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Emblem Developments aims to make its mark in condo development

Emblem Developments aims to make its mark in condo development

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Emblem Developments aims to make its mark in condo development

Walking into Emblem Developments, the first thing that strikes me is the intersecting glass walls of the company’s 42nd floor Bay St. offices, which overlook the most expensive office space in Canada. I think to myself, this is no average builder. A writer in real estate for more than 20 years, I am more than intrigued, and want to learn more.

Emblem Developments aims to make its mark in condo development
Artform co-working lounge

I’m greeted by a background out of the TV show, Billions, a calm white environment, reminiscent of an art gallery, combined with the high energy of a stock trading floor. Incredible original art adorns the walls, set against a myriad of people focused on their computer screens. I can’t help but wonder, who is Emblem Developments and why have I never heard of them?

 

Emblem Developments
Artform condos south of Square One in Mississauga, by Emblem Developments 

As I sit in a comfortable boardroom overlooking the financial district of Canada, in comes the impeccably dressed Kash Pashootan, CEO and brand maven of Emblem Developments. He greets me warmly with a strong handshake and a genuine welcome. At first, I’m taken aback, maybe a little intimidated by his calm demeanour, and direct, let’s-get-to-it attitude.

Kash Pashootan, CEO and brand maven
Kash Pashootan, CEO, Emblem Developments

Pashootan is the visionary and leader of Canada’s fastest growing entrant to the condominium development market. A space for those with a keen sense of what people want and need in an ever-changing landscape. I ask him why condominium developments? He warmly smiles, and with a tone of incredible confidence replies, “We recognized that this industry would be a growth market in Canada for many years to come. As the cost of living rises, the demand for living ‘up’ will become more pronounced. This landscape, combined with $1 billion-plus of capital our investment management arm, First Avenue, manages, means we are able to take advantage of this for the benefit of our clients and firm.

“Investors want and need to be able to pursue growth in their portfolio outside of simply the stock market,” Pashootan adds. “In 2018, the stock market was down double digits and our real estate investments were up double digits. March of 2020 we saw most stocks drop as much as 30 per cent, but our real estate holdings held steady. And that makes a blue-chip investor, like myself and my clients, sleep very well at night.”

First Avenue has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Hong Times and Washington Post, to name a few. The company has built its reputation on its long term portfolio performance during good and bad markets.

“Managing stocks will always be a core focus for us, but first and foremost is protecting and growing the wealth of our clients,” says Pashootan. “When one’s portfolio is able to pursue growth and not have it solely reliant on stocks, given our exposure to real estate, it achieves an effective portfolio approach that up until recently only billionaire families were able to access.”

Emblem Developments has sites ongoing across Ontario, with more than 1,600 condominium units currently under construction, pre-sale and planning, in four distinct markets – Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Mississauga.

“The expansion is at a rapid pace because, like most pension funds or REITs, we don’t require third party financing to acquire a new development site,” says Pashootan. “With more than $1 billion of permanent capital under our management we are able to move faster than our competitors. Which places us in a very enviable position.”

Emblem Developments has already started construction on Robinson Village in Ottawa, comprising 291 units of purpose built rental living. Style and design are the pillars the Emblem brand is built on.

“Regardless of the market we are building in, you will feel the soul behind our brand when you see the buildings or walk through them. Our brand comes through in our design and our finished product,” says Shamil Jiwani, associate director of real estate for Emblem Developments. “We are obsessed with exceptional design, recognizing that it is the main factor that determines quality of life for a homeowner.”

Shamil Jiwani, director of real estate
Shamil Jiwani, associate director of real estate, Emblem Developments

Emblem’s next project in Mississauga is no exception to this unique philosophy. The new project is aptly named Artform, and located south of Square One. Emblem has spared no expense in its creative design of a timeless, cool and luxury feel in the heart of Mississauga.

The icing on this project is that the new community will be set against the new Dundas Connects transit system, which links Dundas from Oakville to Toronto in one line.

“This is a unique and incredible opportunity for condominium buyers to get in on the ground floor of this change that is happening in Mississauga,” says Hunter Milborne of Milborne Group.

“Emblem Developments is a full-service condominium developer,” adds Raki Raoufi, vice-president of construction, Emblem Developments. “We will design, build and service all of our units, which makes us care a little more, give a little more and hope you come back for a lot more.”

Raki Raoufi, vice-president of construction
Raki Raoufi, vice-president of construction, Emblem Developments

Raoufi brings with her more than 20 years of highrise building expertise to the Emblem brand.

“The Mark of Exceptional Design” is the Emblem mantra, and it seems to be spot-on. It becomes evident very quickly that no corners are being cut with any facet of the company’s business, most noticeably the quality and commitment of the experienced professionals I spoke to.

“I love design,” says Pashootan. “There is no substitute for great design. I am passionate about Emblem creating spaces that give you that intangible feeling of you don’t know why, but ‘it feels right.’ That feeling is not achieved by what kind of floors you have or the colour of cabinets. It is achieved by how all parts of the design interact, behave and work together. Exceptional design is not just our slogan, it’s our belief as an organization.”

I leave this interview with the conclusion that: Stocks and real estate can mix well together, not all Bay Street professionals are only number crunchers, and most interestingly, that Kash is a killer but more humble than most with a fraction of his success.

With more than $1.1 billion in real estate assets, Emblem’s mindset, and the strength of an award-winning team, the developer is truly making a mark in this industry.

Cooksville - BEFORE
Artform in Cooksville, today
Cooksville - AFTER
Artform in Cooksville, tomorrow

Click here to view video.

emblemdevcorp.com

 


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Downtown Toronto

When you can live in, but not own, your new condo

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When you can live in, but not own, your new condo

What you should know about interim occupancy fees, title transfer and your warranty

When you buy a pre-construction condominium, you’re prepared for the fact that it will be months – or even up to three years – before you can expect to move in. But what you may not realize is that once your condo unit is built, it still may not be officially yours. In fact, you may have to pay a monthly fee to the builder until the time that the title of your unit can be transferred to you.

“Interim occupancy” is the period between when you can move into your condo and when you officially own it. The move-in date is set by your builder, with permission by your local municipality, once your unit is declared fit for occupancy. This is the point at which your interim occupancy period begins and it will typically last between two to three months. It could, however, stretch much longer, especially if your unit is on a lower floor of a highrise and the upper floors still have to be finished.

During interim occupancy, you have to pay a monthly fee, as determined by the Condominium Act, that covers three things: The interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price of your condominium unit; municipal taxes estimated for your unit; and common expenses to keep the building running. While you are paying this interim occupancy fee, you won’t be making mortgage payments. Those will start once you have official ownership of your unit, and at that point you will no longer have to pay the interim occupancy fee.

So, the reality is that you might be living in what could feel like a construction zone as the rest of the units and the common elements (lobby, lounge, pool) are completed. Once they are, the project will be registered with the municipality and the individual units will be transferred to the owners. This is when the builder will set your final closing date – when you take full ownership.

What’s important to know is that your new home warranty actually begins as soon as you are granted occupancy of your unit. However, the warranty on amenities or common elements that you’re eagerly waiting to be finished doesn’t begin until the condominium corporation is registered.

To figure out what’s covered by which warranty, you need to start by determining the boundaries of your own unit. You can find this information in the Disclosure document that is attached to your purchase agreement or the registered Declaration and Description filed once the condominium corporation has been registered. This will tell you the unit and common element boundaries and responsibilities for repair and maintenance.

For issues with parts of your unit, it is your responsibility to submit the appropriate warranty form to Tarion. So even if you don’t legally own your unit yet, you should be aware of the warranty form submission deadlines and make sure you submit on time. If you notice defects in the common elements, these should be reported to your condominium corporation representative (sometimes this is the property manager) for them to report to Tarion within their warranty timelines.

Your journey to condo ownership is finally complete on final closing. This is when the completed building is registered and you pay the balance remaining on your final purchase price in addition to any adjustments. When you do, you will receive the title to your new home, your mortgage will be registered on your title and your interim occupancy agreement will end. At this point, your condo is all yours.

While interim occupancy might feel like an exercise in delayed gratification, the final result – a new condo to call your own – should be worth the wait.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of Tarion Warranty Corp., a private corporation established to protect the rights of new homebuyers and to regulate new home builders. tarion.com

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