Condo king Brad Lamb insists it’s not just about money – it’s about building his city
“YOU’VE PROBABLY never met Brad Lamb. So why do you feel like you know him? Easy. That’s him, emblazoned on billboards and trash cans all over town, paired with a handful of non-sequiturs (“this lamb sells condos;” “we stand out in a crowd”). There he is again, glowing on HGTV as the centrepiece of his own reality show, Big City Broker, now in its third season (“I thought the idea was absurd,” he says. “But here we are.”)
Lamb doesn’t sell every condo here – though he sells a lot. In 2007, the last boom year, his 18 agents sold just less than 2,000 ($700 million worth) of the roughly 26,000 total; in 2008, it was about $550 million. He builds very few; Lamb Developments has completed only five projects here so far. But in a city where neighbourhoods are sacrosanct and condo development is often seen as an act of war, Lamb, with his sky-high profile, has become personally conflated with a development industry run amok.
In Miami, Lamb was out one night and met some women who happened to be from Toronto. “So they recognized me,” he says. “And what’s the first thing out of their mouth? `Oh, you’re that guy – we hate you!’ I just looked at them and said, `Have you ever met me?’ Twenty minutes later, and they’re saying what a great guy I am. That’s the problem: People make assumptions about who you are, whether it’s the ads or the events you do.”“
Read Murray Whyte’s tale of Brad Lamb in “Not just a condo wolf in Lamb’s clothing?” from The Toronto Star (March 29, 2009).