Weekly Roundtable: in.DE, Playground, Central & More – Release Radar 025

We cover a lot of ground this week as we’re starting to get confirmation on various new condo launches throughout the GTA.

We start by talking about condos that launched last week with Playground Condos, Central Condos, in.DE Condos and a brand new release at Zen Condos keeping us busy over the last week or so.  Zen Condos is all but sold out, but there is still opportunity at the other three projects so be sure to register and act fast.

Looking ahead, we’re very excited for a brand new release of suites in some prime locations including 8 Cumberland, Home Condos, Monde Condos and E2 Condos.

We also have firm launch dates for:

Anyone registered to the Release Radar Email gets direct links to download all the latest floor plans and pricing for the latest new launches – so make sure you’re on the list and never miss another condo launch.

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TalkCondo Release Radar 025: Transcript

Roy Bhandari: Welcome to the TalkCondo Release Radar, where every single week, we talk about the best new condo launches to help you save thousands of dollars. This last week’s been an interesting week. We’ve been saying that the spring market’s going to get going, and it really really did last week. We had a couple of launches, been very very active, I’m just getting caught up on my sleep right now, so last week we had Playground Condos launch. On Wednesday, I believe it was, and we had our event. It was insane, and this weekend we saw the signings. Central Condos launched. On last week’s episode, we talked about how that one came out of the blue. And it’s come out and signings are still a couple of weeks away, but already, we’re seeing [crosstalk 00:00:59]

Mike Santos: Demand for the [inaudible 00:01:01] so to speak.

Roy Bhandari: We’re going to talk about all of these in a minute, but in.DE as well, in.DE Condominiums did a very very limited release. But the other one that came out last week that surprised us was Zen Condos, had three new floors. Zen’s one of our favorite condos by one of our favorite builders, CenterCourt Developments. They released 60 units and as of this morning, they had one left. Which is amazing.

Roy Bhandari: So jumping right into those and breaking them down one by one, Playground Condominiums, we’ve done a full deep dive on this already. We’ve talked about the top five reasons to be excited about this one. The limited release that they did last week is now opening up to a bigger release, so give us a quick rundown, Mike, on Playground and where we’re at and how to move forward on this one.

Mike Santos: Yeah, so Playground was done … or not done, they launched, like you said, last Wednesday, first signings were this weekend or last weekend. So at this point, there’s … essentially, it is going to be any new worksheets for any new releases of units. So there’s still time, there are still units available. They are dwindling as we speak, like we saw with Zen, those new units get released, they can go rather quickly. In terms of the project itself, we’ve talked about it in great detail, we have links for it, but just a quick quick recap, again, [inaudible 00:02:22] area in between three different neighborhoods, Liberty Village to the west, Fort York to the south, King west to the north, and it’s done by Citizen in Fernbrook and we’re looking at around just under $900 a square foot.

Roy Bhandari: Which is a great price for that.

Mike Santos: [crosstalk 00:02:39] are amazing, I was just talking to a client on the weekend who said, you know, “I’m looking for something that’s like, two bed, maybe around 700,000, can I even find that anymore?” And I said, “There’s definitely some options.” So for families as well, so it’s a good project for entry level, for investors, for families, it hits all three of those demographics that we were talking about. So definitely want to …

Roy Bhandari: Just want to touch on one unique feature here. The unique feature here is that … it is already under construction.

Mike Santos: Yeah, exactly.

Roy Bhandari: So again, the timeline is much more accelerated. It’s only a couple years until you’re going to get the keys on this one.

Mike Santos: That’s a big point, having it already under construction and ready to go.

Roy Bhandari: So the next one is Central Condominiums. Central Condominiums by Concord in the Entertainment District. Again, this one really caught us off guard last week, but we’ve had the chance to dive in and it’s a great project. Amit, I know you’re a big fan of the Entertainment District, give us a quick rundown on this one and give us some quick notes on Central.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, it’s by Concord, very well-known developer. They’ve done a lot of cool stuff in Toronto. So this was, like you said, it caught us off guard. Entertainment district is one of our favourite neighbourhoods, just because of the pace of growth that’s happening there. To see all of a sudden a new release in the Entertainment District, this caught us off guard because we worked on 357 King. And then all of a sudden, we saw another new development …

Roy Bhandari: Theater.

Amit Bhandari: Theatre District. And then all of a sudden, another one, Central. So it’s an exciting new development, we’re big fans of the entertainment district, really looking forward to helping people secure the units here.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, and Entertainment District’s another one where the absorption rate is so very, very strong.

Amit Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:04:18] right now.

Roy Bhandari: Not just on this side, the investor side, but also on the resale side, where again, very low inventory.

Amit Bhandari: You seen the [inaudible 00:04:26] price per square foot rapidly increasing as well, just because of that demand. You’re right next to the financial district, so you’ve got a lot of that young urban professional crowd wanting to live in this live/work/play kind of neighborhood, and I think the Entertainment District checks off all of those boxes [inaudible 00:04:42]

Roy Bhandari: And price point, we’re at about $1100 per square foot, which in the heart of the entertainment district, now we’re reselling.

Amit Bhandari: You’re reselling, you’re a resell [crosstalk 00:04:50]

Roy Bhandari: Resale, we see Bond Condominiums as an example, trade at $1100-$1200 Bisha, $1100-$1200. So we’re in that price point now.

Roy Bhandari: Another one that was very interesting, and this is … again, partial launch. It’s not a full launch. The condominium is in.DE Condominiums, by Menkes [crosstalk 00:05:12]. We’ve been talking about this one as a lead-up. If you’re on the priority list, we’ll definitely be reaching out to you on this one. It’s a limited release, only … it’s only a small building to begin with, 200 units, but a portion of the building has been released to the Platinum brokers.

Amit Bhandari: It’s a very small release.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, it is a very small one.

Amit Bhandari: Very small.

Roy Bhandari: It is a small release. But again, it gives a … I know this is an area that you’re very familiar with. Jarvis and Dundas.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, it’s just a touch east of Jarvis and Dundas. The big driving force in this whole entire neighborhood, in terms of development, has always been Ryerson University. I think partly because of the big shortage that Ryerson has traditionally had … I spoke about this a couple of weeks ago, where when I went, there were kids back then, students back then begging to stay with me. Because there was just a shortage of places for them to stay. A lot of the new development going way back to Pace Condominiums in 2011 has just been able to fill that demand, and there’s still more demand because Ryerson itself is expanding. So there’s a lot more demand for places to stay, and like I said, the new development is just fulfilling that demand.

Roy Bhandari: Well, you mention Ryerson, but Ryerson’s only one of the reasons …

Amit Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:06:27]

Roy Bhandari: … why. You know, you’re not too far from St. Mike’s Hospital.

Amit Bhandari: Hospitals. If you look at it in terms of a map, you know, downtown Toronto, [inaudible 00:06:35] in Dundas, I’d say, is probably the dead center of downtown Toronto. You’ve got the hospitals, you’ve got Eaton Centre, you’ve got Dundas Square, you’ve got Dundas Subway Station, which in itself opens up the entire city to [crosstalk 00:06:49]

Mike Santos: We’re going to touch on this in a lot more detail …

Amit Bhandari: Of course.

Mike Santos: … in individual videos, but just Jarvis Church Corridor itself.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, it’s growing.

Mike Santos: From [crosstalk 00:06:56] to [inaudible 00:06:56] if you look into the detail, the amount of revitalization’s going to happen between this corridor in the next …

Amit Bhandari: Absolutely.

Mike Santos: … decade, it’s incredible [inaudible 00:07:06] This is part of that huge redevelopment there.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: For sure. So yeah, so right now, we’re in an interesting time where we’ve been starved for downtown condominiums. Right now, we’ve got three really, really great options because Playground, Central Condominiums, and in.DE, so those of you who’ve been waiting for downtown, now is the time to reach out to us.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, absolutely.

Roy Bhandari: We’re going to shift gears now and talk about some of the projects that are upcoming. So a lot of these we have been mentioning in past videos, but there’s a couple of interesting ones that I really did want to touch on, and these are not new projects, but they’re new release of suites and projects. I mentioned last week, Zen Condos had 60 new suites. In a couple of days, every single one is sold out and the reason for these one … the reason that we’re excited for these is that these are all previously sold out projects that have a new release, a new opportunity to get in, and they’re all in amazing locations. The first one is E2 Condominiums, which is at [inaudible 00:08:06] launched at the back end of last year. Again, it was one that got picked up very very fast.

Amit Bhandari: We worked on this, one of my favorite projects, [inaudible 00:08:16] roughly 44 stories, was launched initially, sold incredibly well. I think they were practically all done within I’d say a month. That’s only with few units here and there, some of the larger stuff, but the killer feature of this particular … And we did an interview as well, with Matt Young, and the key thing with this particular project … and there’s not many around, is this is going to have direct underground access to not just one high speed transit line, but two. So it’s going to have direct access to the LRT, which is an east/west bound high speed transit line, as well as the Young Subway line, which is … it’s killer. You don’t tend to see that.

Roy Bhandari: It’s very rare. You don’t see this [crosstalk 00:09:03]

Amit Bhandari: … there’s only certain intersections that have two high speed lines.

Mike Santos: And underground means everything in Toronto [inaudible 00:09:08]

Amit Bhandari: Of course.

Mike Santos: Well, six months of the year.

Amit Bhandari: And the other key thing here is … and you touched on this a couple of weeks go, where there’s going to be 15 stops along the LRT that are underground. Young and Edmonton is one of those stops, so it’s a true sort of subway-esque stop. So you’re going to have access to both underground … you take one level, you get access to one line, and then you go underground again and [crosstalk 00:09:28]

Roy Bhandari: Exactly the same as [inaudible 00:09:29]

Amit Bhandari: Exactly, exactly. So there’s a new release, there’s a new release of suites.

Roy Bhandari: [crosstalk 00:09:33] and the suites here is going to be the penthouse collection, the high floors.

Amit Bhandari: The high floor stuff.

Roy Bhandari: And the specialty terrace units, with these huge terrace.

Amit Bhandari: So somebody on the fifth floor, beautiful terrace unit, bigger suites, more tailored toward say the end user, I see. Beautiful building.

Roy Bhandari: I think we’re about three or four weeks away from that release. So if you’re interested, make sure you’re on the list for that and we’ll definitely reach out. The next new release is sort of three buildings from the same builder.

Amit Bhandari: One of my favorite builders.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, so Great Gulf Homes, obviously one of the top builders in the city, and they’ve got … What a lot of the bigger builders tend to do is they tend to hold back units. So they don’t release everything at the beginning, they tend to hold some back so they can sell some at a later time. That’s exactly what they’ve done here. So three of the projects are … the first one is Monde Condominiums.

Amit Bhandari: Which you can actually see when you’re driving down, it’s there. It’s standing beautifully.

Mike Santos: It’s nice, very nice.

Roy Bhandari: The second one is Home Condominiums, in King east, and the third one is 8 Cumberland, in Yorkville. So I’m going to touch on each one very very quickly. In terms of timelines, we’ve been told end of April, early May for this release, but we are anticipating big demand for all three.

Mike Santos: All three at the same time, then?

Roy Bhandari: Yes, it’s going to be an inventory release, and so each one itself has its own little story, so we won’t do a big big dive right now. But we will, as it gets closer, but Monde is going to be … It’s much closer to completion, they’ve topped off, they’re finishing the building right now. It’s that waterfront condominium, and you’re going to get a new release of the stack. Which means new water-facing suites, new city-facing suites, and this is a building designed by Moshe Safdie.

Amit Bhandari: Moshe Safdie.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, one of the top architects in the world. So that one’s a really really exciting one. It’s about one year turnaround time. The next one we’ll talk about is Home. Home Condominiums is at King East. East sort of Parliament area. What we’re really excited about there is there’s a couple of major developments there that we won’t get into too much detail, but I think they’re important to highlight. Number one is the Unilever site, which has been in the papers a lot. If you’re not familiar with the Unilever site, it’s a multimillion square foot brand new financial [inaudible 00:11:52] that’s looking to be developed just across the way from here, which is going to add a ton of jobs, ton of units. The second one is the relief line, the subway. So the brand new downtown subway, which is expected to be on the east side, has now received funding, given the go ahead, and it’s going to be steps.

Mike Santos: [crosstalk 00:12:09] just the next steps, yeah. It’s huge.

Roy Bhandari: So this is going to be a really interesting one. Finally, 8 Cumberland. If you’re looking for Yorkville projects, you know how rare they are. 8 Cumberland, there was a lot of people that were left disappointed because of just how much demand there is. So this is going to be a new, I believe five floors, that are going to be released and I can’t … These are really special projects that I think are going to be very interesting.

Roy Bhandari: So now that we’ve talked about the new releases, let’s talk very quickly now about the new launches again. Looking forward over the next few weeks …

Mike Santos: Our coming soons.

Roy Bhandari: Yep, our coming soons. So these are the ones that are … over the next couple of weeks, we have dates now for a lot of them, when they are going to be launching. And the first one is 9th & Main, in Stouffville. I know you’ve been looking at this one really closely, Mike, with Pemberton. We’ve got a bit of an accelerated timeline now, so why don’t you give us an overview on the timeline?

Mike Santos: Blowout demand again. Stouffville, I mean, it was definitely one that we thought would be obviously a lot of interest, but we were just blown away.

Amit Bhandari: Just the level of interest is like, okay.

Mike Santos: Yeah. It’s … We’re talking about downtown Toronto projects, but these outside the core projects, like, these areas are just screaming for development. People want to stay in their community but they’re maybe getting older or they’re first time buyers. These kind of projects end up being extremely extremely in demand, so the timelines have kind of moved up in a sense. Still tomorrow, Thursday will be the launch. So information is going to be going out on Thursday. But signings are going to be pulled up to the weekend because of the amount of demand.

Roy Bhandari: So just to [inaudible 00:13:55] what typically happens for a … what we would call an end user condominium, is that we would have the weekend to bring clients in, show them around, so they can get a look and feel of what’s going on. But early demand [inaudible 00:14:08] buyers … they’re ready to go. They know what they want, they know their price point, they know they want to buy here. So they’re actually not giving you that weekend anymore. This weekend is going to be the signings, which again, speaks to the level of demand for this kind of project, to do this accelerated launch, I think speaks volumes in terms of the demand levels that we see.

Mike Santos: And I’ve been in touch with people already, telling them “The information is coming, if you are excited about this project, if you really want to secure a unit at this project, you have to be on the ball this week, Thursday, because it’s going to be insane come the weekend. It’s first come, first serve. Again, you can still, of course, come out on the weekend and see things, but …”

Amit Bhandari: Secure your unit first.

Mike Santos: Exactly. So that’s going to be the advice that we go with. Again, 9th & Main, three minutes south of Main Street in Stouffville, GO station nearby, beautiful building. The renderings are …

Amit Bhandari: The green space as well.

Mike Santos: … incredible. Green space, the west facing units are going to be so nice. So that’s coming up very very soon. Tomorrow.

Roy Bhandari: Yep, tomorrow. And we’re told price point’s around $625 a square foot. 625 to 650, including parking.

Mike Santos: Including parking locker.

Roy Bhandari: Yep. So we’re really excited about 9th & Main. The next one is Cardiff Condominiums, which is on Edmonton. I know you’ve had a look at Cardiff, so give us a quick rundown of the Cardiff [inaudible 00:15:34]

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. There’s not too much information, unfortunately, about this new launch. I know this area very well, it’s … for those that want to check it out, it’s just west of Bay View and Eglinton. That’s a very key intersection because Bay View and Eglinton is actually going to have an LRT stop as well. We just talked about an LRT stop at Young and Eglinton, there will be one at Bay View and Eglinton, and that, like I was mentioning before, Young and Eglinton being one of the 15 stops underground, this is also one of those stops that will be underground as well. The building itself, another boutique building, which I absolutely love to see, it’s only 12 stories, and only 92 suites. I’ve seen the design, it’s by RAW. Love RAW, amazingly designed, very modern architecture. It’s an exciting project. It’s a five minute walk from the LRT stop. So the LRT stop itself, there’s actually going to be a north entrance and a south entrance. And from this location, from this site, from Cardiff Condos, literally a two to three minute walk from a LRT stop.

Roy Bhandari: And that one’s coming in the next week or so.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. We don’t have too much information, but it’s coming.

Mike Santos: It’s coming soon.

Roy Bhandari: Now we want to transition out into [Pickering 00:16:51]. So we now have a date for Universal City Condominiums. So Universal City is the fourth condominium by Chestnut Hill in Pickering. We did a big session on the second building and a third building there, and we’ve seen a lot of demand in Pickering.

Amit Bhandari: San Francisco by the Bay [crosstalk 00:17:10]

Roy Bhandari: San Francisco projects. Universal City is different from the San Francisco ones because it’s much closer to the GO station. So anybody who knows the Pickering GO station, it’s about a 25 minute ride into the city.

Amit Bhandari: That’s key, that’s really important.

Roy Bhandari: Which is great, because if you think about … we think about some of the subway stops further north, you’re much closer to the city. I mean, it takes …

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:17:30] it takes to get to downtown Toronto from say, Yorkville more. It takes about that time. In the times, yeah.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, so now Pickering … And we’re going to do a really big discussion on Pickering. I do think it deserves it. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going on in Pickering right now that people aren’t aware of, with the new casino and the new entertainment district that they’re building there. So there’s a lot of stuff happening, but Universal City is the first of again, a multiphase that they’re doing down at the GO station. So give us some timelines and some quick overview on Universal, Mike.

Mike Santos: So we are going to be getting the information, broker information, plan and broker information April 25th. April 25th, so end of April. So as soon as we have that information, and we’ll obviously let people know, I have a lot of people who have been asking about this because again, Pickering is one of those areas where price per square foot is still really attractive. And again, it has that … it’s one of those places, if you’re not familiar with it, it sounds far, but it’s really not. From the area you know that it’s 25 minutes and it’s a seven minute walk to the [inaudible 00:18:35] so you could be door to door to Union Station within close to half an hour.

Amit Bhandari: And it’s also one of those cities that is primed for development because of that.

Roy Bhandari: It’s got the waterfront right there as well, Frenchman’s Bay, so there’s a lot of great stuff going on there.

Mike Santos: Over 30,000 jobs coming, the population is going to be probably doubling over the next X number of years. It’s just one of those massive … and again, we talk about master plan communities, getting in to an early phase of this project is going to be key as Pickering develops over the years. Not just end user project, but investor project as well, is going to be massive here.

Roy Bhandari: For sure. Okay, excellent. So the next batch of projects that we’ve already talked about in quite a lot of detail, so we don’t want to spend too much time on them. We do still like to keep mentioning them because they are sort of bubbling up and they’re going to be coming real soon and we don’t want … We want to make sure that they’re at the front.

Roy Bhandari: The first one is Garden District Condos, Mutual and Shuter. Mike, do you want to give us 10, 15 seconds on Garden District?

Mike Santos: Yeah. Mutual and Shuter, coming soon, we don’t have an exact date yet. We’re thinking probably in the next …

Roy Bhandari: We were always told April sometime, so.

Mike Santos: Yeah, April sometime, so sometime this month. We talked about earlier, Jarvis revitilizations, part of that corridor with just a huge amount of projects coming. 35 stories, only 234 units, triple A location, five minutes to Young and Dundas Square, the TTC, Ryerson University. So I know they’re a huge core Toronto project.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, okay. The next one is the Park Suites at Lakeside Residences. Amit?

Amit Bhandari: Yep, it’s going to be …

Roy Bhandari: Give us a quick rundown.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, very quickly, East Bay front, we’ve gone on and on about East Bay front. It’s the third release of the first phase of Lakeside Residences, the initial release of the city suites, which was the back porch of the podium and the sky suites, which was the tower portion, the park suites is the front portion of the podium. Park Suites because the west side is facing the park, Sherwood Common Park. Looking forward to it, it’s only 15 floors, 250-odd suites. Very excited about it. One of our favorite neighborhoods to work in, one of our favorite developers of the year so far.

Roy Bhandari: So the key takeaway for the parks we see is that it is going to be that more investor-driven batch of units with the smaller units and I think this one’s going to fly, based on the demand for [crosstalk 00:21:01]

Mike Santos: … suites.

Roy Bhandari: Same as the first release, yeah. The next one is M2M. Young and Finch, Newtonbrook Plaza. This one, again, a lot of demand from the locals especially, it’s a plaza that’s near and dear to the locals. So give us a quick rundown on M2M. Again, we’re still waiting on firm timelines, but they are getting very very close now.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, no, just very quickly, it’s at Young and [inaudible 00:21:27] which is about a five minute walk from the Finch subway station. The site acquisition, it happened last year, was one of the biggest land acquisitions of the year, 200-odd million. The company is phenomenal, they’ve got a very interesting background when it comes to sports and recreation. So they’re going to try and do a tie-in to this development. They’ve got a space dedicated on the land for a park and a playground, which is phenomenal, you don’t tend to see that all that often.

Amit Bhandari: It’s a multiphase development, which we really really like. Five towers, the initial release will be two towers, 34 and 36 stories I believe, with an eight story podium. There’s going to be a mix of ground level tenants, so there’s going to be office space, there’s going to be retail, there’s plans for a daycare center. It’s a very interesting development, we’re really really looking forward to it. A brand new developer to the city, Toronto City, but it’s very much a global developer that developed Australia, Canada, they’ve got a very long and established background. So really really looking forward to what they bring.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, and I think with M2M, obviously we’re going to do a full video.

Amit Bhandari: Big deep dive, yeah, yeah.

Roy Bhandari: This is another project that deserves a big discussion, and we’re looking forward to that. The next one that is … we’re starting to get some early information on is D’or Condos in Thornhill. You had a look at that.

Mike Santos: Yep. Thornhill, so anybody that’s familiar with the area, Bathers and Center is the major intersection, just two blocks west at New [inaudible 00:22:59] It’s another Fernbrook and Citizen venture, so our Playground Condominium [inaudible 00:23:04] This is going to be more luxury-geared living, is what they’re saying, but there’s tons of amenities nearby, retail nearby, all of [inaudible 00:23:14] stores, Promina is there. And you have two GO stations within 10 minutes for anybody that’s looking to stay within Thornhill, but still looking to get downtown. We’re being told more luxury-geared living, so maybe more people from the area, end user product potentially, but still not a ton of information, but it’s one of those that will sneak up on us and we’ll have a lot more information soon.

Roy Bhandari: Similar to D’or, the next one as well, which is the final one we’re going to talk about today, is Vendome Condominiums, in Markham.

Mike Santos: Yeah, we don’t have a huge amount of information on Vendome, but it’s essentially kind of very similar. It’s in Markham, Warden and Seven, it’s a five minute drive to new York University campus.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah, which is huge.

Mike Santos: Which is absolutely massive, and I don’t think people really talk about that as much as they should. Five minute drive to Unionville GO station, again, just a lot of those well-located central projects where you’ve got Markham and Thornhill, you’ve got huge populations there, people are craving condominiums in these areas. So as soon as we have more information, we’ll obviously … bigger, deeper dives. This just gives people the idea of, “Hey, there’s something coming within this area.”

Amit Bhandari: Well, Markham is growing rapidly, too, right?

Roy Bhandari: Based on my early discussions with the team there, Vendome, it’s a French-inspired high end building and that’s where the name comes from. So we’re expecting more information very very soon on Vendome as well. So that about does it for this week. We’re really excited about all of these projects and we do encourage you to reach out to us once you know which ones you’re interested in. Sign up for the priority access on the email that you received, and we’ll be definitely getting in touch with you as soon as we get more information.