Canderel remains busy in the Toronto condo market | RENX

Forest is a three-tower development in Toronto by Canderel and KingSett Capital. (Courtesy of Canderel)

Canderel is enjoying solid progress in sales and construction of its condominiums in Toronto, while expanding its third-party services despite recent market challenges.

“We are big believers in the Toronto residential market, despite the headwinds that exist right now,” Canderel COO Ben Rogowski told RENX.

Rising construction costs and interest rates, rising government bonds and fees, and a general slowdown in sales have presented developers with challenges this year. Many have paused on acquisitions or the launch of new projects to assess the situation but, while being cautious, Canderel intends to move forward while trying to introduce more creativity into its strategies to get through this period.

Canderel continues to seek new development opportunities and Rogowski said it is in the final stages of due diligence at a site in downtown Toronto.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before all buyers realize that prices can only continue to move in one direction because costs are rising so rapidly,” Rogowski said. “If they want to be in this market, they have to move.

“So I think we’re going to see a big rush on the demand side much sooner than expected.”

Meanwhile, Canderel is working on five development projects in Toronto.

Village of Sainte-Claire

The 12-story, 116-unit 900 St. Clair West designed by BDP Quadrangle is part of the first phase of the Village of St. Clair in partnership with KingSett Capital.

It was launched in 2019 and only a handful of units remain. The structure has just been completed and occupancy is expected in early spring.

The LCBO has committed to leasing almost all of the 9,000 square feet of retail space available at ground level.

Sales kicked off earlier this year for the 12-story 908 St. Clair West, designed by TACT Architecture, which is also part of the Village of St. Clair.

About 80% of the units have been released and most have been sold. The rest of the project’s total 173 units will be released in the first half of next year.

Construction is expected to start mid-2023 and occupancy is expected mid-2025.

625 Shepherd

Canderel opened a 10-story condo designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects at 625 Sheppard Ave. E. in the Bayview Village neighborhood earlier this year.

Its 238 units are 99% sold, with three-quarters of sales taking place in the first two weeks of its spring 2021 launch.

Underground work for two levels of underground parking is underway and cranes for surface work will be erected later this year.

“The beauty of these mid-rise projects is that they don’t take as long as skyscrapers,” Rogowski said. “Occupancy will be late 2023 or early 2024.”

Forest

Forêt, another partnership with KingSett, will have 36-, 32- and 31-story towers designed by BDP Quadrangle at the corner of St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street.

There will be approximately 1,150 units spread across the three buildings ranging in size from 370 to approximately 1,000 square feet.

“We launched a small sample of units a few months ago and quickly sold out most of those units,” Rogowski said.

“We really used it as a kind of market sounding just to make sure we were on the right track with the product and I think the market told us quickly that we were on the right track.”

Construction of a 4,000 square foot onsite sales center is nearing completion and a larger scale launch will take place later this year.

It is hoped that construction of the three towers will begin in about a year, as Canderel does not want to build Forest in phases. Occupancy planned for 2027.

The 31-story building will feature what Canderel calls the Boutique Collection, where the top third of floors will be a blank slate and buyers can customize their units to suit their desires, including acquiring an entire floor.

These units will also have their own dedicated lobby, elevators and amenity space.

545, boul. Lake Shore W

Canderel had been working with City of Toronto officials for a long time on the design elements of a mixed-use development project for a 1.8-acre site at 545 Lake Shore Blvd. W., just inside the west end of Queens Quay.

Approval was granted in July to move forward with 21- and 14-story condos connected by a podium on the south side of the site where parking currently exists. They will have around 420 units in total.

An existing Art Deco building on the site has been made heritage by the city and will be retained. It was once used for television studios and the offices of Rogers Media before the site was sold to Canderel in 2017.

Homes First currently operates the building as a homeless shelter, but Canderel controls its fate and Rogowski said it will function as office space when the condos are built.

“We could start sales in early 2023, but we want to make sure all of our ducks are lined up and the timing is perfect,” Rogowski said.

Other Canderel markets and services

Canderel has offices in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Quebec and manages approximately 28 million square feet.

It has acquired, developed and managed projects worth nearly $20 billion since its founding in 1975.

While Rogowski said Toronto is currently Canderel’s main market, he noted that he is also active with residential developments in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and his home base of Montreal.

Another area where Canderel is picking up the pace is in full-service project and development management for commercial, residential and mixed-use properties across Canada.

“We do a fair amount of work for third parties because we’ve really extended and improved that aspect of our offerings, whether it’s working for others to get their projects through rezoning or development services. from start to finish,” says Rogowski.

Rogowski couldn’t divulge much information about those third-party projects, but said there were two significant ones in downtown Toronto and that Canderel was looking to grow that side of its business even further.

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