New in Toronto real estate: The College Condominium
The College Condominium will surely be a magnet for students (ahem...that is, their investor parents) and potentially a source of NIMBYism due to its 15-storey façade. Don't get me wrong — 15 storeys is not a mega-structure by any means, but it certainly will make a statement on an otherwise modest stretch of College Street west of Spadina. A Tribute Communities development, this condo will have a couple hundred units with various sizes and layouts, and several parking spaces underground that will cost the equivalent of a brand new luxury sedan. Here is a closer look at The College Condominium.
Address: 297 College Street
Total number of units: 234
Types of units: One bedroom, one-plus-den, two bedroom, two-plus-den, three bedroom
Unit sizes (in square feet): 477-1026
Ceiling heights: Up to 9'
Prices from: $326,990
Parking: $55,000 (For select suites)
Maintenance fees: $0.57 (+ hydro, gas, water)
Developer: Tribute Communities
Architect: Core Architects
Interior Design: Bryon Patton & Associates
Amenities: Fitness room, party room, theatre, billiards room, 24-hour concierge
Expected occupancy: Summer 2016
Have developers suddenly grown tired of Richmond and Adelaide, or has that area finally reached condo saturation? Either way, The College Condominium wins a point right from the get-go for not being in the way of obnoxious Friday night limo traffic. Granted, living right on College will come with a few drawbacks (noise, congestion, dumb Frosh activities, etc.), but the boons of this location will definitely outweigh the bad. First off, your brunch options from this spot will be superior, extensive, and disproportionately delicious, with so many great options within five minutes or less (yes, Bella, I'm thinking of you). You'll be minutes from Kensington Market shopping, seconds from Chinatown late night eats, and just steps away from the University of Toronto campus.
Which leads me to my next point. I'm quite confident that most of us have "that friend" who comes up with the "brilliant idea" to buy a condo and rent it out. "Easy as pie," he'll claim. "The rent will cover the mortgage, and I'll sell it in a couple of years and bathe in the profits." Savants, they are. But sometimes the rent doesn't cover the mortgage, and appliances need repair, and tenants don't necessarily climb over each other to snag a studio in CityPlace. But I suspect the situation might be (lucratively?) different for owners of a suite at College Condominiums.
Proximity to U of T makes the building incredibly desirable to students — especially international students — with the demand for close-to-campus accommodation an enduring, endearing characteristic of the community. So, while Liberty Village, say, might be a "hot" neighbourhood today (debatable, but never mind), housing by U of T will always be in demand. In that way, a purchase at The College Condos seems a much safer bet.
And the units themselves? Well, that depends on the suite. There's a terrible L-shaped 661-square-foot one-plus-den with wasted space and a windowless bedroom, but a very livable 514-square-foot one-bedroom, with a walk-in closet and room by the entry. It just boils down to which suite you (or rather, mommy and daddy) select.
God help the working professional souls who move in here thinking they can relax in their brand new purchase. Try weekday parties, dramatic 3 a.m. breakups, and other gems courtesy of only those who have maneuvered their classes after 12 p.m. I'm not saying The College Condominiums will be a glorified dorm necessarily, but chances are there won't be the same respect for the nine to five as you might find in a building by the Financial District or over on Queen West. The College Condominium will likely have a heavy presence of tenant-occupied suites as well, which can often take a greater toll on amenities and other common building elements. Just a couple of things to consider when deciding whether to drop off that hefty down payment.
Speaking of, make no mistake — The College Condominium is not being offered at student-friendly prices. Depending on the suite, you're looking at paying about $600 - $700 per square foot or more, which (despite a supposed "cooling" real estate market) is certainly no steal. But despite the full prices, the suite finishes still seem to reek slightly of "student," with laminate flooring over hardwood and bitty 24" appliances. And while maintenance fees for new builds usually start at $0.50 - $0.53 per square foot (which, granted, is artificially low), the fees for The College Condominium start at a curious $0.57. Plus water, hydro, and gas. These are not unreasonable expenses, mind you, but the value might be lost when the awful sounds of Ke$ha start to bleed between the walls. Crazy Kids, indeed.
Depends on whether these balconies are conducive to multi-storey beer funnels.
What do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.