One Hundred Condominiums breaks ground in downtown Kitchener

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Regional Chair Ken Seiling were on hand today to celebrate the ground breaking of One Hundred (100 Victoria St S), a large condominium project consisting of two towers and 348 residential suites in the Innovation District of downtown Kitchener. A strategic development partnership between two local development groups – Momentum Developments and Zehr Group – was announced.

After a lengthy OMB appeal that delayed the project by over 18 months, ground has now been broken on the first phase of One Hundred. The two towers will ultimately rise 15 and 19 storeys above a three-storey podium on Victoria Street. The first tower is slated for occupancy in late 2018. The second tower will be ready in 2020.

The City of Kitchener’s approval of the project was upheld by the Ontario Municipal Board, and One Hundred is now set to contribute to the advancing landscape of Kitchener’s Innovation District.


Property Near Transit Worth 30% More

Location location location! When it comes to real estate we all know that location is paramount. A new study in Toronto focusing on the downtown core has confirmed this. The study from Avision Young determined that condominium towers within 500 meters of subway stations sold for 30% more than condominium towers more than 500 meters away! 30% is a substantial margin. The study suggests that the millennial generation desires to be close to transit because they often don’t own a car. 500 meters seems to be the distance that people are willing to travel. Any further and real estate values drop and vacancy rates increase.

Momentum Developments is certainly following the trend of developing close to major transit nodes. In fact, it’s one of the principles of our business. Both 1Victoria Condominium and One Hundred Condominium are within a 400 meter walk to the new Transit Hub. 1Victoria is literally kitty corner to the hub! We have certainly seen many millennial buyers and the access to the new LRT and GO Train to Toronto is a major draw.

The full article can be found on the Financial Post:

Peter Whitby

Waterloo Talent Attracts Top Employers

The Region of Waterloo continues to earn its reputation as the Silicone Valley of Canada. In the past week, two major Canadian corporations have announced new offices in the city. Shopify Inc will be leasing the historic Seagram building in Uptown Waterloo and TD Bank is opening a new office beside the University of Waterloo. The theme of both expansions seems to be talent acquisition. Waterloo Region is a mecca for software engineering, computer science and the skills employers require for their companies to excel in the modern world.

Shopify Inc. is one of Canada’s brightest technology companies and is headquartered in Ottawa. The rapidly growing company provides online sales tools for small and medium sized businesses. The company went public in May and is currently valued at over $2.7 billion dollars. Waterloo’s strong engineering and technology talent is the driver behind the expansion into Waterloo. In a statement, the company said: “Shopify chose to expand its offices in Waterloo because of the amazing talent pool that is available in the region.”  Shopify will be hiring 300 new employees for the Waterloo office.

TD Bank is also looking to acquire Waterloo talent with the opening of a new Technology Innovation Centre. Located close to the University of Waterloo main campus, this office will focus on IT and software engineering, with the goal to attract data scientists in the near future.  TD Bank’s Senior VP and Chief Information Officer Jeff Martin had this to say: “We recognize that there’s a lot of innovation talent in the area. We need to be where they are. They’re not going to come to us. You need to have that talent to really build the bank of the future.” He also noted that proximity to the region’s post secondary schools was a draw for the bank.

Well done Waterloo! There is a lot of smart people in this city and the best companies in Canada are taking notice.

  • Peter Whitby Jr.

Is The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor the Next Silicon Valley?

What lead to Silicon Valley’s success, and is it possible to replicate this success in Canada? This article in the Globe and Mail highlights the potential possibilities of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor to become a true innovation centre in the country and the world.

Written by Iain Klugman, the CEO of Communitech, and Kevin Lynch, the Vice-Chair of the Bank of Montreal, this article rolls out the key “missing piece” that could be the difference between turning our region in the Canadian Silicon Valley.

Within the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, we produce superb technical talent, creative ideas and intellectual property to rival the world’s best – tens of thousands of our graduates work in Silicon Valley or Seattle or L.A., while others have opted to stay in Canada, or return after a stint away, to start companies.

Canadian entrepreneurs have repeatedly shown they can build game-changing technology right here at home, but too often these successes have been in spite of, not due to, the business conditions our innovators face.

To capture the full potential of the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor, we cannot think incrementally. We need a bold vision and even bolder leadership from government, the private sector and universities, buttressed by the ambition and confidence that we can take on the world and win. We also need to create concrete conditions for success, including more direct government support of technology development, faster transit links, financial lending services tailored to knowledge-based startups, strategic procurement by both governments and large firms, expedited visas for global talent and clear numeric targets for creating billion-dollar firms and tech jobs.

Read the full article on The Globe and Mail website.

Rent Or Buy The Top Floor in Waterloo?

comparing-penthouses-thumbThere is a lot of discussion on the economics of buying versus renting, and in some major markets – like Toronto, New York, and Vancouver – often the balance sheet tips toward renting being the less expensive option.

Even taking into account the recent growth of the Waterloo region, the economics of Kitchener-Waterloo real estate still favours the investment of buying a condo over renting one.

CTV Kitchener did a recent segment on the buy versus rent question when it comes to upscale, top floor, and penthouse suites in the region. Their calculations and the experts they talked to align: here in KW, you’ll definitely spend less if you buy, especially if you’re looking for a home to last you more than a year or two.

Check out the CTV video segment on the CTV Kitchener website.

Peter Whitby speaking at the 2015 Western Tour to Waterloo Region

Sponsor of the 2015 Western Tour to Waterloo Region

Peter Whitby speaking at the 2015 Western Tour to Waterloo Region

Momentum Developments is proud to have worked with the Toronto Chinese Business Associations to successfully organize the 2015 Western Tour to Waterloo Region.

1,200 Chinese Canadians from the GTA visited Waterloo Region for the first time. The itinerary for the trip included stops at St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market, the University of Waterloo, Region of Waterloo International Airport, Perimeter Institute and the School of Pharmacy in downtown Kitchener.

It was a wonderful event that included participation from the Regional Government and also Mayors Dave Jaworsky from Waterloo and Barry Vrbanovic from the City of Kitchener. The weather was beautiful and we are proud to have participated in such a positive event. 1,200 Canadians were introduced to our amazing Region over the two day event!

Peter Whitby with David Jaworsky and Barry Vrbanovic

Peter Whitby with Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and Kitchener Mayor Barry Vrbanovic

Breithaupt Block Recognized As Office Development Of The Year

The Robertson Simmons designed Breithaupt Block building – the future home of the Google Canadian Development Office – received a NAIOP Real Estate Excellence Award as Office Development of the Year.

From an article in Canadian Architect:

“We are so proud of this building and the privilege of being part of the project team,” said Jason Martin, Partner, Robertson Simmons architects inc. “Working through our proven process and collaborating with Perimeter Development Corporation and the rest of their team to design this building with the goal of creating a new dynamic landmark for downtown Kitchener’s premier innovation district has been an exceptional experience.”

The Breithaupt Block is going to be a fantastic addition to the Innovation District area of downtown Kitchener. Congratulations to Robertson Simmons for their great work making this building a stand-out piece of the Kitchener skyline.

One Victoria: Spring 2015 Update

An update from the One Victoria Condominium Sales and Customer Service Team:

It has been a real pleasure seeing everyone again through the Selection Centre these past few months. We recognize that colour selection is an exciting part of the buying experience and we sincerely hope that you found our process enjoyable. We made significant investments in both the custom software and a full-time designer to help in your overall experience – we hope it contributed to a good one!

We still have a few loose ends to wrap up. The Selection Centre is open Wed/Thur 3pm-6pm and Sat/Sun 12pm-5pm. Of course, we’re available anytime with notice too.

On site, the forming crews are finishing up pouring the 16th floor and moving the flyers up to the 17th in order to do the first pour during the last week of April. Inside the structure, steel studs continue to do the mechanical, electrical and sprinkler rough-ins. We expect to see windows arriving over the next few months too. The building should be capped off by early June.

We are still sitting at about 65 – 70 tradesmen on site every day. And by the end of next week, we will have surpassed 12,000 cubic meters of concrete poured. Not bad!

Get One Victoria updates delivered directly to your email by registering at the One Victoria website.

Building Kitchener-Waterloo Together

Bridgit, a local software developer which caters to residential and commercial builders, understands how the tech boom in Kitchener-Waterloo and the construction industry work together. While the technology industry is driving the need for urban living and new commercial space, a few startups are also working directly with developers. Contractors of big and small developments are using software on the job site, and at Momentum we understand the relationship between the construction and technology industries.

From Bridgit’s blog:

An increase in jobs means an increase in people, leading to greater demand for urban housing. Local developer, Momentum Developments is meeting this demand with a series of new condos, including the One Victoria Condominiums located right beside the Tannery and slated for completion in 2015. “Tech is one of the largest drivers of the region’s economy and has encouraged many skilled people to move to or stay in the area,” says Peter Maxwell, Partner at Momentum Developments. “Our goal is to provide these people with exciting places to live in an urban context.” According to Maxwell, many purchasers of units in One Victoria are those moving from Toronto to Kitchener in order to pursue a new career in the area.

It’s clear that the thriving tech scene in Kitchener-Waterloo is keeping local construction teams busy, but that’s only the tip of how the two industries are working together. In the past few years, several construction-focused tech startups have launched in the region and local developers and general contractors have been quick to welcome the innovation on-site.

Read the full post on Bridgit’s blog.

Stable Housing Market Forecast for Waterloo Region in 2015

The Record put out a summary of the 2014 housing market and a look at the forecast for the 2015 housing market in the Waterloo Region. We’re on track to remain in the “Goldilocks Zone,” with strong investment and growth continuing, but not so fast or so much that we create a housing bubble.

From the article in The Record:

“Most of the discussions of a housing bubble are in the larger cities that have maybe more of a speculative market,” Mark Wolle, president of the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors, said. “Where you might have housing bubble is where there have been huge swings in the pricing.”

He also says prices in this region are reinforced by a diverse economy, with the universities and colleges bringing in skilled workers who tend to stay and buy houses.

Wolle said the light rail transit line is also bringing a lot of investment into the region, and that translates into construction activity, jobs and stability. Investors wouldn’t be putting the money into the region if they didn’t see the potential, he added.

That is coupled with the progress of the technology sector, with Google moving into the Breithaupt Block building and other technology companies also growing, he said.

“It’s exciting to be in a region that has such great potential,” Wolle said. “There is such diversity in the economy.”

Read the full article on The Record’s website.

Shaping Waterloo Region's Urban Horizon

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Kitchener, Ontario

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1 866 533 4649

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55 Northfield Drive East, Suite 285
Waterloo, Ontario
N2K 3T6

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