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.

One Victoria: Winter 2015 Update

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

Stay warm! If you are to believe Wiarton Willie, we’re less than a month away from springtime. Now that’s hard to fathom when we’re breaking daily temperature lows in the neighbourhood of -35 degrees Celsius.

Obviously, the harsh temperatures over the past few weeks have impacted productivity on the site. But we’ll take the good with the bad – the weather prior to the New Year’s was quite cooperative. The construction schedule still shows completion of the superstructure in early May. By then, the interior finishing teams will be going full tilt as we continue to push for late 2015 occupancy.

The forming crews have now poured over 10,000 cubic metres of concrete. While an impressive stat, there is plenty of onsite activity that doesn’t involve pouring concrete. The precast brick panels are now going up around the residential suites on King and Victoria – and they look incredible. Inside the corridors, masons are beginning to place block walls (on milder days) and the steel stud crews continue to frame out suites. All the while, mechanical and electrical crews follow in behind to work on rough-ins. On a normal day, there are now +- 70 total workers on site.

It has been a real pleasure seeing everyone again over the past month as we work through your suite selections. Feedback on the process has been great so far as we near the halfway point. We sincerely hope that you enjoy making your colour choices and that the new selection software has improved the experience.

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

One Victoria: Fall 2014 Update

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

Tremendous progress has been made at One Victoria over the past few months and for that we are thankful. Days are only going to start getting colder and shorter as we move out of October.

For the past few months, there have been upwards of 60-70 contractors on site daily with the majority of them focused on formwork and plumbing. To date, roughly 7,500 cubic meters of concrete have been poured. Over the next few weeks the podium itself will be completed and construction of the tower will begin. The tower floors will be built much faster – a floor every six or seven work days is expected. This means that the entire superstructure should be complete by late spring – assuming that the winter months don’t throw us a curveball.

Forming/pouring of the 5th floor shear walls and columns is now complete. While the construction methodology is much of the same as the superstructure goes up, many new trades will be joining the existing contractors over the next few months. For instance, as soon as the roof deck of the podium is completed, windows and roofing will follow shortly thereafter. It really won’t be long before the interior finishes are being completed. In fact, steel studding of the residential units is scheduled for early in the New Year.

Please note, we will be closing the Presentation Centre at 16 Victoria St N and opening a new selection center at 42 Bridgeport Rd E in Waterloo in late November. We look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year!

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

Kitchener Development Fund Builds Results

The downtown Kitchener area is seeing great benefits from the 2004 $110 million economic development fund: that original investment is seeing a lot of spin-off in the downtown and midtown areas. This area of King Street – once completely forgettable – now features some great developments and is attracting huge interest!

If you follow Momentum Developments projects, you’ll know that this downtown Kitchener area is where the One Victoria project is located. We’re excited to be a part of the growing buzz surrounding this revitalizing area!

From the Daily Commercial News article:

Established in 2004, Kitchener’s $110 million economic development investment fund was a one-time program that used a tax levy to raise its capital. Cory Bluhm, Kitchener’s manager of downtown development, says qualifying projects “had to be what we called a catalytic investment, meaning you invest in something with the hopes that it’s going to spinoff into other developments beyond itself.”

Over the years, the fund has been used to foster major projects, such as developing facilities to house the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy and the McMaster School of Medicine, creating a new building for the Kitchener market and renovating a former school to accommodate the Wilfrid Laurier University School of Social Work, and to help finance a program to enhance the city’s King Street streetscape, a central corridor.

An impact analysis submitted to the city last year notes there has already been an increase in property values and, so far, nearly 1,600 jobs are linked to the fund’s investments. Major employers, such as Google and Desire2Learn have located downtown, and there are residential projects underway in the city’s core, including City Centre condominiums – a mixed use tower development that will feature more than 350 residential units as well as retail space, public courtyard and public parking.

Read the full Daily Commercial News article.

One Victoria: Summer 2014 Update

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

Over the hoarding it rises! In early July, One Victoria started to creep over the construction fencing and has now progressed to the pouring of the 2nd floor/mezzanine columns and walls. The floor of the 2nd storey residential suites has now been poured and the ground floor retail component is completely defined.

On any given day, there are approximately 40 trade contractors on site with the majority of them focused on the formwork. To date, nearly 5,000 cubic meters of concrete have been poured! Not bad, but a lot more coming. The entire superstructure should be in place by spring of 2015 based on the current schedule.

On the forming front, Dominion Forming Inc. is carrying the load. With approximately 25 – 30 tradesmen on site, they are in charge of setting up forms, facilitating concrete pours, stripping forms, and continuing clean-up on floors below. Bulldog Rebar, a local company that has worked on all of Momentum’s builds, is in charge of laying and tying the rebar.

On the mechanical and electrical front, Fred Kau and O’Connor Electric have won the contracts for One Victoria. During the superstructure phase, these teams only require a couple of tradesmen each. They will ramp up considerably when the building is closed-in and the finishing work begins. Of course, as mentioned in a previous newsletter, Melloul Blamey is in charge of construction management.

We are still on target to start the colour selection process sometime in late 2014 or early 2015. We will be closing the Presentation Centre at 16 Victoria St N and opening a new selection centre at 42 Bridgeport Rd E in Waterloo.

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

Shaping Waterloo Region's Urban Horizon

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5 Michael Street
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 1L7

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1 866 533 4649

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

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