Tag Archives: development
High-rise projects sandwiched between downtown and the suburbs have to offer more to compete effectively
By Derek Raymaker – The Globe and Mail
The vast choice in new high-rise condominium suites in central Toronto has wedged prices and demand in a nice equilibrium, if temporarily.
At an average price of $331 a square foot across Greater Toronto, condominium prices are not spiralling out of control in the same way as new detached homes, even though four high-profile super-luxury projects, including one under the Ritz-Carlton banner, have been launched, driving up the average price.
And Torontonians should be surprised and satisfied to know that condo prices here are in line with most other Canadian cities, and actually a bargain compared with Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary.
When you pull yourself away from the economic analysis (which shouldn’t be too hard) and visit the sales centres of new downtown projects, you’ll find finely tuned marketing machines aiming directly at the lifestyle-oriented instincts of buyers looking for convenience and trendy design.
But it’s location that will always trump these other factors, and a hot corner can be worth all the granite countertops in the world. There are over two dozen condo sales centres currently open in central Toronto, and there would seem to be something for everyone .
In Etobicoke, the western lakeshore straddling the mouth of the Humber River continues to hit the right notes with buyers. The subway — and subway extensions — have guided North York’s high-rise development. And the Scarborough Town Centre transit and highway corridor is the site of pretty much all of the high-rise projects in that former borough. Of course, these all come with the discount you’d expect for being out of the trendy loop that exists south of Eglinton Avenue.
None of this is rocket science to any savvy marketing team. But there is one key advantage these traditional low-rise neighbourhoods have over the trendy downtown projects that bodes well for future high-rise development. That is the prevalence of tens of thousands of older couples who want to sell their large maintenance-intensive houses, but not leave their neighbourhoods.
There’s also the added bonus that many of these older buyers are able to buy a high-end two-bedroom suite priced at $500,000 or so with no mortgage after they sell their family house for $750,000 in pockets like Lawrence Park or The Kingsway.
Bayview Avenue has been a particularly popular spot for new empty-nester buyers looking for a well-appointed suite with larger square footages than you’d find in downtown Toronto‘s shoeboxes in the sky to handle all the family heirlooms.
Daniels Corporation’s Kilgour Estates, just south of Lawrence Avenue, has been a huge hit with homeowners from the immediate area, with prices starting at $474,000 and going up to $1,586,000 for between 1,072 and 2,293 square feet.
Further north on Sheppard Avenue is Shane Baghai’s St. Gabriel Village, on a site to be shared with a church and to feature an emphasis on energy conservation. It has been on the market for a year with prices at $479 a square foot.
The overall price picture outside of downtown features many projects with fairly expensive suites like those mentioned above, and loads of traditional high-rise condos catering to the first-time buyer on a budget, but not much in between.
The early data for 2006 indicates it’s been a soft market overall in these areas, with a lot of building going on but not much buying.
In west North York, the average high-rise suite price reported for February was $269 a square foot, up a modest 3.8% from February, 2005, according to data compiled by RealNet Canada. The North Yonge Street corridor reports a price of $316 a square foot, up 1.6% from February, 2005, while Scarborough was at $276 a square foot, up 6.1% from February, 2005.
Etobicoke average suite prices are actually above the Greater Toronto average at $359 a square foot in February, up 3.1% from $348 in February, 2005.
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Corktown is an historic neighbourhood located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located just south of Regent Park and north of the Gardiner Expressway, between Berkeley Street to the west and the Don River to the east.
The southern part of this area borders, but is not part of, the Distillery District and contains many vacated industrial buildings, some in use by production and movie studios. The proposed “West Donlands” urban re-development project, slated to be built over the next few years, will encompass the south-east corner of this area.
The neighbourhood’s name derives from its 19th century origins as an Irish ethnic enclave, particularly for Irish emigrants from County Cork, though some say the presence of a distilleries, breweries and cork-stopper manufactures in the vicinity may have secured the nickname.
In the early 1960s, a significant amount of Corktown was demolished to make way for several elevated roadways, including the Richmond Street off-ramp from the Don Valley Parkway and the re-routed Eastern Avenue overpass.
Currently in the early stages of the same sort of regentrification that revitalized present-day Cabbagetown, examples of late 19th century, intimate, quirky British-style row-housing can still be seen lining Corktown side streets such as Bright Street, Trinity Street, Ashby Place and Gilead Place.
Little Trinity Church just east of King and Parliament is Toronto’s oldest surviving church building, its cornerstone laid on July 20, 1843. Corktown was also the site of the first Roman Catholic church in Toronto: St. Paul’s was originally built in 1822. The current St. Paul’s (located at Queen St. East and Power Street) dates from 1887.
Corktown is also home to Inglenook Community Highschool. One of the Toronto District School Board’s alternative schools.
Atria Developments introduced Garment Factory Lofts, a new live/work industrial conversion that will revitalize a former garment factory. Garment Factory Lofts is located in the Queen Street East neighborhood, one that is undergoing an exciting resurgence between Logan Avenue and Leslie Street to form a hip Downtown Toronto East.
This neighbourhood is fast on its way to becoming an urban success story. Garment Factory Lofts is just down the street from the Distillery District, and steps from Leslieville. In the vicinity are eateries such as Verveine and Gio Rana’s Really, Really Nice Restaurant.
Popular nightspots include Barrio, where regulars sip martinis and enjoy tapas-style treats while a DJ spins music on Saturday night. When the proposed changes to the Toronto Film Studio suroundings become reality, that entire area will be home to new retail, residential and live/work housing, adding to the urban tapestry.
Designed by award-winning Core Architects Inc., the eight-storey Garment Factory Lofts meld the original brick faÃ§ade of the warehouse with modern steel and glass to create a striking whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The building terraces back begin at the third floor, and are distinguished by an acid green canopy that will grace the entry on Carlaw and extend back into the lobby. Every loft offers a glazed balcony or spacious terrace with amazing views.
The Garment Factory Lofts features 150 lofts comprised of studios, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den/workspace, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom plus den/workspace, and penthouses with views of the lake. Priced from just $139,900, these lofts, will range in size from 525 to 1,303 square foot and offer the lowest price per square foot of any authentic loft in the city.
The spectacular model loft by Fleur-de-lis Interior Design Inc. contains examples of the building’s interesting architectural details such as the original fluted columns, ceilings that soar up to almost 12 feet, and large windows. The model kitchen will feature modern Wenge-stained cabinetry, a stone backsplash and island with a stone top. This one-bedroom plus den/workspace also showcases a gas stove, gas BBQ hookup, and an optional gas fireplace.
Atria Developments is known as the creator of i-Zone live/work lofts, located across the street from Garment Factory Lofts. i-Zone was a major catalyst for change in the surrounding neighbourhood, and is now home to artists, filmmakers, photographers, and other creative spirits. The development of the Garment Factory Lofts will bring a further greening to this former industrial neighbourhood with the inclusion of a parkette that backs onto Boston Avenue.
Atria Developments is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the revitalization of former industrial urban areas by renewing existing sites.
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