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Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

Markham – a hotbed of economic development and growth

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Markham – a hotbed of economic development and growth

As the fourth most populous community in the GTA – after Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – Markham has been a hotbed for economic growth and development for years.

It’s long been known as a centre for growing sectors such as technology and life sciences – and therefore employment growth – one of the key drivers of housing demand.

Today, Markham is home to more than 1,000 such companies, with IBM, Huawei, Honeywell, Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola and Oracle all having their Canadian headquarters located in the city.

Residence has its price

Buying a home in Markham may cost you, though, as it has also become one of the GTA’s most expensive housing markets.

According to the Royal LePage Home Price Index for the first quarter of 2020, aggregate home prices grew 6.9 cent year-over-year to $1 million. Standard two-storey prices grew 6.6 per cent to $1.16 million, while detached bungalows increased 5.7 per cent to $1.02 million.

Still, new-home development is a priority for Markham City Hall and Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who was first elected in 2006 and is known as developer- and builder-friendly. The city has a number of new home developments underway, including some high-profile condo and lowrise projects.

The revitalization of Downtown Markham has been spearheaded by The Remington Group’s multi-use development along Main Street, which includes expansive retail shops, a Marriott Hotel, a Cineplex, as well as a variety of condo buildings and townhomes.

Cultural diversity

Culture is also an important attraction in Markham, with The Flato Markham Theatre offering more than 300 live performances each year, showcasing the diversity of the city. In addition, Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay House, which was the home of Group of the Seven’s Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Measuring 15,000 sq. ft., the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.

Markham also has dozens of parks with baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and children’s play areas and splash pads. The city also boasts more than 22 kms of scenic pathways with 12 bridges that provide recreational activity for joggers and cyclists.

The largest park in the city is the Milne Dam Conservation Park. Measuring 305 acres, it is bordered by thick forest on the south and east and the Rouge River runs through the middle.

Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh, and it recently underwent revitalization to remove sediment, restore the shoreline and plant native foliage.

Getting around Markham is facilitated by easy access to Hwys. 404 and 407 and the DVP, and for public transit, York Region Transit/Viva connects with all nine York Region municipalities, and GO Transit provides regular train and bus service.

Location, location, location

Population of 328,940, located in the Regional Municipality of York in the GTA; distance from downtown Toronto, 30 km

Key landmarks

• Flato Markham Theatre

• Varley Art Gallery

• Milne Dam Conservation Park

• Angus Glen Golf Club

Select housing developments

Abbey Lane Towns by Poetry Living

Cornell Markham by Ballantry Homes

Canvas on the Rouge by Flato Group

Cornell Rouge by Madison Group

Kennedy Manors by Kylemore Communities

Riverwalk Meadows by Flato Group

Union Village by Metropia

Union Village by Minto Communities

Victory Green by Remington Group

Village Homes on the Avenue by Andrin Homes


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Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Developments Inc.

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Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Developments Inc.

New lowrise home supply and pricing are causing some buyers to look elsewhere – specifically north and out of the GTA. One company intent on catering to this demand is Flato Developments Inc., with projects in locations such as Beeton, Dundalk and Shelbure.

President Shakir Rehmatullah explains why, and what homebuyers can expect from Flato, this year and beyond.

HOMES Magazine: You have said that 2020 is looking to be a strong year for Flato Developments, and you’re focusing on developing communities outside the GTA. How much of a trend do you think this will be – people buying outside the GTA in order to afford a home they truly want?

Shakir Rehmatullah: I see a big trend of people living outside the GTA, basically because affordability and the new mortgage rules have made it very difficult for people to qualify for a mortgage. The average annual salary in the GTA is $36,573, household income $73,146. The maximum mortgage they can get is $350,000 to $400,000, so with a 20-per-cent down payment, the house price couldn’t be higher than $500,000. How many $500,000 homes are available in the GTA? Condos can be an alternative, but not everyone wants that type of home. Therefore, moving outside of GTA will be the choice for many young families and downsizers.

HM: You’re developing communities in Dundalk, Beeton and Shelburne. Why these areas, other than the above point. Specifically, what is it about these towns that appeals to Flato?

SR: Beeton is close to Hwy. 400, and Dundalk and Shelburne are connected to GTA by highways as well. Our projects in Dundalk and Shelburne are located along Hwy 10, so the commute won’t be a problem for homeowners. These areas are not over developed. On the contrary, with new homes being built and more people moving in, infrastructure will improve because the towns are growing the population and economy. In Dundalk, for example, because we are building big communities there, we will also build an apartment for seniors, and a commercial plaza for retailers. On one hand, people can live in a more convenient neighbourhood; on the other, more people will find jobs there. Towns grow this way. Moreover, these areas are calm, quiet and beautiful. People can enjoy their life there by living in a nice environment, with kind neighbours, and most importantly, living in a decent townhome or single-detached home. Flato is happy to help the towns grow, build decent homes for new families, downsizers and everyone who wants to live in a bigger home with an affordable price.

HM: What are you able to offer buyers in these communities, that you can’t in the GTA?

SR: We offer great value for the homes by offering large size lots and quality finishes. We believe in complete communities where people have good schools, good parks, walking trails, clean air to breathe, away from the hustle and bustle of a heavily populated city. We are able to offer bigger homes at lower prices, well-planned communities with schools, parks and trails close by. Our design caters to an older generation which likes the heritage style, as well as younger buyers who like modern style. Every homeowner is not just moving into a house, they are moving into a well-established community.

HM: What are you learning about building in these communities that, say, might differ from projects in the GTA or parts of Toronto? Whether it’s home sizing, pricing, amenities or…

SR: Home sizes are certainly larger, as our goal is to build good quality, decent sized homes at affordable prices. Our price per sq. ft. is much lower than in the GTA. Our communities are in the core of each area, with all amenities close by. For example, our projects in Beeton, Beeton Village and GreenRidge, are on and close to the main street, where all the restaurants, grocery stores, banks and other amenities are located. In Dundalk, our projects also sit right in the heart of town, with the amenities within walking distance. We plan them out when we plan the whole communities. That’s why we say we are building communities, not homes.

In addition, we are learning that people are okay to drive further north to get the home that they really want, in a community where they can live and grow their families.

HM: What’s next for Flato Developments… where might you build next, after Dundalk, Beeton and Shelburne?

SR: Planning and then building a master-planned community is a large undertaking, and we are currently very busy in delivering on the vision we have for these areas. But we also have other plans; our first senior apartment building will launch in Dundalk this year. We will also launch commercial projects in Markham, Mississauga and Dundalk this year. We have more plans down the road, but I can’t discuss them just yet.

HM: Flato is very active and involved in the community, through activities such as your sponsorship of the Flato Markham Theatre. Why is this so important to you?

SR: We strongly believe in working with the communities in which we build, that it’s our corporate responsibility to give something back. You can’t go wrong by giving back to your community, and as a community developer, Flato is proof that we keep our promises.

AND ON A PERSONAL NOTE…

If I wasn’t in the homebuilding industry, I would: Otherwise work towards making life better for people.

When I’m not at the office, I am: With my family. I enjoy my time with my kids! But during weekdays, I’m on the road for different meetings with municipalities and business partners to plan our next community.

My greatest inspiration for doing what I do is: My dad. I always watched him working hard in his construction business, and I just want to be like him.

Portfolio

• Beeton Village, Beeton, Now open

• Carriage House, Dundalk, Coming soon

• GreenRidge, Beeton, Coming soon

• Canvas on the Rouge, Markham, Now open

flatogroup.com

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Neighbourhood Watch - Markham

Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

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Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

As the fourth most populous community in the GTA – after Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – Markham has been a hotbed for economic growth and development for years.

It’s long been known as a centre for growing sectors such as technology and life sciences – and therefore employment growth – one of the key drivers of housing demand.

Today, Markham is home to more than 1,000 such companies, with IBM, Huawei, Honeywell, Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola and Oracle all having their Canadian headquarters located in the city.

Residence has its price

Buying a home in Markham will cost you, however, as it has also become one of the GTA’s most expensive housing markets.

According to the Royal LePage Home Price Index for the fourth quarter of 2019, aggregate home prices grew two per cent year-over-year to $951,228, condos grew 4.9 per cent to $486,898.

Still, new-home development is a priority for Markham City Hall and Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who was first elected in 2006 and is known as developer- and builder-friendly. The city has a number of new home developments underway, including some high-profile condo projects.

The revitalization of Downtown Markham has been spearheaded by The Remington Group’s multi-use development along Main Street, which includes expansive retail shops, a Marriott Hotel, a Cineplex, as well as a variety of condo buildings and townhomes.

Cultural diversity

Culture is also an important attraction in Markham, with The Flato Markham Theatre offering more than 300 live performances each year, showcasing the diversity of the city. In addition, Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay House, which was the home of Group of the Seven’s Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Measuring 15,000 sq. ft., the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.

Markham also has dozens of parks with baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and children’s play areas and splash pads. The city also boasts more than 22 kms of scenic pathways with 12 bridges that provide recreational activity for joggers and cyclists.

The largest park in the city is the Milne Dam Conservation Park. Measuring 305 acres, it is bordered by thick forest on the south and east and the Rouge River runs through the middle.

Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh, and it recently underwent revitalization to remove sediment, restore the shoreline and plant native foliage.

Getting around Markham is facilitated by easy access to Hwys. 404 and 407 and the DVP, and for public transit, York Region Transit/Viva connects with all nine York Region municipalities, and GO Transit provides regular train and bus service.

Location, location, location

Population of 328,940, located in the Regional Municipality of York in the GTA.

Distance from downtown Toronto, 30 km

Key landmarks

  • Flato Markham Theatre
  • Varley Art Gallery
  • Milne Dam Conservation Park
  • Angus Glen Golf Club

Select housing developments

9999 Markham Road by OnePiece Holding

Canvas on the Rouge by Flato Developments

Gallery Towers by Remington Group

Langstaff Gateway by Kylemore Communities

Panda Markham Condos by Lifetime Developments

Riverview by Times Group


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Flato Developments breaks ground at Canvas on the Rouge Condos - Jan2020

Flato Developments breaks ground at Canvas on the Rouge Condos

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Flato Developments breaks ground at Canvas on the Rouge Condos

With available units already 70 per cent sold, Flato Developments has begun construction at Canvas on the Rouge Condos in uptown Markham.

“Flato has been focussed on developing master-planned communities in Ontario for over a decade,” says Shakir Rehmatullah, Flato Developments’ president. “Markham is an incredible location for growing families, which is why we’ve designed a condominium project that appeals to them. Regardless of the size of your family, there’s truly something for everyone.”

Boasting scenic views of the greenbelt and Rouge River, Canvas on the Rouge is a unique collection of condominium suites with one, two and three bedrooms ranging from 605 to 1,024 sq. ft. Specifically designed with families in mind, Canvas offers countless building amenities, such as a party room, gym, guest suite, whirlpool, concierge and roof top terrace, with an extensive array of amenities nearby.

From its enviable location in North Markham near Little Rouge Creek, Canvas is minutes from the Mount Joy GO Station, Hwy. 407, the Centennial Community Centre, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and virtually unlimited greenspace.

“Canvas allows homebuyers to live in the safety and security of an established community near the Rouge River,” says Rehmatullah. Transit is at your beck and call, highways just minutes away and greenspace surrounding the property. Canvas gives you luxury, location, and an unparalleled quality of life. Plus, living in Markham means homebuyers never have to give up any of the amenities of larger centres like Toronto.”

canvasmarkham.ca


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