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Penguin Basements

Dig deep – There’s gold in them thar basements

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Dig deep – There’s gold in them thar basements

Most Canadians have a goldmine right under their feet – and it’s in their own home. If you thought that it would be nice to own income property, you already do. Your basement can easily be turned into a valuable, legal and sought-after living quarters. A well-planned basement design has untold potential.

What your parents got wrong

Conventional wisdom, as your parents always reminded you, was to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. Today, that’s hardly the wisest thing to do. Instead, turn your basement into a rental unit. By doing so, it becomes a hedge against a potential retirement savings shortfall. A basement unit can generate income and allow you to stay in your home for years to come – on your terms and with peace of mind. In this case, don’t listen to your parents’ advice – listen to reason.

We are living longer and longer. The cost of moving into a retirement residence, when the time comes, can quickly burn through the proceeds of the sale of your house. This scenario plays out all too often. It doesn’t have to come to this. Padding your savings with rental income from your home can greatly ease financial pressure and put you in control of your future.

Rethink your strategy

You may wonder how you can afford to do this. I can tell you that you can’t afford not to. A modest investment today, with the help of a line of credit or another type of loan, will reap untold financial rewards and freedom. Moreover, this investment will increase the value of your house by making it more attractive to those who are stretching themselves to get into a costly housing market.

Let’s look at a simple example. If you borrow $50,000 to $75,000 to build a basement rental unit, the rent that you collect can pay back borrowed money in a mere five years. At an average rental income of $1,200 to $1,800 per month, any excess is gravy. Your untapped basement is an engine for wealth generation that’s just sitting there, and you can’t afford to ignore it. This is hardly a bold move or speculative thinking – it’s a common sense approach that’s supported by math.

So, stop wondering about whether or not you’ll outlive your money. You have the power to control that outcome. Don’t fear longevity – embrace and monetize it.

No offence mom and dad, but when you have a basement, you have options.

GUY SOLOMON is the founder and CEO of Penguin Basements, and the creator of The Second Suite Solution.


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Vaughan SmartCentres Place Will Have It All - Including BUCA

Vaughan SmartCentres Place Will Have It All – Including BUCA

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Vaughan SmartCentres Place Will Have It All – Including BUCA

by Gale Beeby
HPG Editor

“The TTC called,” Mitchell Goldhar, the chairman of Smart Real Estate Investment Trust said at a press conference on April 12, 2017. “I think that’s a first.”

“They wanted to know if I would be interested in developing the area around the new Vaughan subway station.

The phone call led to a joint venture partnership between SmartREIT and CentreCourt Developments that will see the development of Transit City at SmartCentres Place, the largest urban development in the province located at the last stop of the Spadina TTC subway extension at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre — “or the first stop, depending on how you look at it,” Goldhar said.

Goldhar then started searching for a development partner and landed on CentreCourt Developments. “I wanted a downtown developer who understood smart urban development and that’s CentreCourt. We’re building a new ‘city’ in downtown Vaughan and they have the expertise.”

The 55-storey tower will also be the tallest developments in York Region and, as well as being close to the subway station, will also be steps from the new Vaughan bus terminal, the Viva bus rapidway and an easy drive to major highways.

“It’s key infrastructure,” Goldhar noted.

Transit City will have a stunning lobby featuring a Buca-branded restaurant and Bar Buca — operated by the renowned hospitality provider King Street Food Company — and residents of Transit City will have access to a state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot YMCA adjacent to the tower.

“We are very excited about the upcoming sales launch of Transit City,” said Andrew Hoffman, CentreCourt’s CEO. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Mitchell Goldhar and SmartREIT on the first residential phase of one of the largest development projects in Canada.”

“This is a real model for smart growth, featuring distinctive architecture designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., as well as contemporary interior designs by the award-winning firm of Figure3 and grand landscape plans by internationally renowned landscape architect Claude Cormier, Transit City will be highlighted by a luxurious hotel-inspired lobby with a Buca restaurant and Bar Buca, which will offer morning to evening service and exclusive food delivery for residents.

“The growth of the region the impact of the new subway, and the vision for Transit City, immediately intrigued us,” said Peter Tsebelis of King Street Food Company. “The opportunity to work with the developers of Transit City and contribute to their desire to bring a chic urban lifestyle restaurant concept to the project — coupled with the area’s passion for authentic Italian cuisine — convinced us that this would be a great venture to help us grow the Buca brand.”

Transit City represents the BUCA brand’s first foray outside of downtown Toronto and signals a long-term commitment to the neighborhood.

At the centre of SmartCentres Place will be a nine-acre park that runs directly through the middle of the community.

“These spaces make cities great,” Goldhar said. “People and activity are what makes a place a living, breathing entity. They are the soul of any community.

Transit City is the first condominium building to be proposed within the 100-acre SmartCentres Place which will include 17 million square feet of residential, office and retail space upon completion, as well as a nine-acre acre park, designed by Claude Cormier & Associates.

“The VMC is where you can see policy, politics and business in complete sync. For SmartREIT and myself, Transit City is the inaugural residential development that we expect will be the first of many at SmartCentres Place and elsewhere across Canada,” said Goldhar.

In addition to access to all the amenities of Transit City, residents will receive the benefits of a membership at the brand new YMCA community centre, with a state-of-the-art fitness facility and gym, swimming pool, basketball courts, daycare and a City of Vaughan library.

Transit City will offer purchasers an unsurpassed residential experience in a master- planned mixed-use community, while its location in the heart of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, and its connections to transit will offer unparalleled access to the GTA. Transit City is currently being considered for approvals by the City of Vaughan and sales are expected to open later this spring.

CentreCourt was behind the most successful condo launches in recent history including Peter Street Condos, Karma Condos, INDX Condos, Core Condos, Grid Condos and Axis Condos. For more information on CentreCourt, visit centrecourt.com Mitchell Goldhar is the founder of SmartREIT and has developed 56 million square feet in 265 shopping centres in all provinces across Canada. In addition, Penguin Properties Inc., Goldhar’s private company is at various stages of development of many properties across the country, including his interest in the VMC 100-acre master-planned development.

Transit City is currently being considered for approvals by the City of Vaughan and sales are expected to open later this spring.



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