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Debut Condos

New condo set to Debut along Barrie waterfront

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New condo set to Debut along Barrie waterfront

Debut, a new condominium, is coming soon to Barrie’s downtown waterfront, from artist and real estate developer Gary Silverberg.

Comprising two 33-storey towers, Debut is the first highrise condo in Barrie and Simcoe County.

At Debut’s base will be curated retail shops and a pedestrian arcade serving as the gateway to the waterfront, marina, farmer’s market and transit.

Debut’s location at Dunlop Street and Mary Street is steps from the lake, retail and restaurants. It is also close to Hwy. 400, the Allandale Waterfront GO Station, other shopping and dining options, Georgian College and more.

“The city is becoming very cool, with one of the best waterfronts,” says Silverberg. “Barrie wants a booming downtown core, and (the City) saw the logic in what we were proposing. Everything has been a collaboration.”

With 42 years of real estate experience, Silverberg understands how areas gentrify. He notes how shopping is shifting from big box stores, as Millennials look for more authentic retail.

“(Barrie) has cool retail and restaurants, and when retail starts to get cool and hip, it’s on its way,” says Silverberg. “I always believed there would be a swing away from Toronto, and Millennials would be coming to Barrie. It’s happening a lot faster than we thought.”

World-class architects (Oleson Worland Architects and Scott Shields Architects) and leading-edge designers (Johnson Chou) have created Debut with great attention to detail.

The building towers twist to maximize views of the waterfront, and offer an extensive selection of suites with state-of-the-art finishes, European kitchens and spa-inspired bathrooms. Flexible designs maximize space and allow for multiple uses.

The residences are expected to appeal to a wide range of buyers, from first-time buyers to downsizers.

Project marketing is from Mark Cohen, managing partner of The Condo Store, Toronto.

“The building is modelled after the lifestyle in a place like Whistler,” says Silverberg. “Instead of a mountain at your door, you have Lake Simcoe.”

debutcondos.com


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The times they are a-changing

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The times they are a-changing

Today, we are all experiencing uncharted waters, and I hope that you, your loved ones, friends and colleagues are safe and healthy as we all try to navigate the challenging times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m looking forward to the other side of this, as so many of us, hopefully, are doing everything possible and suggested in order to get there faster. We now have good time to take stock of what’s important in the world and stay close to home and loved ones.

In recent weeks, I have been regularly communicating with many market leaders and influencers and heads of companies that service our robust and ever-evolving industry. While it is spring and typically the busiest time in our industry, everyone is concerned with what matters most; all of the lives at stake, which, for the first time in history involves everyone across the globe. Sales centres became appointment-based in days; most evolved into non-contact places shortly after. Everything is available online: Images, materials, tours of sales centres and mechanisms for purchasing.

While our business remains enhanced by technology, the fundamental real estate transaction involving a customer and vendor remains something that has always been done in person. However, I’m proud to be part of an industry that has pivoted so responsibly and almost seamlessly in these unprecedented times. When the time is right, we will find that business continues; today, you likely can purchase at any project currently on the market in the city. However, many may not know that. Housing remains an essential service; forecasts historically have shown that we’re long on population but short on supply. This won’t change.

While a partial remedy for today’s health crisis, social distancing, will likely become part of a new norm going forward, cleanliness and keeping sanitary when in the public realm will undoubtedly continue. Crowding will be very different than what we have seen to date, and it will be our responsibility to ensure we make every effort to maintain a safe environment for homebuyers and sales agents. Expect this to be part of the new norm when sales offices reopen.

I am enjoying Zoom meetings these days, and finding that meetings and calls seem to be more productive than in the past. I’m also hearing this from others. Everyone has their thinking caps on. This moment in history provides an opportunity to focus and really think. As a potential buyer of a new home or condo, use this time to learn more about the market and the variety of projects that are out there. It is a particularly good time to talk one on one with people in a controlled and safe setting. And, it is a time to ask questions that you normally may not have time to ask at sales events. Remember, there are buying opportunities all over the city, and choices are plentiful and demand is high.

Developers and builders have adjusted their businesses admirably, and have made available all of the necessary information for those who want to be active in the market.

Soon, there will be more opportunities about new projects that will become available which will undoubtedly enhance our neighbourhoods and skylines throughout our city.

The times, they are a-changing. Use this period to prepare.

Mark Cohen is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA.

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mark@condostorecanada.com

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From one strong year to another

From one strong year to another

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From one strong year to another

The days are shorter, we wake up and go home in the dark, snow is often on the horizon, and the holiday season is now behind us. And, yet again, the seven-year cycle is defied; year 22 of the real estate cycle has come and gone. The market remains great for buyers, as the choices are out there and buying remains the right choice for those who can.

Indeed, 2019 was another strong year for the condo market. Even as new condos have increased in price in recent years, they still remain a more affordable option than detached homes, which remain somewhat scarce and pricey.

However, navigating throughout the GTA remains a challenge, given traffic and transit issues, and looks like it will for a while. New subway lines and public transit – both very necessary – are great, but these infrastructure improvements can’t come fast enough to keep pace with the new home and condo demand.

Despite these challenges, 2019 is highlighted by stories of very strong sales in the condo world. Downtown Toronto, Vaughan, midtown and some impressive new projects throughout the 905 region and beyond are set to rise soon. The market keeps growing.

In 2019, the housing market overall continued to rebound, as prices settled into place and buyers took advantage. Townhomes and urban (stacked) townhomes became a more prevalent housing type, as they appeared throughout parts of the GTA and were well received by new-home buyers.

One particular success story in this market segment, in a neighbourhood close to my North York roots, is Sheppard West. Steps from the Sheppard subway, a new community known as Greenwich Village will be taking shape next year. A dozen or so bungalows that front onto Sheppard will soon be demolished, welcoming approximately 150 new urban and traditional townhomes offering top-of-the-line finishes, two- and three-storey homes offering two- and three-bedroom variations, starting in the $700,000 range, a fraction of what it costs to buy a resale home in this established neighbourhood.

Concrete construction, flexible home designs and clever architecture make this new community a very special place to be, and what will undoubtedly be an important addition to a neighbourhood that should continue to appreciate. Just the right opportunity at the right time, something that allows people to stay in or come to a valuable neighbourhood at an attractive price. Something we dearly need throughout our desirable city.

Mark Cohen is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA.


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Is this the right time to buy?

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Is this the right time to buy?

Summer has come and gone, and it was a nice one in the GTA as far as climate is concerned. As the Labour Day weekend kicked in, we felt the change in the temperature, and started putting away the short sleeves.

It’s a good time to reflect and be thankful for travel, reconnecting with friends and maximizing whatever time you could with family and those who matter most. It’s also a natural time of year to reflect on work, progress and betterment. To take the seasonal run before the shutdown again around the holiday season.

Home and condo builders, too, find themselves in a busy mode, with dozens of new projects opening this fall. A new buying and selling season is here. The cost of land, both in terms of processing and the mere outright cost of it, hasn’t gone down. There has been some slowing in the constantly rising price of new homes, in particular, and it was necessary. New homes aren’t inexpensive, with the GTA average now exceeding $1 million. Condo prices, meanwhile, have increased, as all the factors that influence their costs also continue to rise. Bottom line? New home pricing is not likely to improve any time soon.

In fact, despite our conservative outlook, there’s no reason to think pricing won’t continue to rise. It simply costs more to build and buy new homes. Supply seems far below adequate, and that hasn’t changed recently. Borrowing costs are low, rents are high, vacancies nonexistent, and the city is growing annually. Competition is fierce. The products we offer are extraordinary, a good testament to the efforts of so many in this world-class mecca of new home and condo development that we live in.

So, is this the right time to buy? You bet it is. It’s not going to get any better any time soon. Do your homework and do your shopping. Be ready to buy. Go for it!

Mark Cohen is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA . condostorecanada.com mark@condostorecanada.com

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The fall condo market in the GTA is in full swing

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The fall condo market in the GTA is in full swing

Although October has been unseasonably warm, it’s just a tease. Most of us have closed our cottages, people on the water were wearing ski jackets and toques this Thanksgiving. The barometer has dropped and its that time of the year. We survived September; kids back at school and everyone seems to be busy back at work in full swing. As always, the great real estate developers in our town are now showcasing the latest and greatest. Some new housing opportunities, detached, attached, stacked and so forth are available. Nice to see with the general prevailing shortage of new housing opportunities that exist in the GTA, that there are some good choices out there.

New housing opportunities in town should be looked at carefully; they are few and far between and it’s not going to get better. Many of the house sellers took their time to reflect this summer, re entering the market place with a view of offering a competitive and fair value to the buyers while trying to make sure they make a living selling. Some great choices exist out there. Speaking of ‘out there’, some of them are really out there. Last month, I moved into a new condo in the centre of town and bought a new home just outside of town. Room for the kids in both but I’m pushing towards being a youngish empty nester. I love this city; but Saturdays and Sundays are for somewhere else.

New condo choices are here; many of the developers also reflected this summer; enjoying the heat, and preparing their launches with new opportunities, new design and an assortment of new buildings in (416), (905) and beyond. Rents are continuing to increase almost ad finitem; (if you can even get your hands on a rental); owning makes more sense than ever if you can find the downpayment. Great new opportunities are here all over town. Look carefully at the neighbourhood; the property values there, the demographics and the trends. Do your homework. Talk to your realtor if you’re working with one. Talk to the on site agents and ask them about the neighbourhood they’re selling in. They should know what’s happening and, perhaps more importantly, what is likely to happen down the road. Get into gear. The fall market is here.

MARK COHEN is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA. condostorecanada.com
mark@condostorecanada.com

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Condo Market: Valuable neighbourhoods offer Valuable new Choices

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Condo Market: Valuable neighbourhoods offer Valuable new Choices

‘Housing prices are often the truest testament to where values are best’

The city continues to explode with new opportunities popping up everywhere. We are into year 16 of the 7-year cycle, and it seems as though it will never stop. New mortgage rules are offering us all a good opportunity to pause and make sure we can finish what we started, i.e. close the 30,000 plus new homes that we continue to buy annually.

Condos still remain the lion’s share of the market, building up remains an option whereas the freehold opportunities remain scarce and pricy in many cases. It’s amazing how little $I million buys these days, and just how far away it is from the centre of town. But as a great city of neighbourhoods, places far away are no longer alternative choices for many; they continue to be places of choice. Access to transit and highways remains key, and has helped ensure that builders can get their prices so that they can make a living building in what used to be the ‘outskirts’.

But a few in town opportunities grabbed my attention in recent weeks. Wycliffe Homes, a huge contributor to the makeup of our city for over 65 years, has recently launched two projects in areas where we thought there was no room to grow. Steps from the Promenade Mall, they are just introducing a stunning collection of 82 modern yet classic townhomes in the 2,500 to 3,000 square foot range, two floors of sleeping space, rooftop terraces, huge decks and backyards, two-car indoor parking and a whole range of options allowing you to choose, at no additional cost, anywhere from two to six bedrooms with all the fixings, i.e. the best in finishes and brand name accompaniments. The same week, they introduced an 84-suite collection of urban townhomes situated within five small buildings steps from the Lawrence West subway station, offering entry into a housing market for a fraction of what it would cost to buy new freehold product. Non highrise opportunities are relatively scare in (416), a testament to so many years of developing new housing wherever we could in the core of our city.

Look for more established areas with valuable housing to offer infill options and mixed use opportunities; places like the Kingsway and greater Mississauga, where we thought there was little left to develop. New opportunities arise on the waterfront to the east as much of what existed downtown in the core has been consumed in recent years. Look for new large scale projects in Durham, a region I’m very familiar with, having sold thousands of new homes there. Now, with the maturity of those locales, people who have grown to love the area are downsizing and moving into new condos and other housing forms that didn’t exist there not so long ago.

Significant new communites , many condominium in nature, will start to appear in Milton to the west, again a reflection of the maturity of that region and the huge volume of new homes built there over the years. As Miton fills up, look for the next divide in Guelph, an area that will offer small town charm, yet relatively close proximity to the GTA and favourable pricing. Perhaps the Durham of the west, an area that will fill in nicely in the immediate future and provide an alternative commute to those who work in our great city. Expect the same to the southwest, all the way to the Niagara region, with significant new opportunities all along the way. Expansion will continue as it must, but don’t overlook some of the rare opportunities to stay in town where you always were or always wanted to be.

Some great new choices are now out there for the taking. Slide open the sun roof and take a drive in your neighbourhoods of choice. There are some great opportunities out there!

Mark Cohen is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA. condostorecanada.com mark@condostorecanada.com

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