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Tariq Adi

In Conversation With… Tariq Adi, President and CEO of Adi Development Group

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In Conversation With… Tariq Adi, President and CEO of Adi Development Group

If you’re in the market for a new home, or pay any level of attention to the new-home building industry in the western end of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, it’s hard not to notice Adi Development Group.

Based in Burlington but with projects extending into Toronto, Adi just feels like a different company. Thoughtful, on-target developments in choice locations, and a sharp focus on customer service, the condominium and townhome builder applies high standards to everything it does.

We spoke with President and CEO Tariq Adi for his insights on the home building landscape, and what lies ahead for the company in 2019.

Condo Life: Adi Development Group seems very customer-focused. How much does this help differentiate your company?

Tariq Adi: One of our top core values is that we’re “customer obsessed” – everything we do begins and ends with our customers. We feel that, in general, the customer service in our industry is not where it should be. We’re taking a radical approach to that and ensuring we treat our customers with five-star service and deliver on our promise. We aren’t perfect, but we wake up every day asking, “How can we better serve our customers?” Buying a new home is never easy, especially if it’s your first time. Our job is to make it as pleasurable an experience as we possibly can.

CL: Adi recently released Valera 2 ahead of schedule. What led to this decision?

 TA: The launch of Valera was a huge success. The project was so well received, we didn’t anticipate how quickly it would sell. The buildings’ superior location and focus on design, coupled with the Adi brand’s customer-centric philosophy, was most likely what did it. We sold out the first building in virtually two days! This prompted us to launch V2 due to the overwhelming demand, so we could release more units. The project is going strong with VIP registrants still able to get a choice unit before the grand opening in early 2019.

Adi Developments Valera 2

Uptown Burlington

CL: Uptown Burlington is really hot right now. What is it about this neighbourhood that makes it so popular?

TA: Uptown Burlington is by far one of the most desirable and hottest neighbourhoods in the GTA. The site is perfectly located right off the 407 ramps, with the 403 and Metrolinx GO station only a 10-minute drive south. The area is bustling with every kind of shopping and service-oriented retail, with schools, lush parks, walking trails and golf courses nearby. The site is in the middle of four major cities off Dundas Street, such as Hamilton, Waterdown, Milton and Oakville, and is perfect for commuters looking for something more convenient and more affordable.

The Niagara escarpment views give you the feeling of being somewhere scenic and secluded, while realistically being in the city with all the conveniences around you. The fact that new supply is virtually zero and the uptown corridor is built out from a lowrise and even infill perspective puts a lot of pressure on pricing. Single-family homes in the area exceed $1.3 million, and townhomes are selling for well into the $800’s. Not to mention the lack of rental accommodations available. The vacancy rate in Burlington has and remains very low at 0.5 per cent. All of these factors make the suites and townhomes at Valera a perfect investment for investors looking to rent their units, as they’ll never have a shortage of tenants.

Adi buildings will always rent at a premium. We pulled MLS listings of rentals in our recently completed LINK Condos + Lofts buildings, and the average rental in the building is inching to more than $3 per square foot, (per month), which is equivalent to downtown Toronto rents and a purchase price of half of what you’d pay in Toronto. From a value and affordability, and investment perspective and as prudent real estate investor, Burlington is probably where I’d choose to invest my money. And that’s where I’d put my money as a buyer looking in the GTA as well.

CL: Adi recently went before the Ontario Municipal Board for a review of your plan at Nautique in downtown Burlington. How have things progressed with this project since then?

TA: I’m happy to share that Nautique has finally been approved and construction will be starting this spring! It will retain its title of being the tallest tower in the city.

Municipalities need to realize that delaying developments leads only to an erosion in affordability and access to new homes for a much-needed sector of the market that can’t otherwise buy. Unfortunately, while they pretend to care, our pleas on building attainable housing and creating new jobs to stimulate the local economy fall on deaf ears. This is a bigger challenge facing our entire industry and local municipal planning departments, and city councillors need find more efficient ways of handling applications and accommodating growth without pandering to the NIMBYs. We’re seeing a YIMBY movement starting – which is always awesome!

Game changer

CL: And what is the status of 64 Prince Arthur – a project you have called a “game changer” –  in Yorkville, Toronto, which also went to the OMB?

 TA: No updates yet, but we continue to work with our team to push our application forward. We feel the city needs to come to the table and ensure the success of these projects. As of now they appear to be overwhelmed with the volume of applications to the board and don’t have a real mechanism or process to deal with it. We still believe it’s a beautiful building that will put Toronto on the map from an architectural and urban design perspective,whether the city knows it yet or not.

 CL: What are some exciting things taking place at some of your other communities?

 TA: We’ve got a lot of great suites available in some of our current and existing communities that are either complete or under construction. There are some great units remaining at Link and Stationwest and, of course, Valera and V2.

There will be a lot of exciting things happening in 2019 with four major construction projects taking shape and new acquisitions in the pipeline.

We’re nearing completion of our Link Condos + Lofts community, with most of the units occupied and condos now registered. Stationwest by the Aldershot GOStation is taking shape, as well with the servicing program complete and buildings going up. We anticipate having some occupancies starting there in 2019. Nautique and Valera will also be starting construction soon, as well as a very small and exclusive townhome community called Aeria on the Burlington lakeshore.

Focus on value

CL: Affordability is a growing concern. How is Adi addressing this issue, to ease buyers’ entry into the market?

TA: Affordability and attainability are key focus areas for Adi in 2019. We’ll continue to deliver projects that offer cutting edge design, both architecturally and from an interior perspective, with a real focus on value and attainability for our buyers. I’m not sure how $1,500 psf is going to be sustainable for everyday folks in downtown Toronto. You’re really alienating an entire population at those prices. Projects such as Valera are perfect examples of that attainability, with one-bedroom units selling in the low $300,000s and townhomes, which will be released in the spring, from the mid $600,000s for more than 1,600 sq. ft. of living space. Assisting first-time buyers with mortgage options and down payment assistance will help us deliver housing to those buyers that are otherwise priced out of the market.

CL: Please finish the following statement: For Adi Development Group, 2018 was a year of:

TA: Customer focus and growth!

CL: And 2019 will be a year of:

TA: Even more customer obsession and growth!

Portfolio

  • Nautique, Lakefront Residences, 374 Martha St., Burlington Now selling
  • Nautique, Penthouse Collection, 374 Martha St., Burlington Now selling
  • Valera Registrations only
  • V2 Registrations only
  • The West at Stationwest, Condominiums at Stationwest, 101 Masonry Crt., Burlington Now selling
  • Stationwest, Smart-Style Townhomes, 101 Masonry Crt. Now selling
  • LINK2 Condos + Lofts, Dundas Street West and Sutton Drive Move-in ready
  • LINK Condos + Towns, Dundas Street West and Sutton Drive, Move-in ready

 

RELATED READING

Forecast 2019 – where are Canada’s hottest housing markets?

Valera 2 condo offers buyers another option in Burlington

Local Focus on Oakville and Burlington

 

 

 

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In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share

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In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share

By Dave Wilkes

What goes into the cost of building a new home, condo building or office development is more than meets the eye. It is not only the cost of the land, the excavation of the site, the materials and labour, but also the fees that municipalities across the region charge homebuilders and developers to construct the infrastructure required to service new development.

Infrastructure includes parks, libraries, roads, transit, sewers and emergency services. Investing in infrastructure benefits existing and new homeowners and those working in offices throughout the region. This investment is paid for by fees, known as development charges, which are charged to builders and developers by local governments across the GTA.

But ultimately, development fees are paid for by the new homeowners and businesses. The fees vary depending on infrastructure needs in specific areas as well as the type of unit being built and the number of people who are expected to live in or utilize the space.

For example, a new one-bedroom condo in the City of Toronto currently is assessed a development charge of $17,138. A non-residential non-industrial building is assessed a development charge of $207.52 per square metre. Current proposals being considered by Toronto would approximately double those charges.

Our members recognize and accept their responsibility for supporting the infrastructure that is required to service new neighbourhoods. But as municipalities across the region look to replace aging existing infrastructure, we are concerned that new neighbourhoods will be asked to absorb the costs disproportionately.

There is no doubt we need to reinvest in our cities, but these costs should be the responsibility of all of us, not just shifted onto those buying new properties.

Transit City, a development project in Vaughan, won the People’s Choice Award at the recent BILD Awards.

The numbers back up our concerns. Altus Group, a leading provider of data solutions to the real estate industry, indicated in a recent report provided to BILD that in Toronto, residential property taxes rose 2 per cent on average annually, between 2009 and 2016, while development charges increased 14.3 per cent on average annually between 2009 and 2018.

Our industry is committed to working with our partners in municipalities to fund growth. But we must ask the tough questions about how we pay for infrastructure in an equitable, transparent manner — and how we ensure that these costs are shared fairly between development charges that are paid by new development and property taxes that are paid by all. We all are responsible for ensuring that we build the type of cities we want.

How we answer the question of who pays for what, and the share of the costs between new and existing tax bases, will define the types of cities we build and the costs of the homes and offices in our cities. We need to find the right balance so that new homes are affordable and not priced beyond the reach of all but the wealthy.

On behalf of those who purchase new homes and offices, BILD intends to ask these questions this year as part of the fall municipal elections.

DAVE WILKES is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Bild.ca

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