People swapping zip codes for spacious single-family homes outside Toronto. Bidding wars occurring in the unlikeliest of places. All this might shine a negative light on the city’s condo market, but high-rise developers are betting on urbanization as a long-term trend.
PRIME Condos is one example. Launching April 15, the 45-storey tower on Jarvis Street will bring 595 residences to the downtown area near Yonge and Dundas Square, between College and Dundas subway stations.
Developer CentreCourt is working alongside architect IBI Group, with Figure3 overseeing the interior design. The developer currently has six projects nearby that are either completed or under development— one being 8 Wellesley, a pre-build, which sold out in under two weeks when it came to market this past February. Such pre-construction sales, not seen since pre-pandemic times, were ‘unexpected’ during Ontario’s stay-at-home order. Factored into this quick sell was location and proximity to transit.
The condo market is already rebounding as the supply of single-family homes in the GTA remains small and expensive and vaccine rollout is a light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
“We have full confidence Toronto will emerge stronger than ever,” says Bader Elkhatib, vice-president of CentreCourt. Looking ahead, he sees the Toronto attraction combined with impending, record immigration levels likely driving up demand and prices for housing in the core.
“The fundamentals are clear—Toronto is the economic engine of the country, the employment and educational opportunities here are truly second to none,” he says. “This has led to a massive shift back to the downtown in recent months.”
“Not only is this recognized first hand through sales at our projects, but also through the high-rise resale market, which is now seeing record price growth and very limited months of supply, as well as in the velocity of leases being signed and the positive price growth in rents recently reported.”
Suites at PRIME are priced for first-time homebuyers and condo investors. Starting in the high $400,000s, units range from 300- to 800-square-feet, one to three-bedrooms, and will be close to Ryerson University and the new Google office, which was also designed by IBI Group.
In tech-giant style, PRIME will offer 4,000 square feet of Facebook-inspired outdoor and indoor co-working space and a 6,500 square-foot 24-hour fitness facility. A functional and high-quality work space is among the amenities potential residents most covet, according to an in-depth market analysis the developer conducted on its downtown projects.
“We want to provide a space in our buildings that is functional for entrepreneurs, professionals and students studying at nearby universities and colleges, with a variety of co-working spaces available to meet different needs and requirements,” says Elkhatib.
Setting the stage for multi-use, residents will be able to work in open communal space, study in one of the private study pods or take a meeting in one of the break-out rooms.
“Most importantly, residents can enjoy this space across four seasons with the ability to work outside in the warmer months with outdoor workstations and seating allowing for communal meetings or independent work,” he adds.
By Rebecca Melnyk