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Uovo Condos: Top 5 Reasons to Invest – Release Radar 022

In this special episode of the TalkCondo Release Radar, we do a deep dive on all things Uovo Condominiums and look at the top 5 reasons you should consider investing at Playground.

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Uovo is a boutique development located at Yonge & Eglinton with just 67 suites ranging from $600,000 – $2.5 million.

Watch the video for our top 5 reasons to be excited about this unique development.

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TalkCondo Release Radar 022: Transcript

Roy Bhandari: Welcome to a very special episode of the TalkCondo Release Radar, and today we’re going to be introducing a very exciting project at Yonge and Eglinton called Uovo Condominiums. So this is one we’ve been quite excited about. It’s a unique project. Just to give sort of the big picture information on what this condominium is, it’s a boutique building. Only 60 odd units, located just south of Yonge and Eglinton.

UOVO Boutique Residences Rendering

Reason #1 – The Location

Today what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about the five things that we’re most excited about for this project.

Roy Bhandari: The first one in any project at Yonge and Eglinton one of the most exciting things about all of these condominiums here is the location itself. Yonge and Eglinton’s undergoing a huge amount of transformation right now. The amount of growth over the last four or five years has been explosive.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So, I’m going to pass this to Amit, because I know you live in the area. You’ve chosen Yonge and Eglinton neighborhood to live in yourself.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So I know you’ve got a lot of positive things to say about it. So give me the quick rundown on why Yonge and Eglinton’s gone through this transformation over the last few years.

Amit Bhandari: I think the site specifically was pinpointed for growth because of the LRT, really. It all centered around the LRT, and the aim for Yonge and Eglinton is to eventually become a transit hub.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Right. Both with two lines, the LRT and the Yonge subway line. The other thing about Yonge and Eglinton that drew us, not only from a transit perspective, was also the amazing retail. This fantastic retail. There’s also a significant dollar investment going into the Yonge Eglinton Center. Right now, if you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s the indoor mall that has the [inaudible 00:01:57], Indigo and Toys-R-Us, the Cineplex and Metro and whatnot. So, there’s a lot of draw. Not just from there from a retail perspective but overall.

Amit Bhandari: Yonge and Eglinton has a lot of fantastic restaurants, shops, cafes, grocery stores nearby. So it’s a big, big draw for that.

Roy Bhandari: The walk score is very high.

Amit Bhandari: Extremely high, everything. You can get to everything. The transit score is fantastic there. The other big draw for that neighborhood personally were the schools, and which we’re going to talk about a little later.

Roy Bhandari: Yes.

Amit Bhandari: So the location overall is fantastic. From the site itself, you can actually get to the subway station from the Canadian Tire headquarters, which I think is about two minute walk from-

Roy Bhandari: Yes, just across the road a little-

Amit Bhandari: … [crosstalk 00:02:43] … Now just to Uovo, the development as well itself it’s on the corner of Hillsdale Avenue West and Yonge Street. So it will be fronting on Yonge Street. Prime location, fantastic. It does actually sit in Chaplain Estates. Now Chaplain Estates is a neighborhood. In case you don’t know, it is one of the more upscale, more affluent neighborhoods in Toronto. The starting price is somewhere like 2 million.

Roy Bhandari: So I want to actually take it back to the LRT. Because the LRT for somebody who doesn’t know what is going on there, the LRT confuses a lot of people. Some people think it’s an aboveground streetcar. They’re not quite 100% sure. They don’t 100% sure know what’s going on with this. So, the LRT is actually a subway. A system. It’s a rapid transit that’s going to go across Eglinton. It’s going to be built in two phases, which is eventually going to connect Scarborough all the way to the airport.

Roy Bhandari: So, there’s a core section where the high density is, where it’s actually underground. So at Yonge and Eglinton you’ll be able to go down into the subway system. You’ll be able to hit the young line North/South to downtown or East/West along Eglinton.

Amit Bhandari: It’s very similar to the station at Bloor, Yonge and Bloor.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, so the Yonge … If you’re not familiar with the Yonge line, in the downtown court it’s underground, then it comes above ground, and it goes back underground at Eglinton in the high density areas. And it’s exactly the same with the Eglinton LRT. You mentioned that it’s a transit hub, and that’s because it’s one of only a few key intersection-

Amit Bhandari: Intersections.

Roy Bhandari: … where two subway lines cross. The first being Yonge and Bloor, second being Yonge and Eglinton, and Shepherd further up north. So, it’s a really, really important area for the transit system.

Amit Bhandari: And future growth.

Roy Bhandari: For future growth. Again, just if you look at those intersections where they are transit hubs we see prices explode.

Amit Bhandari: They escalate quickly.

Roy Bhandari: And that was really the sort of spark that ignited the growth at Yonge and Eglinton. As soon as-

Amit Bhandari: And it’s not just from a residential perspective either.

Roy Bhandari: Commercial.

Amit Bhandari: It’s both. It’s jobs, commercial, everything.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. So I really want to hammer home the importance of this LRT. It is under construction. It will be open for operation in 2020. So we’re only a couple years away before that thing is operational.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: The second thing I want to take back to is you mentioned the retail and you mentioned specifically the RioCan Centre at Yonge and Eglinton. But, closer to home, because just immediately opposite across the street-

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: … across the street from Uovo Condominiums is a building called ArchUp Condominiums, which is … It launched a couple years ago. All but sold out at this point.

Amit Bhandari: Under construction.

Roy Bhandari: Under construction and one of the big important pieces of the puzzle about ArchUp is that they’re actually going to be putting in 80,000 square foot of retail. I know Uovo’s looking into the exact kind of retail that they’re shooting for their.

Mike Santos: Yeah. They’re aiming for … Obviously you want to keep that high-end feel to it but also it’s a community as you said.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: So they’re focusing on grocers, cafes, shops. In terms of details, we don’t know exactly yet what’s going to be there but that’s an aim for it.

Roy Bhandari: When they build the specs for the commercial spaces they always spec for certain things. If they know a grocery store’s going in they build certain things in place. If they know a restaurant’s going in they make sure that the ventilation is there. So they spec for cafes and restaurants and groceries. So we’re not expecting your dry cleaner or your dentist. It doesn’t fit in at Yonge and Eglinton anyway. But, we are expecting more of that community oriented retail space.

Mike Santos: Yeah. Tons of space. Two floors as well, which you don’t often see.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, and from what I recall, and this is obviously not 100% until it’s finalized but an entire floor will be dedicated to the grocery store.

Mike Santos: No.

Roy Bhandari: So, the other one I wanted to quickly go back to is Chaplain Estates.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: There is an importance to this because what we … We see this in areas all over the GTA where you see very affluent areas and then nearby you’ll see a condominium development pop up. And, the reason I bring that up is because it creates a very specific kind of demographic within the building.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So, your entry point to get into these neighborhoods nearby is about $2 million you said for [inaudible 00:07:00]-

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, two million. Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So what ends up happening as we get in Chaplain Estates.

Amit Bhandari: In Chaplain Estates, yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So what ends up happening is you get people who are downsizing from the area. You get kids of the parents who live in that area who want to be staying within the neighborhood. So you get a lot of different neighborhoods that are sort of offshoots of these affluent areas. Prices in these condominiums tend to be very high because the demand tends to be very high.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Reason #2 – Rare Boutique Building

Roy Bhandari: So that transitions nicely into our next point which is the number two reason we’re really excited about Uovo Condominiums and that’s the fact that it’s a boutique building. So in Yonge and Eglinton in an area that’s surrounded by 30, 40, 50 and 60 story condominium towers, having this boutique building is really unique. I know this is something that you look at very closely.

UOVO Boutique Residences Rendering

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. It’s interesting because you don’t tend to see boutique buildings come up an awful lot nowadays. And when they do come up we get really excited. And when they come up in a neighborhood like Chaplin Estates, especially, it’s even more exciting the look and feel. The building is fantastic. Boutique, very exclusive because it’s only 11 stores and 67 units only. In terms of the square footage range, I think it would appeal to people that live in Chapel Estates because you have suite sizes that range all the way to 2,000 square feet. Three plus den units.

Roy Bhandari: [inaudible 00:08:25].

Amit Bhandari: And obviously on the lower side, the smaller side, you’ve got 630 square foot square foot, one plus den units as well. So it appeals to the whole wide range. People who are looking to move down, maybe children of the families that live in the neighborhood. But the big point here is that it’s a boutique building. It’s-

Amit Bhandari: [inaudible 00:08:45]. Very exclusive.

tRoy Bhandari: So there’s a reason that boutique buildings in Toronto tend to do very well on the sell market and the rental market? A couple of reasons is number one you mentioned the exclusivity. It’s only 60 units in this building, all high-end. Another big reason that we get told all the time I want to be in a boutique building especially at this price point is because of the privacy element.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: Privacy is really, really important. The concierge knows everybody on a first name basis. Another important part is a community feel.

Amit Bhandari: Yes. When you’re in a building of 500 people, you don’t know everybody in the building. But in these kinds of buildings you do get to know your neighbors a little bit more.

Mike Santos: Especially if you’re coming from a neighborhood like Chaplain Estates where-

Roy Bhandari: For sure.

Mike Santos: … [inaudible 00:09:26] a little bit better. We talk about this a lot but it fits into the fabric of that area. Right.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: So, it’s nice to see these come up.

Reason #3 – High End Suite Design & Finishes

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. So, transitioning from that, the number three reason that we’re really excited about Uovo is the high end suite designs and finishes. Again, based on the early information that we’ve received, is they’re really paying attention again to that neighborhood understanding what that neighborhood is looking for. And we’ve got some information on some suite finishes which-

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, the information that we have received is not too much, unfortunately. We’re expecting to get some more finer details very soon. But what we do know is that standard ceiling heights will be 9 and 10 feet. You will have a 13 foot kitchen run as opposed to your standard 70 foot kitchen run. So it is an oversized kitchen, as well as an oversized kitchen island which I think is really, really good. It sets the tone very nicely. The suites are also going to have gas inside and out as well.

Roy Bhandari: That’s an awesome … That’s one of those features it’s easy to skim past.

Amit Bhandari: No, I know.

Roy Bhandari: But it’s a big deal. But having-

Mike Santos: People were asking for them all the time.

Amit Bhandari: It’s a big deal.

Mike Santos: It’s not something you see that often.

Roy Bhandari: Especially on the outside. Having it on barbecue on the balcony-

Amit Bhandari: Standard as well.

Roy Bhandari: Standard?

Amit Bhandari: Standard finishes. The other details they’ve given is European-inspired spa-like on suites completion 2021. Beyond that we don’t know. But, you know what, seeing the renderings, the indoor, the interior renderings, the lobby finishes, you are getting a very high end Chaplin Estate-esque building.

UOVO Boutique Residences Rendering

For sure. They’re designed inside and out, because I’m a big fan of the design as well. Outside the you’ll see, of course, in the notes. But the design is fantastic.

Roy Bhandari: Just touching on the exterior design. It’s got this really kind of cool tiered element.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. And what the tiered element does is that it creates these amazing terraces, like these large terraces on a couple of floors. I know the penthouses for sure will have large terraces.

UOVO Boutique Residences Rendering

But coming down a few floors, because of this tiered design, it opens up these very, very large outdoor spaces.

Reason #4 – The Top Schools in Toronto

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. Absolutely. The next point that we’re really excited about, and again, I’m going to shoot this back to Amit. I know this is an important one for you and this neighborhood is really known for its schools.

Amit Bhandari: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: The reason I’m bringing you into this is because I know you moved into this neighborhood. You’ve got a nine-year-old son.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: And the reason that you decided to move into this neighborhood as opposed to any other neighborhood within Toronto is because of the schools.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. Well, there were a number of reasons, school being perhaps the most important-

Roy Bhandari: Primary.

Amit Bhandari: … reason obviously. This area’s no … So, you’re in Midtown, this is Midtown so it’s got a more suburban feel to it.

Roy Bhandari: Residential feel.

Amit Bhandari: Residential and there’s a lot more low rise houses. Compared to [inaudible 00:12:25] less traffic, the school are outstanding here. This specific area I believe is Oriole Park, which is top 5% in all of Ontario.

Roy Bhandari: So the school … So you mentioned the school. Oriole Park is the name of the school?

Amit Bhandari: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: And it’s ranked-

Amit Bhandari: [inaudible 00:12:42] public school. It’s in the top 5%. Even the secondary school is also top 5% in all of Ontario, North Toronto [crosstalk 00:12:51] …

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. It’s interesting, way back when we sort of did an analysis as to why certain neighborhoods appreciate faster or all the neighbors that tend to — a lot more people tend to gravitate towards to. And we noticed that one of the big reasons was schools.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: So if there’s an exceptional school, which this has, this neighborhood has, you are going to get a lot more people wanting to move here. And I can see the type of people, the type of crowd that are going to gravitate to a building like this as well. It will be the families. I can see a lot of families from the neighborhood wanting to move here as well. The schools are fantastic. Absolutely [crosstalk 00:13:34] …

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, and just speaking anecdotally, we’ve had a number of clients who have looked in this area and they’re looking for that 1500, 1600, 1700 two bedroom, three bedrooms.

Amit Bhandari: And they’ve asked for the schools too.

Roy Bhandari: Specifically because of the school?

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: Right? They’ve got kids that may be growing up, but they’re looking for that kind of product and it’s very limited in this area in this condominium space. So, again, this is understanding what this area is looking for and building towards that. So, again, the schools are really two of the top — in the top 5% of all Ontario.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So we’re talking top, top, top schools.

Amit Bhandari: Very, very good schools.

Reason #5 – The Developer

Roy Bhandari: Number five, the next point that we want to talk about is the developer.

Amit Bhandari: Okay.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, Sure Group. They’ve been very active in the last few years, picking up some of the best sites.

Amit Bhandari: They’re a very interesting organization, I have to say. So the best way to explain it is that they operate in, I guess, the two sister companies. And before I speak about the Sure Group I want to talk about Sure corporation rather. I want to talk about the Walsh Group, which I don’t think many people are aware of. The Walsh Group is basically the same company. But they’re basically like a consultancy company. So they operate … They go in-

Roy Bhandari: A marketing firm essentially.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. They’re a marketing firm. But, they do some very interesting things. So, they do things like develop a marketing material, all the way to helping design and decide on suite mixes. Even design floor plans. So they’ve done a number of … There’s a lot of developments that they have a hand in. just to name a few, actually, River City, all three phases; the Nest, IT Lofts, One Rainsford, Hardwood, Beacon. So, specifically, this is an interesting one with The Nest. So they’ve worked alongside Raw Design to-

Roy Bhandari: My favorite architect.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, they’re amazing. Then they have a very unique design. You know it’s a Raw design when you see a Raw Design. This is why this is cool company, they actually came up with a new material for The Nests called fiber sea cladding, which is … You read about these guys and you think they don’t have one area where they excel. They seem to excel in all areas. At the same time, they also won a Build Award for the design of their penthouses at The Nest. So, they have a lot of expertise and experience. Some of the companies that they work for as well, developers that they’ve worked alongside. Rockport, Urban Capital, I mentioned River City, Sbarro, North Drive, Lamb, Street Call, [inaudible 00:16:19]. So they’ve got-

Mike Santos: They [inaudible 00:16:22].

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. They worked. So, the other side is the Sure Corporation which is I’d say more of the development are. An example is the King East where they developed with High Park Homes and Lamb. So that was a couple of years ago with King East. And then the other one was Ivy, which I believe you mentioned a few weeks ago with Dream.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Now, Dream, in case anybody-

Roy Bhandari: One of the biggest companies.

Amit Bhandari: … who don’t know about Dream, if Dream are picking a company like Sure to work with, it says a lot about Sure. Because Dream, they hold roughly $14 billion worth of under management assets.

Roy Bhandari: The big news that Dream were involved in the last year or so they purchased Scotia Plaza, the big red building on base. They built-

Amit Bhandari: Downtown.

Roy Bhandari: … purchased the entire building for over a billion dollars recently. So, that that’s the kind of partner that [crosstalk 00:17:12] …

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. No, and like I said, they’re a very unique company and they don’t have experience or expertise in one single area. They’re pretty much covered across the board. The other cool thing is about them is they also help further developers, they also help bring in experience and expertise wherever they need it. So if there’s a specific architect or landscape or anything like that, they sort of bring in these people as well. So, they operate in a very multifaceted way.

Roy Bhandari: Interesting.

Amit Bhandari: [inaudible 00:17:44] …

Roy Bhandari: [inaudible 00:17:46] but we also want to mention that they’ve got another site downtown.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So they’re involved all over right now. The Garden District condos and right in downtown core. So, again, we’re dealing with a very, very good developer.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, absolutely.

Roy Bhandari: So, we’re recording this right now. We’re at the end of May, end of March, sorry. Timelines are always very important in new condo launches, especially in something like this with just-

Mike Santos: Sixty-seven.

Roy Bhandari: … 67 units. Timelines, what do we know about timelines right now?

Amit Bhandari: We haven’t been given specific dates but we have been told that this is expected to launch in April.

Roy Bhandari: April.

Amit Bhandari: So it’s not too far away. We urge people to get in touch with us, let us know. If those that have yet to know about this development and have only gotten to know the development now, register, let us know, get on that priority access list.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. So between now and the launch time frame this is the perfect time to get to know and understand what’s happening in that building.

Amit Bhandari: The building, the area.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. So once it does launch you’re able to move quick. Great. So we’re really excited to work on Uovo Condominiums. If you have any questions between now and the launch, please feel free to reach out to us and email us info talkcondo.com.