amenities include their six-level parking garage, the grounds, garbage pickup, security, and the complex's three level, 30,000 sq. ft. recreation centre that includes basketball and squash courts, indoor and outdoor pools, cardio and weight rooms, a 50+ seat movie theatre, library, running track, five guest suites and separate female and male steam rooms. As you would expect, because of the recreation centre's extensive list of facilities, 60 Absolute houses no other amenities other than a lounge, also used as a party room. BAC's recent challenge to, "Show us your best photos of our building," resulted in dozens of entries with twenty-four eventually printed and mounted in the garage's elevator waiting area, an artistic amenity unique to 60 Absolute. "The community feedback was really good," says Max of the photo installation.
The Board and management publish their monthly 'sixtyNewsletter ', which contains information about the Board's current initiatives and projects. As well, the Board holds Town Halls, "to keep residents updated," says Leo. Electronic notice boards in their six elevators also help to keep residents informed about their building.
Of course, the pandemic presented unexpected financial challenges, but the Board and management of 60 Absolute have steadfastly pushed ahead with such initiatives as:
- Publishing a comprehensive COVID- 19 Information Package that detailed new building protocols and important safety practices
- Launch of 'Condo Control Central' – an online platform that consolidated and streamlined management and concierge operations, making it more convenient for residents to book shared facilities and access online resources. Residents provided their emergency contact information, vehicle and pet identification, and a photo
- Plans to completely renovate their lobby
- Replacement of their booster pump
- Expanded our building automation system (BAS) to optimize building energy management which includes a network of controls and sensors using data algorithms to optimize energy efficiency and resident comfort
- Plans to meet the current electric vehicle charging needs and future infrastructure requirements as the number of users grows
Managed by Duka Property Management and overseen by Mihal Nani, Regional Manager, 60 Absolute's efficient and much-appreciated management staff play an essential role in the success of these initiatives – past, present, or planned.
"She is amazing," Brent says of Kama, a veteran with nineteen years in the management industry. "60 Absolute is one of my best boards" replies Kama who then adds, "Once I began my position, I was more than pleasantly surprised at the dedication in both the individual and team efforts put forth by the Board of Directors and the Board Advisory Committee. They are truly striving to be 'Best in Class'."
Crowning 60 Absolute is a beacon, normally glowing blue but changing colours for special events and to raise awareness for non-denominational, non-political, registered national charitable events or causes. The beacon's intense, 360-degree light is easily recognised throughout the GTA and beyond. Appropriate since, to many in Canada's condominium community, 60 Absolute is also easily recognised as the 'Best in Class'.
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