Tag Archives: home warranty program
Excerpt from an article by Elvira Cordileone – Toronto Star
Creation of new communities is revitalizing when old areas are getting new residents
Have lofts become urban trailblazers for revitalization of older neighbourhoods?
Jeanhy Shim, president and editor of Urbanation, a publication that tracks the condo market in the GTA, thinks so.
“Lofts helped lead the way in creating new neighbourhoods in downtown, east and west,” Shim says, adding they are also helping revitalize such areas as the Junction, Roncesvalles Village and Leslieville.
One such example is Bloorline Lofts.
Bloorline Lofts was once a mattress factory. In fact, when construction started, crews unearthed metal springs buried all around the building.
Edwin Brdlik, who is marketing the Bloorline Lofts, says the conversion is finished and the building has been registered. Converting old buildings into lofts took off in cities such as New York and Chicago 50 years ago, Brdlik says.
The first legal loft conversion in Toronto (41 Shanly near Dufferin and Bloor Sts.) didn’t take place until 1982 when the city finally realized older buildings were simply going to waste.
People who buy a loft in a converted building choose it because they want the character and uniqueness of the space, says Brdlik.
The larger marquee buildings, such as the former Tip Top Tailors and the Toy Factory, have already been transformed, but he says the city still has a small supply of small to medium buildings ripe for conversion.
The Bloorline Lofts are “hard” lofts, units carved out of an existing, usually older building. (Hard lofts are considered renovations and aren’t covered by Tarion, the province’s new home warranty program.)
Shim says “soft” lofts – units in brand new buildings with the high ceilings, large windows and open-concept layouts of the genuine loft – came along after 1995, when the supply of authentic lofts was limited as the number of buildings that could be converted dwindled.
Brdlik says lofts, both hard and soft, cost $300 to $400 a square foot, compared to $265 to $350 for a typical condo unit. That’s because it costs more to convert an older building while maintaining its special character – which is its appeal – than it does to build from scratch, and the higher ceilings found in new loft-style buildings translates into fewer units than a comparable condo building, which drives up the per-unit price.
“Lofts in conversion projects do phenomenally well. They speak to certain types of people – mainly young professionals – with their openness, high ceilings and a bit of funkiness,” Shim says.
Incoming search terms