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Found 39 results

  1. Very very cool story. The building was constructed in 1929 for the Laurentian Bank. In 1975, the bank covered the building with chunky cladding made of metal and white stucco. Then, last spring, the overlay was torn off, revealing a striking stone building built in a Beaux Arts style, made of Scottish red sandstone. - The new owner plans to set up his son’s veterinary clinic in one of two ground-floor commercial spaces. - A third floor will be added to the building to accommodate 15 residential condo units. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-diary-new-life-for-parc-ave-building http://histoireplateau.org/architecture/architectures_traditionnelles/facades/ancienneFacadeBeauxArts.html
  2. I believe this project may already have a thread on this forum but I cannot find it for the life of me. Next door to Le Greystone. All units are on mls.ca between 230K (746 sf) and 340K (1068 sf).
  3. The office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to design a large-scale residential complex in Singapore. The project will be located on an expansive 8 hectare site bounded by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road, in a central position between the National University and downtown Singapore. With 170,000 m2 of built floor area, the development will provide over 1,000 apartment units of varying sizes with extensive outdoor spaces and landscaping. Instead of creating a cluster of isolated, vertical towers – the default typology of residential developments in Singapore – the design explores a dramatically different approach to the issues and challenges of living and social space. 32 apartment blocks, each six-stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form six large-scale permeable courtyards. The interlocking volumes form the topography of a “vertical village” with cascading sky gardens and private roof terraces vertically extending the landscape of the courtyards. Extensive communal facilities which are embedded in the lush vegetation offer multiple opportunities for social interaction in a natural environment. While maintaining the privacy of the individual apartment units through unobstructed views and generous spacing of the building blocks, the horizontal and interconnected volumes create an explicitly social network of outdoor spaces within the green terrain. The site completes a green belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah and Mount Faber Parks, while the stacked volumetric relationship of the apartment blocks extends the landscape and forms a mount/hill that relates to the surrounding topography. Beyond the extensive presence of nature and collective space, the project will be designed to respond carefully to the tropical climate and address issues of sustainability through incorporating multiple features of energy-saving technologies. The project is lead by Ole Scheeren, Director of OMA Beijing, together with Eric Chang, Associate. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=1943
  4. Trump Files Suit Against Lenders Developer Seeks to Extend $640 Million Loan on a Chicago Skyscraper Wsj.com By ALEX FRANGOS Tall Trouble: Donald Trump's Chicago skyscraper project, the Trump International Hotel & Tower, during construction in July. Mr. Trump is suing to extend a $640 million senior construction loan on the 92-story Trump International Hotel & Tower from a group of lenders led by Deutsche Bank AG and including a unit of Merrill Lynch & Co., Union Labor Life Insurance Co., iStar Financial Inc., a publicly traded real-estate investment trust, and Highland Funds, a unit of Highland Capital Management LP. The tower, which contains 339 hotel rooms and 486 condominiums, will be the second-tallest building in the U.S. behind Chicago's Sears Tower and is expected to be completed in mid-2009. The hotel, on the lower floors, opened earlier this year. But sales of both the hotel rooms and the condominiums have come in below original estimates and the project's current projected revenue remains short by nearly $100 million needed to pay off the senior lenders. The lawsuit, filed in New York State supreme court in Queens, is a further indication of the dysfunction in the real-estate lending markets as borrowers and lenders struggle to resolve troubled projects. People familiar with the matter say the lender group, which is made up of more than a dozen institutions, was unable to agree on the extension. The suit demands -- among other things -- that an extension provision in the original loan agreement be triggered because of the "unprecedented financial crisis in the credit markets now prevailing, in part due to acts Deutsche Bank itself participated in." This so-called force majeure provision is common in contracts and can be applied to acts of war and natural disasters. Mr. Trump already extended the loan once in May. From the Archives Mr. Trump asked for $3 billion in damages. The suit won't affect construction of the project, according to people familiar who say there is enough money to complete the $90 million work that is left. The suit says Mr. Trump attempted to resolve the impasse by offering to buy the project's unsold hotel units for $97 million. That money would be used to pay down the construction loan, along with the $204 million in proceeds from closed units and the $353 million that is expected from units that close in the next six months. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment. Mr. Trump has put $77 million of his own equity into the tower, which he would stand to lose in a potential foreclosure. Other than a $40 million guarantee to complete the project, Mr. Trump has no recourse obligations to the project. A Trump spokesman declined to comment. [Trump, Donald] Deutsche Bank originated the construction loan in 2005 and sold off most of it to others, retaining less than $10 million of exposure on that loan. The suit alleges that Deutsche Bank compromised the senior construction loan by selling pieces off to "so many institutions, banks, junk bond firms, and virtually anybody that seemed to come along," that the lending group is unable to come to a consensus on how to deal with the matter. It also alleges Deutsche Bank created a "serious conflict of interest" by taking a separate stake in the project's so-called mezzanine loan that was originated by private-equity firm Fortress Investment Group. The mezzanine loan, which is junior to the senior construction loan, had an original principal of $130 million but will eventually accrue to $360 million. Deutsche Bank purchased roughly one-quarter of the mezzanine loan, according to people familiar with the matter. The suit names the mezzanine lenders as defendants, including Fortress and its affiliates, Newcastle Investment Corp. and Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund, as well as Dune Capital Management and Blackacre Institutional Capital Management, the real-estate arm of Cerberus Capital Management. Fortress didn't respond to a request for comment. The other lenders declined to comment. Unless sales of the condo and hotel units restart despite the worst housing market in generations, and quickly generate $400 million in new sales, it will be difficult for the project to pay off the mezzanine loan, which comes due in May 2009.
  5. New housing plan unveiled The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago A plan by the Metropolitan Montreal Community that would cost $500 million over the next five years to build, renovate and repair 10,000 low-income and social housing units in the greater Montreal area was unveiled yesterday. The agency co-ordinates urban and regional planning for 82 municipalities in and around the island of Montreal. Paul Larocque, who heads the CMM's housing commission, announced the five-year plan that would see 20,000 units built across Quebec. The greatest need, however, is on the island of Montreal, where the occupancy rate of existing social and low-cost housing units is 100 per cent. "The challenge is enormous," said Michael Prescott, Montreal city council executive committee member. "We need the co-operation of all levels of government to assure stable financing if we are to realize our objectives by 2013." Most of the funding is already secure. The Quebec government has set aside $26 million a year under the five-year Accès Logis program to build new housing units and has earmarked another $96 million a year until 2013 to renovate and repair existing housing units under another infrastructure program, Habitations à loyer modique. It appears the federal government is on board. On Sept. 4, the Harper government allocated $1.9 billion to extend programs to combat homelessness in Canada, including in Montreal, but in the middle of an election campaign, it hasn't bothered to tell anyone. "We are well on our way to meeting our needs," said James McGregor, a vice-president with the Société d'habitation du Québec, the principal government agency responsible for affordable housing in Quebec. "But we only found out about the federal government's participation through the CMHC website. It's a very curious thing." No one from the department of Human Resources and Social Development was available to comment yesterday.
  6. Building booms across country HEATHER SCOFFIELD Globe and Mail Update June 5, 2008 at 9:10 AM EDT OTTAWA — Building permits in Canada soared in April, rising 14.5 per cent from March because of widespread residential and non-residential activity in all provinces, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The jump means contractors took out $6.4-billion worth of permits, the highest level since last October. “Canadian builder permits were on a tear in April,” Stewart Hall, market strategist for HSBC Canada, said in a note to clients. The gain surpassed economists' expectations by a long shot. They had been expecting a 0.5 per cent increase, after a drop of 4.5 per cent March. House under construction The Globe and Mail Building permits are a notoriously volatile economic indicator, and economists warned not to get too excited about the big monthly leap. The general trend for building permits in both the residential and non-residential sectors has been down since last summer, Statscan noted. Residential permits rose 13.4 per cent from a month earlier, mainly because of growth in multi-family units such as condominiums. Over the past five years, demand has gradually shifted away from more expensive single-family homes to more affordable multi-family buildings, Statscan said. In April, permits for multi-family units rose 19.1 per cent, while single family homes declined 0.6 per cent. “This report does suggest that some improvement in building activity may lie ahead for the Canadian housing sector,” said Millan Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities. “However, the fact that all of this increase came from the volatile multi-units component does suggest ... some give-back in the coming month.” In the non-residential sector, the value of permits rose 16.5 per cent from a month earlier, because of strong commercial intentions. Indeed, commercial permits rose 20.2 per cent, as interest in building hotels and retail outlets surged. Industrial permits rose 6.7 per cent, after a large drop in March, as Alberta manufacturing and primary industries regained some interest. Institutional building permits rose 13 per cent in the month, driven by projects for new medical buildings. “The non-residential sector continued to be positively affected by low office vacancy rates and a vigorous retail sector, despite a drop in corporate profits,” Statscan said. Regionally, all provinces saw gains in April, especially in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, which all posted double-digit increases. Ontario saw the largest increase in dollar terms, with a $2.4-billion leap in the value of permits issued, or a jump of 12.5 per cent. Multi-family homes were the driving force. By city, the largest increase in dollars was in Toronto, again because of multi-family units. “While these gains suggest we will some new housing activity going forward, some of this growth is on the back of declines experienced at the beginning of the year,” said economists at Bank of Nova Scotia. “Thus, despite the fact that permits surged in April, the overall trend remains to the downside.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080605.wbuildingpermits0506/BNStory/Business/home
  7. :yikes: Procter & Gamble for the next two days is filming a commercial, inside and out of where I live. I can not wait to see the commercial. It is pretty funny. Outside my window I see this mezzanine type of thing. Guess this is decent, compared to having celebs use one of the units, once and a while when they are in Montreal filming.
  8. Downtown lacks affordable housing: group Jan RavensbergenThe Gazette Wednesday, May 21, 2008 MONTREAL - Lower-income Montrealers - anybody with annual family revenue of $55,000 or less - are getting the squeeze during the city's downtown condo-construction boom, a study released Wednesday concludes. No social or community housing was built in the downtown Ville Marie borough during 2006, a round-table group on downtown housing said. Construction of that type of affordable housing completely dried up, plunging to zero from 11 per cent of residential construction across the borough during 2005. For the two years, an overall total of 184 such housing units were built in Ville Marie. Among the overall total of 3,186 units, that boils down to roughly one affordable unit for every 17 built. The report was produced by the Department of urban and tourism studies at l'Université de Montréal, with the participation of the Comité logement Centre-Sud, which represents tenants. "We need a counterweight to the speculative effect brought to the downtown by such projects as the Quartier des spectacles, the new (French-language) super-hospital and the expansion of the universities," said Éric Michaud, coordinator of the tenants' group. The Quebec, municipal and federal governments have to put in major financing to ensure that construction of affordable housing can resume in Ville Marie, Michaud said. However, he added, the 121-page study wasn't designed to produce a cost estimate, and didn't. Across Montreal as a whole in 2006, there was a slight decline in the production of what is considered affordable housing as a proportion of overall residential construction - to 12.3 per cent in 2006 from 13.8 per cent in 2005. As a 10-year objective from 2004, the city's urban plan foresees construction of between 60,000 and 75,000 new housing units. Of those, 30 per cent, or 18,000 to 22,500 units, would be considered affordable, units occupied by households with annual income of $55,000 or less. Half of these would be government-financed housing for low- or very-low-income tenants, with annual revenue of $35,000 or less. "Downtown, there is a long way to go," Michaud said. About 58 per cent of households in Ville Marie report annual income of $35,000 or less, according to the study. Across all of Montreal's 19 boroughs, the proportion is a significantly less 47 per cent. [email protected] © The Gazette 2008 http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=e349d22d-d262-45e3-bcef-537dbd1cc360
  9. À la fois imposant et gracieux, le complexe résidentiel du 333 Sherbrooke constitue un exemple d’intégration urbaine. Érigé sur le terrain en friche de l’ancien couvent Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, l’ensemble immobilier définit un nouveau lieu mariant harmonieusement architecture, design urbain et architecture du paysage. Le projet relie deux tours d’habitation de 10 étages s’élevant sur la rue Sherbrooke à de nouveaux condoplex de 4 étages jouxtant le square Saint-Louis, haut lieu de l’élite canadienne-française du début du siècle. La façade est rythmée par la répétition d’une baie type parfois agrémentée de balcons français qui donnent du relief à la paroi des bâtiments sur la rue Sherbrooke. La modulation de la volumétrie crée de nombreuses terrasses en cascades. Au sommet des immeubles, une structure en forme de pont suspendu fait office de trait-d’union et abrite une piscine extérieur de même qu’un toit terrasse jouissant de vues imprenables. Du côté jardin, une succession de petits bâtiments individuels de quatre étages s’articule autour d’une placette. Cette organisation s’associe facilement à l’environnement domestique typique du Quartier latin. CANADIAN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER Vol. 10 No. 50 Dec. 15, 2006 Editor: Maurice Gatien LL.B. HOMBURG JV INVESTS IN MONTREAL CONDO PROJECT HOMBURG BPF CANADA, a joint venture between Halifax-based Homburg Invest Inc. and SNS Property Finance (formerly Bouwfonds Property Finance) of The Netherlands, purchased a 66.67% interest in a condominium development in Montreal. The remaining 33.33% interest will be held by LES INVESTISSEMENTS F.P. S.E.C., whose general partner is Montreal-based TELEMEDIA DEVELOPMENT I INC. The joint venture has invested $3.8 million in the residential condominium development located at 333 Sherbrooke Street East in downtown Montreal. Phase I of the development currently includes an inventory of 35 completed units available for sale in a 9-storey condominium tower and 4 multiplexes (113 residential units in total). Phase II is yet to be constructed but will include 112 condominium units and 213 parking stalls housed in another nine story tower and another two multiplexes. Construction on Phase II is expected to begin early in the New Year. Link: http://www.homburginvest.com
  10. Hi guys...Anybody have access to this MERX Private Construction site. I am limited to government bids. How about Habsfan or Mark AC or Lindberg etc etc I hi-lited 4 projects that I don't think we know about on our MTLURB. These are official bids so these are approved and will be proceeding as soon as the bids are accepted. I hope we find a couple of big surprises!!!!!!!!!! Gain access to hundreds of Construction projects with MERX Private Construction MERX Private Construction provides a value-added service tailored to contractors looking for project information needed to bid on contracts in the Canadian construction industry. Reporting on projects from the 'pre-design' stage through to the start of construction, businesses of any size have affordable access to billions of dollars in construction opportunities. From the construction of houses and hotels to office buildings and shopping malls, MERX Private Construction has all the information you need to bid on contracts. Please review the listings below of the latest opportunities posted in your region All of Quebec Townhouses & Condominium- La Cite Verte – Québec Condominium - Place des Jardins (Phase 1-5) Québec Condominium - Bella Vista - Phase 2 (101 Units) St-Laurent Office Building - Complexe Jules Dallard - Phase 2 – Québec Data Centre – Québec Rose Mining Project - Nemaska Condominium Marquise (Phase 2-8) Laval Kipawa Rare Earth Project - Open pit mine – Rouyn-Noranda Westin Resort & Spa Tremblant (Renovations) Mont Tremblant Condominium - Le Signature (Phase 2) Québec Head Office (Conversion) Montreal Niobec Mine Expansion - Saguenay Condominium - Les Haltes du Roi (Phase 3-9) Trois-Rivieres Condominium - Cite de la Gare (Phase 2-5) St-Constant Condominium - SE7T (Phase 1-3) Montreal Condominium - U31 (Phase 1-3) Montreal Senior Residence – Ste Therese de Gaspe Condominium - Les Meandres – Camomille – Quebec Apartments/Condominiums 4+ Stories (72 Units) Rouyn-Noranda Condominium - Ilot Esso – Québec Condominium - Coop Evrelle – Beauport Theatre du Rideau Vert - Phase 2 – Montreal Theatre/Cultural Centre – Longueuil Office Tower - Hotel/Motel - Montreal Commercial Development - Carrefour de la Bravoure – Val-Belair Condominium (Phase 1-4) Terrebonne Condominium - Le URB – Montreal Lithium Spodumene Mine Project – La Corne Condominium - Station 7 (Phase 1-7) St-Jerome Condominium Woodfield Sillery (87 Units) Quebec Condominium- Acces M (79 Units) Quebec Dolbeau Oxygen Manufacturing Facility (Expansion) Dolbeau-Mistassini Quartier Sud - Seniors Residence – Levis Caisse Populaire - Municipal Building – St Liguori Cinema Mega-Plex Guzzo - Sainte-Therese Condominium Apartment Townhouse (160 Units) Aylmer Lac-Leamy Hilton Hotel (Reno) Gatineau 75 Rene-Levesque Ouest (Condominium Building) Quebec 18-Storey Condo Towers – Montreal Apartment - Place Lamoureux (Phase 2-3) Rimouski Condominium (Phase 1-6) Val-David Townhouse Development (Phase 1-6) Beaconfield Condo des rue Equinoxes (Phase 1-4) St Laurent Condominium Phase Three (18 Units) Hudson Condominium Opus - Phase 5 – Lasalle Condominium (Phase 2-4) Vaudreuil Condominium (30 Buildings, 180 Total Units) Mont Tremblant Theatre Le Cube - Montreal Shopping Centre - Place Lorraine - Lorraine The Grove at Montreal Student Apartments (Conv/Renov) Montreal Pricing All of Quebec 109.99/month or 960.00/Pre-Paid Yearly (savings of 359.88) Montreal and District 69.99/month or 660.00/Pre-Paid Yearly (savings of 179.88) Quebec City and District 54.99/month or 480.00/Pre-Paid Yearly (savings of 179.88) Our Flexible subscription options allows you to use our service on a monthly basis with no contract obligations or you can pre-pay our service for the year and save 25% Plan ahead with MERX Private Construction · Search Canadian construction projects by Region or by Project Type Quickly identify projects suited to your business or skill set with our exclusive access to McGraw-Hill Dodge Reports
  11. Même le Wall Street Journal en parle : Developers Brace for End of Montreal's Condo Boom Sales Are Well off the Pace of Previous Years By DAVID GEORGE-COSH Nov. 5, 2013 6:12 p.m. ET With signs that Montreal's more than decadelong condominium boom could be fading, some local developers are repositioning or even pulling projects due to waning demand. In the downtown core, quarterly presales of new condos have averaged nine units per project this year, according to Altus Group Ltd. AIF.T -0.07% , a real-estate consultancy. That is well below the pace of such sales in both 2012 and 2011, when the average was 16 units. Meanwhile, only 10 new condo projects were announced in Canada's second-largest city in the first half of 2013, compared with 14 such projects in the first half of 2012. At the current pace, Montreal isn't likely to match the 25 project launches announced last year, and could fall below the 2011 total of 14 projects, Altus Group says. Developers have noticed. "There's starting to be a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace," said Sam Scalia, chief executive of Samcon Inc., one of the city's biggest developers with 13 projects in the works. Nearly 1,500 people signed up for information on Samcon's 190-unit Drummond Condominiums project when the developer began presales in January, Mr. Scalia said. But sales were slow, and Samcon pulled the project from the market in May for a full redesign with a new architect. "When we came out on the market, there was a glut of units that were launched in our district downtown," Mr. Scalia said. When Samcon puts the Drummond project back on the market in January, units will be roughly 10% smaller and one-bedroom units will be priced nearly 33,000 Canadian dollars ($31,578) less than the initial C$275,000, Mr. Scalia said. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2016, one year later than first planned. Montreal's condo boom, like those in Toronto and Vancouver, was fueled by ultralow interest rates that put homeownership within the reach of more Canadians. The resilience of Canada's housing sector was a key factor in helping the country weather the global financial crisis better than many of its industrialized peers. But it also led to record household-debt accumulation, a concern for Canadian policy makers. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty singled out the overheated condo markets in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as areas of particular concern when he tightened mortgage-financing rules to put the brakes on the sector. A slowdown appears to be under way. "While overall sales are good, [the condo market is] moving at a more muted pace," said Colin Johnston, president of Altus Group's Canadian research, valuation and advisory department. Montreal's condo-resale market also is showing strain. Listings have soared 24% in the past 12 months, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. Sales, though, have fallen by 15%. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., a government-owned housing agency, forecasts 10,000 new condo units will be built in the Greater Montreal area in 2013, down 16% from last year and the second annual decline in a row. CMHC attributes the slowdown to a surplus of new condos and a rise in resale listings. "It feels like everyone who had to consider buying a condo has already done so," said Stéphane Côté, president of DevMcGill, a developer with four projects under construction. "Right now, we're on the tail end of the market." Mr. Côté said DevMcGill has positioned its projects to withstand a slowdown. Development of the condos is structured in several phases, and if sales begin to trickle, DevMcGill can redesign units to adjust to lower demand. Mitchell Abrahams, owner of Benvenuto Group, a Toronto-based developer, said sales of condos he is developing in Montreal are mixed. Le Peterson, a 31-story tower in the heart of Montreal, has had "slow but steady" sales with 53% of the development sold. Meanwhile, the Belvedere, a luxury development in Montreal's tony Hampstead neighborhood, closed its sales center earlier this year due to poor sales, Mr. Abrahams said, declining to elaborate. "Montreal's a hard market for people to make a decision," he said. "But fundamentally, it's still a great condo market." The slowdown has a silver lining. Samcon's Mr. Scalia said he is in talks with at least three developers to take on projects that haven't sold well, though he declined to identify them. Some developers predict it will take several years for the market to absorb the excess inventory. Michael Engels, vice president of sales at Inca Development, said the slowdown isn't much of a surprise. After a rush of product coming to the market, developments still need some time to be digested by home buyers. Montreal's condo sector has become a buyer's market. Mr. Engels expects his current project, a development along the city's trendy Crescent Street downtown, to begin construction next year after selling over 40% of his inventory so far. "Competition is always subjective, even in this tough environment," he said.
  12. Square Dealing: Changes could be afoot at the iconic Westmount Square BY EVA FRIEDE, MONTREAL GAZETTE OCTOBER 10, 2014 2:16 PM Investor Olivier Leclerc outside Westmount Square, who has purchased 84 units in the complex for $70 million. Photograph by: John Mahoney , Montreal Gazette An investor has bought 84 rental units at Westmount Square for $70 million, and says that less than two months after the sale, he has already resold at least 48 of the apartments. Olivier Leclerc, 26, acting with real estate broker and adviser Albert Sayegh, bought the units at the iconic Mies van der Rohe buildings in August from Elad Canada, a division of the Israeli real estate multinational Tshuva Group. The deal means that Elad has sold all of the approximately 220 units in the two residential towers of Westmount Square. Now it is proposing to convert Tower 1, with 200,000 square feet of office space, to condos. But Westmount has slapped a freeze on all conversions from commercial or institutional buildings to residential use and is studying all development in its southeast commercial sector, from Atwater to Greene Avenues. The freeze is in effect until an interim bylaw is adopted and an update on the study is expected in November, said Westmount councillor Theodora Samiotis. Samiotis, who is the commissioner of urban planning for Westmount, said there are two concerns about such a conversion. First is Westmount Square’s heritage value as a Mies van der Rohe mixed commercial-residential project, completed in 1967. “On a heritage value, obviously we would want to make sure that any architectural aspect of the design would respect that,” she said. And there are those who would argue that changing the usage combination would change the architect’s vision, she said. The complex was conceived with three towers — two residential and one office — and an 86,000-square-foot shopping concourse. Equally important to Samiotis is the commercial vibrancy of the area. “So when you tell me you are changing a commercial tower to a residential tower, I am concerned about the impact this is going to have on my commercial district,” she said. Residential tax rates are lower than commercial rates, so the city also could lose revenue. “It’s not just the conversion of any building. It’s a landmark,” she said. They are very much aware of the proposal to convert the office tower, Sayegh said, but the file is currently closed. “If Tower 1 does occur, we will look at it,” he said. Elad Canada owns, operates or is developing such properties as New York’s Plaza Hotel, Emerald City in Toronto and in Montreal, the Cité Nature development near the Olympic Village and Le Nordelac in Point St-Charles. The 84 Westmount Square units were the remaining rental units in two of the towers. In a meeting at Sayegh’s real estate office — he is president of the commercial division of RE/MAX Du Cartier on Bernard St. W. — Leclerc said he bought the apartments in August as an investment, and resold them to various groups of investors, two of which bought about 12 apartments each. Leclerc would not specify how many of the apartments he intends to keep. It is a significant sale, probably the biggest of the year, said Patrice Ménard of Patrice Ménard Multi-Logement, which specializes in sales of multi-unit residential buildings. But it is not a record. By comparison, the La Cité complex of three buildings with more than 1,300 units sold for $172 million two years ago. Also in 2012, Elad sold the Olympic Village to Capreit Real Estate Investment Trust for about $176 million, Ménard said. Both La Cité and the Olympic Village remain rental properties, however. Both Sayegh and Leclerc emphasized that confidence in the economy was a basis for the Westmount Square purchase. The reselling was not a flip, but a long-term strategy, Sayegh said. “He has his own chess game,” Sayegh said. “The context was favourable to take hold of such a prestigious building — the political context,” Leclerc said. “The socio-economic climate in Quebec has never been as conducive to investments as it is today,” Sayegh added. Leclerc would not say what profit he has taken so far, nor what return he is expecting. “It’s a nice acquisition to my portfolio,” Leclerc said. He also owns or has converted buildings in Mont St-Hilaire and Brossard as well as Hampstead Court on Queen Mary, bought in 2011 and now all sold. Four years ago, Leclerc joined his father, Ghislain, in the business of converting rental buildings to co-operatives. Over 25 years, he and his father have converted more than 2,500 apartments, he said. His father is now semi-retired. With his father, he also worked on the conversion of the Gleneagles apartments on Côte des Neiges Rd., bought in 2010 and sold by 2013. “We do major work. We put the building in top shape,” Leclerc said. “Then we make esthetic improvements. After that, we sell the apartments. “We never throw out the tenants. We profit from the fact that the tenants are in place, who pay rent ‘x’ for an apartment in the state it is in. “We respect the rental laws.” Leclerc said he buys only good buildings in good locations. “The area reflects the tenants. Location, location, location.” At Westmount Square, the tenants are not affected, Leclerc said, as the same company, Cogir, manages the building. The range of price for the 84 apartments was $400,000 to $2 million. [email protected] Twitter: @evitastyle
  13. We shouldn't expect to see many more condo towers going up in the short term... "Regarding condominiums, the inventory of unsold units will remain at a relatively high level. The need for new units will remain limited in 2016 and 2017" http://m.marketwired.com/press-release/housing-market-outlook-for-2016-and-2017-montreal-cma-2066846.htm Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/micro-apartments-in-the-big-city-a-trend-builds Always happy to see quotes from professors at my alma mater, especially when it comes to real estate issues! Micro-Apartments in the Big City: A Trend Builds By Venessa Wong March 14, 2013 6:00 PM EDT Imagine waking in a 15-by-15-foot apartment that still manages to have everything you need. The bed collapses into the wall, and a breakfast table extends down from the back of the bed once it’s tucked away. Instead of closets, look overhead to nooks suspended from the ceiling. Company coming? Get out the stools that stack like nesting dolls in an ottoman. Micro-apartments, in some cases smaller than college dorm rooms, are cropping up in North American cities as urban planners experiment with new types of housing to accommodate growing numbers of single professionals, students, and the elderly. Single-person households made up 26.7 percent of the U.S. total in 2010, vs. 17.6 percent in 1970, according to Census Bureau data. In cities, the proportion is often higher: In New York, it’s about 33 percent. And these boîtes aren’t just for singles. The idea is to be more efficient and eventually to offer cheaper rents. To foster innovation, several municipalities are waiving zoning regulations to allow construction of smaller dwellings at select sites. In November, San Francisco reduced minimum requirements for a pilot project to 220 square feet, from 290, for a two-person efficiency unit. In Boston, where most homes are at least 450 sq. ft., the city has approved 300 new units as small as 375 sq. ft. With the blessing of local authorities, a developer in Vancouver in 2011 converted a single-room occupancy hotel into 30 “micro-lofts” under 300 sq. ft. Seattle and Chicago have also green-lighted micro-apartments. “In the foreseeable future, this trend will continue,” says Avi Friedman, a professor and director of the Affordable Homes Research Group at McGill University’s School of Architecture. A growing number of people are opting to live alone or not to have children, he says. Among this group, many choose cities over suburbs to reduce reliance on cars and cut commute times. “Many people recognize that there is a great deal of value to living in the city,” he says. Friedman calls the new fashion for micro-digs the “Europeanization” of North America. In the U.K. the average home is only 915 square feet. In the U.S. the average new single-family home is 2,480 square feet. The National Association of Home Builders expects that to shrink to 2,152 square feet by 2015. Small living has deep roots in Japan, where land is scarce. “It’s just the way things have always been done,” says Azby Brown, an architect and author of The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space. Three hundred square feet may sound tight, but consider that Japanese families historically lived in row houses outfitted with 100-square-foot living quarters and large communal areas. After World War II, Japan’s homes grew, though not much by American standards. By the late 1980s the average Japanese home measured 900 square feet. Tight quarters demand ingenuity and compromise. Think of the Japanese futon or the under-the-counter refrigerator, a feature of European apartments. The Murphy bed gets a sleek makeover in a mock-up of a micro-apartment on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The 325-square-foot space, designed by New York architect Amie Gross, also features a table on wheels that can be tucked under a kitchen counter and a flat-screen TV that slides along a rail attached to built-in shelves. Visual tricks such as high ceilings and varied floor materials make the space feel roomier. The show, titled “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers,” displays some of the entries from a design competition sponsored by New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The winning team, comprising Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development, and nArchitects, secured permission to erect a 10-story building in Manhattan made of prefabricated steel modules. Some of the 55 units will be as small as 250 square feet. “The hope is that with more supply, that should help with the affordability of these kinds of apartments so that the young or the elderly can afford to live closer to the center and not have to commute so far in,” says Mimi Hoang, a co-founder of nArchitects. Although tiny, these properties aren’t cheap, at least not on a per-square-foot basis. In San Francisco, where two projects are under way, rents will range from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. In New York, the 20-odd units for low- and middle-income renters will start at $939. Ted Smith, an architect in San Diego, says singles would be better served by residences that group efficiency studios into suites with communal areas for cooking, dining, and recreation. “The market does not want little motel rooms to live in,” he says. “There needs to be cool, hip buildings that everyone loves and goes, ‘Man, these little units are wonderful,’ not ‘I guess I can put up with this.’ ” BusinessWeek - Home ©2013 Bloomberg L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  15. Luckily the fire department only a few blocks away and we ended up changing the fire extinguishers a few weeks back. This is something you don't want to wake up to at 1 something in the morning. I can't wait to hear how this electrical fire started. One thing, at least we don't use chlorine in the pool. If there was some of that laying around, it probably would have been worse. Plus its a small building, only 5 of the 13 units were supposedly occupied
  16. Toronto's Condo Kings: Is their boom sustainable? Property developer Peter Freed, head of Freed Decelopments poses for a photo at his penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto.Chris Young for Financial PostProperty developer Peter Freed, head of Freed Decelopments poses for a photo at his penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto. Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post Published: Monday, June 02, 2008 From his penthouse in Toronto's hip fashion district, Peter Freed can track the development of his six next condo projects taking shape along King Street West. One of Mr. Freed's buildings will have interiors by Philippe Starck, the must-have French designer of the moment. Another will be inspired by the Neoplasticism art movement made famous by Mondrian, where design is pared down to the basics of lines and the primary colours red, yellow and blue. Mr. Freed has eight projects on the board worth a total of half a billion dollars, a tiny fraction of the record 33,980 units under construction in the city. Canada's biggest city has become North America's biggest condo market, with more units now under development than Manhattan, Chicago and Los Angeles. As Mr. Freed looks off his terrace, where the lap pool and giant padded loungers are looking a little forlorn on a wet spring day, he is confident Toronto will not also become North America's biggest condo meltdown. "Right now, there's very large demand," says Mr. Freed, dressed casually in jeans, shirt-tails hanging out, no laces in his shoes. At 39, the laid-back developer is the fresh face of an eclectic group of condo kings who are transforming the very skyline of the city. Along with other design-focused builders like Cityzen Development Group, stalwarts like Tridel Corp. and Menkes Developments Ltd., and newcomers like Bazis International Inc., Mr. Freed is banking on the view Toronto is undergoing a seismic housing shift. Figures show a marked slowing in the Canadian housing market this year, including a 7.3% year-over-year drop in existing homes sales in Toronto in April and a subsiding of the mania that drove the condo market into overdrive last year. But builders say demographics, immigration, government regulation and cultural change will continue to skew demand for housing toward the condominium. Housing hotspots like Calgary may have already burned themselves out in a frenzy of building and soaring prices, but Toronto's rise as a global city will allow it to ride out any short-term weakness, they say. "We understand there's 75,000 people a year for the next 20 years projected to move into the city core," says Mr. Freed. So Toronto's condo kings, mostly privately held, backed by joint-venture partners and old-fashioned bank loans, are knee-deep in a building boom that has seen 67,984 condo units in 316 buildings launched since 2004. To anyone walking the city streets, the scale of activity is eye-popping, with dozens of cranes swinging like mammoth meccano sets across the skyline, the monotonous thud of foundation pilings being driven into the ground and convoys of cement trucks causing endless traffic snarls. They are building by the waterfront, around the subway line in the north of the city and in the east end where work-live lofts are all the rage. At Concord CityPlace, an 18-hectare master-planned city near the waterfront, 21 condo towers will eventually arise from barren railway lands, along with town homes, lofts and a large park. The city-within-a-city will be home to 16,000 people. "People ask us all the time what's going to go on in the market," says James Ritchie, vice-president of sales and marketing at Tridel, the biggest builder of condos in Toronto and owned by the DelZotto family. "To be candid, it's very difficult to tell you where it's going to go one way or another, other than when we look at the fundamentals, what's happening here in Toronto and how it's going to affect housing. The fact is, it's sustaining itself." Toronto real estate developers need to be an optimistic lot. Not only do they have the current U.S. housing bust hanging over their heads, but also the still-fresh memory of the Toronto property crash of the early 1990s. "We didn't call that a recession in our industry; it was a depression," says Sam Crignano of Cityzen, which has 14 projects and 9,000 units on the board, including the Daniel Libeskind-designed glass L Tower, which will rise like a glam-rock platform boot at the foot of the city on Front Street. "It was that perfect storm - a number of factors all converged to create that disaster." Double-digit interest rates, overbuilding, the introduction of the GST and a recession that sent unemployment soaring to 12%, brought the Toronto property market to its knees. According to Goldman Sachs, it was the fourth longest of 24 housing busts in the OECD since the 1970s. Prices declined from December, 1989, to September, 1998, a 34-quarter marathon that took values down 50% in some areas. Not only did the residential market fall apart, but Canada was home base for some very public flameouts in the commercial and retail real estate sector, with Campeau Corp. and the Reichmann's Olympia & York Developments Ltd. filing for bankruptcy. Now, the U.S. housing meltdown looms large, with prices down about 14% from their 2006 peak and so many homes on the market it would take nearly a year to shift the supply. The developers have noticed the first quarter softening. But they are not afraid. New condo sales totalled 3,433 in Toronto, only eight fewer units than last year, according to Urbanation, a condo tracking firm. And the price per square foot for sales rose to $388 from $348. However, with a glut of new buildings nearing competition or under construction, the market is definitely expected to cool. Brad Lamb, Toronto's biggest condo broker, and its most flamboyant, says new condo sales could be off as much as 40% this year and resales 10%. Mr. Lamb has his head, plastered onto the body of a lamb on billboards all over the city. He also hosts Big City Broker on HGTV, a "docu-soap" looking at the business of real estate. "But last year was an incredible, stupid year, where literally every property we put on the market sold by auction, with four or five bidders for every property," he says. "We're still getting that a bit, but it will start to taper off. The time to sell is about 30 days. A year ago it was 15 days. It will probably go to 60 days, which is a normal market. Sixty days is still a seller's market." The condo kings take a long-term view of a city they say is still in its infancy. "Over the last 10 years Toronto has grown by over a million people," says Alan Menkes, president at Menkes Development, which has been developing homes in the Toronto area for the past half century. Its latest project is the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, a two-tower development in tony Yorkville, where luxury suites will run from 1,100 to 9,000 square feet and prices from $1.2-million to $16-million. "You're adding jobs, you're adding buying power," Mr. Menkes says. "They come with capital and they're looking for housing." Immigration is the main driver behind the condo story for Toronto, say developers, each one of whom can reel off the statistics on their fingers. Immigration to Canada totals roughly 225,000 a year and some 40% to 50% settle in Toronto. The Greater Toronto Area is expected to swell from about 5.5 million people to 6.9 million in 2016 and 8.3 million by 2031. The city proper is projected to reach 3.05 million by 2031. The Ontario government increasingly wants that population contained. In 2005, the province slapped an 800,000-hectare greenbelt - about the size of Prince Edward Island - around Lake Ontario, protecting a large swathe from development. The effect has been to intensify construction around established cities and vertically. Immigrants are used to living in apartments, developers add. With rental units all but disappearing as a result of the rent controls of the 1990s, the condo is a natural alternative. "The house is really more a North American phenomenon because no one in Europe can afford it because land is so expensive," says Michael Gold, president of Bazis North America. The developer has 35 projects underway around the world, including 1 Bloor, an 80-storey tower to be built on the corner of Canada's priciest retail strip. "We really see Toronto catching up to the rest of the world." Mr. Ritchie is loath to call the recent increase in building "a boom." Rather, he prefers to call it a slow, steady ramp-up to accommodate the growing swell of people. Besides immigrants, young people - especially women - are fuelling condo demand. They live with their parents longer, save money and move directly into home ownership. "One of our developments at Broadway and Redpath, I would say 25% to 30% of those units were purchased by single women probably in their late-20s, early-30s on a career path," says Mr. Crignano of Cityzen. Mr. Lamb says his company has reams of buyers in their 20s, drawn by the affordability of condos. "They used to be over 30," he says. "It's a very industrious generation of young people who see the benefit of owning their own property." The condo scene is turning Toronto into a young and very social city, Mr. Lamb adds. "CityPlace is like Peyton Place or Melrose Place," he says. "In a building like CityPlace with 400 people - 400 people typically under 40 - I can tell you the scene at the pool is crazy." At the other end of the spectrum, empty-nesters and an increasingly mobile and wealthy international set are demanding luxury and high-end design. It is a trend being witnessed around the globe, the end product of years of strong economic growth - spurred by the development of China, Russia, India, Brazil and fanned by low interest rates - which has raised income across the world. Phillipe Starck, for example, is designing interiors in Thailand, China, Japan, and Denmark. Canada's resource boom has brought it to the party. Mr. Freed says demand for more expensive units has risen gradually and that the luxury buyer is prepared to shop around. "We sold 20 high-end units in other buildings that were between $1-million and $2-million, but we had a lot of people who didn't buy," he says. "They didn't want to be in buildings with people who were buying units for $180,000." In March, he sold $20-million worth of condos in two weeks at one of his higher-end buildings, where units range from $1.5-million to $5.million. Mr. Menkes at Menkes Development says 70% of the Four Seasons Private Residences have been sold. "We're really providing a product that was not available before. We're putting Toronto on the map in terms of international draw," he says. The developers see every downtown Toronto parking lot or disused industrial space eventually filled with condos, mixed with shops and restaurants, and an increasingly educated and wealthy public - working in banking, design, media, medical research and the arts - moving in. Even if there are lean years ahead, they say they are much wiser than they were in the early '90s, with buildings pre-sold before the foundations are dug. "The fiscal discipline that has been instilled in developers today because of the '90s debacle has put us in much better standing," Mr. Menkes says. "Just in terms of banking underwriting, when we do construction loans, the discipline is much more rigorous." Cautionary notes aside, it is clear the condo kings are thrilled to be participating in the rise of Canada's condo city. "The city is going to be much wealthier and much more exciting because of all these new developments," Mr. Lamb says. Adds Mr. Menkes: "I think everyone feels proud when they see the nice skyline of the city they're living in." "I've lived in Toronto my whole life," says Mr. Freed. "To see certain downtown neighbourhoods take shape and become so liveable, so fast, it's incredible." Financial Post [email protected] http://www.financialpost.com/reports/property/story.html?id=552055 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ From boom to gloom? Is that a continued property boom on the horizon or is a bust just around the corner?Peter Redman/National PostIs that a continued property boom on the horizon or is a bust just around the corner? Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post Published: Friday, May 30, 2008 Leave it to Garth Turner to throw cold water on the notion Canada can achieve a soft real estate landing, when history and the slump south of the border show that is a rare feat indeed. The personal-finance author-turned-Conservative-turned-Liberal MP for Halton, Ont., was one of the first to warn of the 1990s property flop - albeit several years too early. Now he thinks Canada is facing precisely the same mix of elements that burst the U.S. real estate bubble. "We are in a monumental denial phase," says Mr. Turner, who's book Greater Fool - The Troubled Future of Real Estate was published in March. "My theses is now reality, we are starting to see substantial sales declines that were ruled out only six months ago as impossible," he says. "But now people are saying prices aren't moving down. They will." The figures do show a noticeable retreat in the Canadian housing market this year. Nationally, resales fell 6.1% year-over-year in April, while price gains have slowed to 4% from around 10% in each of the prior five years. Calgary saw sales drop 31.2% over the year, Edmonton, 25.4% and Victoria 14.2%. Calgary and Edmonton also saw prices dips. According to Urbanation, a condo tracking firm, the condo market has defied the trend and remained fairly steady through the first quarter, even as a several new buildings hit the market. Mr. Turner says housing markets blow themselves out when prices rise beyond the reach of average buyers. This is what happened in the United States. "To keep the party going, the mortgage industry, the credit industry, backed by the banks, decided to lower the bar to ownership," he says. The subprime industry was born and home buyers with scant credit history and skimpy income were drawn into the market, enticed by no-money-down mortgages and interest rates that started out low, then ballooned to unsupportable levels. Similarly, in Canada, prices have risen beyond the reach of the average buyer, Mr. Turner argues. "What has been the response?" he asks. "The 40-year mortgage." Economists estimate amortizations longer than 25 years now constitute about 70% of all insured mortgage applications and about half of that amount is for the 40-year product. Mr. Turner reserves his starkest warnings for sprawling suburbs mushrooming around Canada's major cities. He says many new home developments have mortgage representatives onsite offering the same kind of no-money-down deals that dragged down the U.S. market. Buyers just have to come up with 1.5% of the house value to cover closing costs. These will become the "particle board slums of the future," Mr. Turner says, as smaller families and surging energy costs cause the suburbs to fall out of favour. But the Toronto condo market is heading for trouble too, as overbuilding swamps demand, he says. "We are classically at the end of a bull market," Mr. Turner says. Read the argument for a boom Financial Post [email protected] Close Presented by Reader Discussion http://www.financialpost.com/reports/property/story.html?id=552055
  17. Ça donne le goût de voir un projet similaire ici à Montréal. Markthal Rotterdam, the covered food market and housing development shaped like a giant arch by Dutch architects MVRDV, has officially opened today after five years of construction (+ slideshow). The Netherlands' first covered market is located in Rotterdam's city centre and has space for 96 fresh produce stalls and 20 hospitality and retail units on the lower two floors... dezeen.com
  18. Malade Les condos 56 Leonard à NYC viennent de vendre un locker de 200 p.c. au sous-sol pour 300,000$! C'est 1,500$ du pied carré!!!
  19. I hope Avenue, Tour des Canadiens and Icone go up. And then the rest can wait Softening market raises doubts over condo projects By Allison Lampert, THE GAZETTE January 9, 2013 8:11 PM 0 Story Photos ( 1 ) Softening market raises doubts over condo projects A number of properties are up for sale in Brossard, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway , The Gazette MONTREAL - There are condo projects like the Tour des Canadiens which will undoubtedly be built, with the only lingering question surrounding their final height. But a decline in new home construction in Greater Montreal last year is increasingly raising doubts over the viability of the record number of condo buildings announced for the region: this summer, the city’s Ville Marie borough identified projects with 3,000 units destined for downtown alone. “You talk to the different developers and they are all confident that their project will go forward,” said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank. “But I don’t think that all the projects will come to fruition. I would be extremely surprised to see presales advancing for every project so some of them will have to drop off.” In 2012, a more balanced resale market led new home construction to decline nine per cent in the Greater Montreal Area and analysts are expecting a further 12-per-cent drop in housing starts for the region in 2013, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday. In December, the decline in housing starts, compared with the same month in 2011, was fuelled by a 65-per-cent drop in new home construction on Montreal Island. So even as the sold-out Tour des Canadiens near the Bell Centre is looking to add floors, the steep drop in new Montreal Island housing starts reflects the growing array of choices for buyers in the resale market. While Greater Montreal Real Estate Board data are not yet available for December, November resales tanked 19 per cent. Meanwhile, figures reported Tuesday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services showed condo inventory has shot up 30 per cent at the end of 2012, compared with a year earlier. Housing starts The numbers suggest Montreal’s current low interest rate-fuelled real estate boom peaked in 2011, even though demand still far exceeds historic norms. Compared with record-breaking 2011, new condo construction dropped six per cent to 11,880 units in 2012 — still the second highest year in Greater Montreal for condo building. To put that number in context, Greater Montreal developers were only building around 2,000 to 3,000 units a year before the last condo boom of the early 2000s that peaked with 10,000 units in 2004, explained CMHC analyst David L’Heureux. For the province of Quebec, new home construction dropped three per cent last year to 40,526 units above 2011, CMHC data show. Quebec and Nova Scotia were the only two provinces in Canada to report a decline in total housing starts for 2012. Nationally, housing starts declined for the fourth consecutive month in December, but remained well above sustainable levels, leading to further fears the economically important sector could be headed for a hard landing. The pace of housing starts slowed by a modest 1.7 per cent last month to 197,976 on an annual basis, the fourth drop in as many months. In a note, BMO economist Robert Kavcic said “2012 was a strong year for homebuilding in Canada, but it was distinctly a tale of two halves — we judge that 2013 will look more like the second half (cooling) than the first.” Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Softening+market+raises+doubts+over+condo+projects/7797746/story.html#ixzz2HXfyW4rB
  20. Find out how these new developments managed to surviveBy KATHERINE DYKSTRA January 12, 2011 The developers of the 95-unit Griffin Court, on 10th Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets, have made no secret of the fact that they are giving the first 15 percent of their buyers a 15 percent discount. The reason? Let’s just say it’s no coincidence that getting contracts signed on 15 percent of the units is exactly what it will take in order to make the condo plan effective. “People would come in and ask how many we’ve sold,” says Ken Horn, president of Alchemy Properties, which is developing Griffin Court. The building came “softly” on the market in March of last year. “People would say, ‘When you have the plan effective, we’d be interested in buying.’ We realized that once we hit that 15 percent level, it [would be] amazing what happened with sales,” Horn adds. And so, after not moving a single unit in that first six months, Alchemy re-launched the sales of Griffin Court in September, initiating the 15 percent-off perk. Today, Alchemy has 15 contracts that are either signed or out for signature. “[Developers] who cut prices to get the pre-sales requirements are smart and will survive,” says Jonathan Miller, president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Nothing is easy in today’s tough real estate market, a very different one than, say, four years ago — especially for new developments. To wit, in the second quarter of 2006, 57 percent of all Manhattan closings were on listings in new developments, according to Miller. Compare that to the most recently completed quarter, where only 21.6 percent of closings were in new development. This figure does, however, represent a stabilizing of new development sales, which have hovered in the low 20s for the last six quarters. The low point of 16.4 percent came at the beginning of 2010. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s harder than ever to sell buyers on new development. That’s largely because buyers fear buildings might never be finished (slow sales can lead to reneged financing, which in turn can lead to the dreaded “going rental” or remaining vacant). “Buyers are skeptical still that developers will finish their product. Buyers are really looking for things they can move into in six months,” says Steve Kliegerman, executive director of development marketing at Halstead Property. So, rather than attempt to unload units as soon as a floor plan has been settled on, many developers are waiting to launch sales until the building is nearly finished. That way, buyers can at least walk through a completed model unit. “Most developers are holding product off the market until it is more finished,” says Kliegerman, who launched sales at Gramercy 19 in October. At the time, the project was 55 percent finished in terms of construction; including the on-site sales office. The building’s studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments range from $500,000 to $2.4 million and average $1,400 a square foot. Though 12 contracts have been signed at Gramercy 19, Kliegerman decided to pull four units off the market to wait for their construction to be complete; he wants to show finished products, which he believes can fetch higher prices. Love Lane Mews, a 38-unit conversion in Brooklyn Heights, priced from $1.05 million for a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom to $4.25 million for a 2,400-square-foot three-bedroom, launched sales in November. “We had planned to come to market earlier,” says Laurie Zucker, principal of Manhattan Skyline, which is developing the condo along with Sterling Equities. “It was a difficult construction . . . we thought we’d be on the market during the summer and early fall.” But rather than launch early and attempt to sell off of a floor plan, they held out until there was something for buyers to see. Zucker estimates construction will be complete within the next three to six months. “People aren’t buying from paper anymore, they want to see what they’re getting,” says Corcoran Sunshine Marketing’s Henry Hershkowitz, sales director for 123 Third Ave., a 47-unit condo building at 14th Street and Third Avenue, which came on the market just after Labor Day. “You don’t want to wait until it’s totally done; you just want the tools to sell it.” At 123 Third Ave., Hershkowitz has been able to put more than 80 percent of the units into contract. Condos start as low as $600,000 and go up to $4.525 million. “More than 50 percent [of the building is made up of] one-bedrooms,” Hershkowitz says. “They sold quickly. They’re all sold out.” “There has been some traction in the sense that there has been sales activity,” Miller says of the market overall. “A lot of it was circling around sub-million-dollar properties because that amount could go through Fannie or Freddie in conforming loans.” Of Griffin Court’s 95 units, 46 are below $1 million. Studios start at $625,000 and 681 square feet. “Three, four years ago, the units would go for 25 percent more, [but] our objective has been to price our units to be able to sell,” Horn says. Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/residential/go_LW7aAM0XPpHPzEzsr0YUwO#ixzz1Aw2q6rJN
  21. Je me disais que plusieurs aimeraient lire ça... (Oui oui à Toronto ils ont longtemps considéré qu'il y avait une phobie des hauteurs) Toronto skyscrapers rise ever taller The city may finally be getting over its irrational fear of heights Marcus Gee Published on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 6:59PM EDT Last updated on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 7:00PM EDT Yesterday, Mayor David Miller was on hand for the ceremonial ground-breaking of the tallest residential building in Canada. The 75-storey, 243-metre-high Aura condominium will be a dramatic addition to the city skyline, a blade-like glass-and-steel skyscraper that is the final stage of the College Park complex at College and Yonge. With 931 units and 1.1 million square feet of living space, it is the King Kong of condos, boasting more residential footage than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Aura is a sign that Toronto is getting over its fear of heights. New office and condominium towers are popping up downtown like mushrooms after a summer rain. The Shangri-La hotel and condo on University Avenue will rise 66 storeys; architect Daniel Libeskind’s L Tower on the Esplanade, 57 storeys. The Ice condos down by the waterfront will comprise two towers of 65 and 55 storeys. By 2014, Toronto could have close to 100 buildings over 400 feet tall, nearly double the number of a decade earlier. City councillor Kyle Rae says this city has become the “Manhattan of Canada,” a comparison that would have seemed absurd even a few years ago. For a city that used to quiver and squirm whenever a developer threatened to put up a skyscraper outside the financial district, it is a startling change. Back in the 1970s, worries about congestion and overbuilding led Mayor David Crombie to slap a 40-foot height limit on downtown buildings. In the early 2000s, the city was consumed by a debate over the Minto project, a high-rise condo opposed by neighbouring homeowners. A couple of years later, developer Harry Stinson was forced to cancel plans for the spectacular, 90-storey Sapphire Tower on Temperance Street. It seemed too tall, too big, too flashy. All that seems dated now. Though neighbours still complain about shadow impacts, traffic congestion and other often-imaginary problems with proposed tall buildings, Torontonians are coming to accept the merits of building into the heavens. The thicket of downtown high-rises fits perfectly with the drive to promote urban “intensification,” planner-speak for packing people more closely together to save energy and counteract urban sprawl. The Aura project is right on the Yonge subway line, so thousands of people will be able to get around without their cars. It will bring new life to the tatty corner of Yonge and Gerrard and kick-start revitalization of the crummy Yonge Street strip. Even so, the city at first failed to see Aura’s aura. The site was zoned for just 36 storeys and planners bridled at the notion of more than doubling that. When a City of Toronto planner first discussed Aura with Mr. Rae, a champion of urban density and downtown living, she called it a disgrace. “I turned to her and said, ‘Is that a planning term?’ and it deteriorated from there.” But the city soon realized it was on thin ice if it hoped to oppose Aura. Both Toronto’s official plan and Ontario’s smart growth policies call for increasing density around nodes such as Yonge and College. To ease the city’s concerns, developer Michael La Brier agreed to set up a five-member panel with leading U.S. and local architects to review the tower’s design. The result is a sleek and handsome building that will cost about half a billion dollars. The tower will stand on a three-storey granite-and-glass podium with high-end stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond. More than 97 per cent of the condos have been pre-sold, says Mr. La Brier, though if you have $17.5-million in your pocket, there is still a penthouse available. That a developer can charge such a sum for a condo in Toronto is a sign of confidence in the city and its vibrant downtown. Aura was financed in the midst of the world financial crisis and more than 85 per cent of the units were sold within six weeks, sight unseen. The building’s dramatic height is a draw, not a drawback. Mr. La Brier’s remembers the fuss when College Park’s early phases went up, with towers of 45 and 51 storeys. “In those days, 51 storeys was as scary as 75 is today.” With Aura’s unabashed embrace of height, the city has moved on. If we can get over our fear of 75 storeys, why not 80 or 90 or even 100? In this new vertical city, the sky is the limit. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-skyscrapers-rise-ever-taller/article1545218/
  22. Montreal Real Estate Pushes Ahead By DORN TOWNSEND Published: June 11, 2010 MONTREAL — When Patrice Groleau began selling a proposed condo development this spring, he thought it would take about a year to sell all 100 units — even though the site is in Montreal’s historic old city and the project will have all the latest amenities. Half the apartments sold in the first month on the market. “The last few years have been mostly good for real estate, but this year has been phenomenal,” said the 33-year-old broker, who works for McGill Immobilier. “Some of the buyers are from elsewhere but 95 percent are local young professionals. A lot of them will buy several units or whole blocks of apartments.” Real estate markets in many cities around the world are still in the doldrums, but in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, with 1.9 million residents, the downtown area is experiencing a boom and buying frenzy last seen more than a generation ago. Brokers say that new listings in desirable central neighborhoods can receive multiple offers within hours of going up for sale. Since 2003, when the present rush began, 5,500 to 7,000 new condo units have been hitting the market each year. Many of these homes are downtown in new mid-rise developments. According to the Montreal Real Estate Board, the median price of downtown condos has risen about 9 percent over the period, to 210,000 Canadian dollars, or about $198,000. While some downtown addresses can command as much as 1,000 dollars a square foot, in May the average price per square foot in the central city was about 350 dollars. “A lot of the new units downtown are for people in the suburbs looking to downsize, but you also get about 8 percent of sales going to foreigners,” said René Lépine, president of Groupe Lépine, one of the largest developers of downtown residential housing in the city. “I haven’t seen this kind of activity in the city center since the 1970s, when we had the Olympics.” Montreal’s real estate board reported that prices were up 8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with sales up 54 percent. While there is disagreement over whether such growth is sustainable, demand is being driven by historically low interest rates, with a five-year fixed-rate mortgage going for about 3.8 percent. In an attempt to pop what many fear is an expanding housing bubble, the Bank of Canada in April began requiring purchasers to put down 20 percent on investment properties. Brokers, however, say such rules are easily skirted with interim financing. And in the two years since the global economic downturn, Canada’s big-five banking oligopoly has continued granting loans for real estate. But, like in the United States, these banks seldom hold on to the mortgages, instead passing them on to a government entity called the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which insures buyers against defaults. Since 2005, the agency’s liabilities have grown to around 400 billion dollars from about 80 billion dollars. But many of the new homes insured by this national agency are the tiny studios and one-bedroom units like those in Montreal’s downtown towers. That easy financing helped turn Montreal’s real estate scene into something of a Sleeping Beauty story. For decades the city had a lot of real estate for sale, partly because of the departure of several hundred thousand English-speaking residents from 1976 to 1978 because they feared Quebec might become an independent French-speaking country. Afterward, prices rose slowly, and then took off in recent years. “I’m not one of those annoying people who say that Montreal is the best city,” said Ariane Truong, 30, a Montreal native who spent several years in London working as an architect for SOM. “But there’s this intangible, aesthetic quality here these days and when you’re in other cities, you notice that quality is missing.” Two years ago Mrs. Truong returned to her hometown, paying about 350,000 dollars for a refurbished 950-square-foot, or 88-square-meter, one-bedroom condo in the old city. The building incorporates part of the stone fortifications built from 1717 to 1738 to protect Montreal from native Indians and English attackers. Until recently many residents had spurned the area as a tourist magnet. These days the tourists still are ever-present, but the old warehouses have been converted into apartments with ground-floor cafes and restaurants. A mix of young professional residents has returned to live and work. A small but important part of the market is composed of foreign clients who buy into the city for its particular rhythm. Diane Urbain, 28, a transplant from Paris, is typical of the group. She and her husband spent about 520,000 dollars on a 1,600-square-foot cottage in the Plateau, a large neighborhood of row houses known for its public squares and cafes. The French consulate says about 100,000 French citizens are living in Montreal. “When I first arrived here as a student, I thought I’d never leave Paris,” Mrs. Urbain said “But I’ve come to love the way of life of this city.” She talked about the nearby parks where her children play and about biking to work. Vélo Québec, a cycling advocacy group, says that nearly 20 percent of downtown residents use bicycles as a primary means of transport. Yet the French are not the only people who choose Montreal. This year, almost all the units in one new high-end condo tower downtown were sold to Lebanese. The developer marketed heavily in Beirut, and many purchases were made as investments or as homes for children attending universities in Montreal. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/greathomesanddestinations/11iht-remon.html
  23. BY JAY BRYAN, THE GAZETTE APRIL 9, 2009 Housing construction in Canada rebounded with surprising vigour in March, with the biggest gains in Ontario and Quebec. Still, hardly anybody believes that this foreshadows a lasting uptrend. And that's probably a good thing. There are signs that some homebuilders have gotten ahead of themselves, creating an excess inventory of unsold homes and condos that needs to be trimmed in order to reduce pressure on home prices. A pessimistic view this week by economists from the Toronto-Dominion Bank is that housing inventories are so bloated that new construction will plunge by more than 40 per cent this year. An alternative view, from Bob Dugan, chief economist at Canada Mortgage and Housing, is that starts must, indeed, drop, but not as dramatically as that. The CMHC forecast is for a decline of 24 per cent, based on the notion that builders actually did a pretty good job of cutting construction when the market weakened, leaving inventories less inflated than in past housing down cycles. The Toronto-Dominion analysis quite possibly overdoes the gloom. One sign of this is that some markets - most notably, Quebec - remain a little perkier than this analysis would suggest. A key reason is that Montreal's big condo market, while somewhat overbuilt, isn't nearly as sick as it might look at first glance. More on this in a minute. In several other cities, however, there is evidence of growing inventories of unsold homes. In most of Western Canada, it's single-family homes, while in Vancouver and Toronto, there are signs of an inflating condo bubble. So many condos are being built in Vancouver, even as a recession takes hold, that economist Grant Bishop, an author of the Toronto-Dominion housing study, expects to see as many as 4,000 unsold new condo units there by the end of this year. In Toronto, where condo construction also seems to be running ahead of anticipated demand, Bishop anticipates a backlog of more than 2,000 units by year-end. There also is concern among some analysts that Montreal is suffering from a huge backlog of unsold condos, based on the large number of new, vacant multiple units. But this represents a bit of confusion about a unique aspect of Montreal's market. In this city, explains the senior Montreal market analyst at CMHC, Bertrand Recher, a huge chunk of the multiple market is in a category that's not nearly as significant in other big cities. It's rental housing complexes built specifically for retirees, a type of housing that's at least twice as popular among retirement-age Quebecers as among their counterparts elsewhere in Canada. When you toss this kind of multiple housing development into the same pot with condos and a few row homes and semi-detached homes, you find, as the Toronto-Dominion study reports, that Montreal's inventory of new, unsold multiples is staggering - more than 3,900. But this adds up apples and oranges. Recher points out that nearly half of this huge number in fact represents rental units for seniors. Since it's rental housing, the notion that it's "unsold" isn't very meaningful. And since these are developments designed specifically for seniors, the danger that they could one day be dumped on the market as condos is minimal. While it's true that there is a large inventory vacant seniors' units - representing about 14 months' supply at the current rental rate - the market in Montreal for such developments remains strong and the demographics of this province's aging population should only make it stronger. As for actual condos, the unsold inventory of new units, at 1,667, is only moderately high, Recher believes. At the current pace of sales, it represents about eight months' inventory, down from a peak of 11 months in early 2007. And while high-priced luxury condos are getting harder to sell, moderate-priced units, typically in the suburbs, are still moving briskly. Across Canada, says Dugan, "I'm not terribly concerned about oversupply" putting more pressure on housing prices. But he does see some areas for concern, like the condo boom in Vancouver and Toronto. [email protected] Projected Average Price of Homes in Montreal Area in 2009 Detached Bungalow / Two-Storey / Condominium 2009* Per cent change 2009 Per cent change 2009 Per cent change Beaconsfield: 290,000 / 5.5% / 370,000 / 5.7% / N/A / N/A Côte St. Luc: 239,000 / 3.9% / N/A / N/A / 229,000 / 1.8% Dorval: 243,000 / 2.3% / 244,000 / 3% / 212,000 / 1.9% Lachine: 224,000 / 1.8% / 232,000 / 3.1% / 247,000 / 2.9% LaSalle/Verdun: 198,000 / -3.4% / N/A / N/A / 165,000 / 4.4% Montreal West: N/A / N/A / 360,000 / -1.4% / N/A / N/A Notre Dame de Grâce: N/A / N/A / 375,000 / 1.4% / 230,000 / 0% Westmount: N/A / N/A / 610,000 / -10% / 260,000 / -5.1% Montreal: 232,375 / 2% / 330,056 / -0.7% / 206,528 / 0% * 2009 prices are first-quarter averages, N/A: Information not available. Source: Royal Lepage © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette http://www.montrealgazette.com/Business/Montreal+condo+glut+illusion/1479696/story.html