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Millennials hit suburbs for first home


Giuliana Ferraro and Christian LoPresti were so eager to buy a townhome in Burlington’s Stationwest development, they convinced LoPresti’s mother to camp out at 4:30 a.m. on the first morning they went on sale.

“There she was with her lawn chair and Tim Horton’s coffee, the first person in line,” Ferraro says. “By 9:30 a.m., there were 50 or 60 people in line. The townhomes were so popular, people just grabbed them up.

“Without her, this wouldn’t be happening.”

The young couple, both graduating students at the University of Guelph, originally dreamed of living in Toronto. But with the high cost of home ownership in the GTA, the millennial couple chose another option: a planned community that’s a five-minute walk from the Aldershot GO station and the train downtown to Union station.

“I’ve wanted to live in Toronto for as long as I can remember, because it’s so lively, but it’s completely out of our price range,” says LoPresti. “Stationwest has access to downtown, which is great, since I’m interviewing with companies in Toronto.”

“Here, we have an ultra-modern community in walking distance of a GO station that provides direct access to the city without the million-dollar mortgage,” says Ferraro.

Tariq Adi, CEO of Stationwest builder Adi Developments, says that Ontario’s new mortgage rules, requiring larger down payments, “really killed new, first-time home buyers” in a housing market that is extremely pricey and very competitive.

“The price of a single family home in Burlington is $ 1.3 million,” he says. “This is an opportunity to give people, including millennials, entry into home ownership.”

Stationwest is being built in phases. Ferraro, 22, and LoPresti, 23, purchased a back-to-back, two-bedroom townhome for $ 420,000 in the initial phase of sales. The newest addition to the community is the West condominiums, which will be launched for sales this month (November). Two, midrise six-storey buildings will offer 168 condominium units ranging from studios to two bedrooms-plus-den.

The transit hub access to Toronto is among the highlights that also include shopping, a public school and library nearby, with plans for retail shops and a park within the Stationwest community. As well, there’s the adjacent conservation area, plus the lake shore, the Royal Botanical Gardens and a marina close at hand.

“We’re committed to leaving the planet useable for the future,” says Adi, 36. “We try to do things that minimize the impact on the environment. We use environmentally friendly paints and recycle rubbish on site, and we’re incorporating green space (an acre of parkland) into the development. We have a car share program and bicycle parking, too.”

Adi says the community, whose first two phases are close to being sold out, appeals to buyers of all ages: families, empty-nesters and millennials.

“We try hard to look at the way people live,” Adi says. “We live in an age of convenience and speed. When people are working 13- or 14-hour days, they don’t want to come home and cut the grass.”

Minimal maintenance certainly appealed to Ferraro and LoPresti. Their townhome has no backyard; instead, it has a rooftop terrace. (The West condos will have a common-area rooftop terrace.)

“We’re millennials,” says Ferraro. “We don’t know how to garden. We do value the outdoors, but not having to maintain a lawn or large property is great.”

Adi says Stationwest has many features that appeal to the generation.

“Millennials want quality, and that’s a philosophy in our company,” Adi says. “They’re on the go all the time and their homes are just parking stations; space isn’t a key for them. Instead, we created bigger amenities and fitness areas.

“West condominiums have a spacious party room and large fitness spaces.”

Condos are also appealing to millennials, he said, because they don’t involve outdoor chores; grounds maintenance is a real plus. Stationwest condo buildings will be constructed of concrete and clad in glass and metal.

“Concrete settles better than wood and gets stronger as it cures,” Adi says. “It works well with the temperature swings we get here in Ontario and always surpasses minimum noise requirements. You don’t get the same noise or settling and crackling sounds that you do with wood.”

The interiors are also well designed, he noted. The living areas and the entryways have floating laminate plank floors and the floor-to-ceiling windows draw in natural light. The open-concept living space allows for a nice flow and more space to entertain; nine-foot ceilings will be the standard.

Bedrooms will be carpeted and feature generous closets with sliding doors. The kitchens will have stainless steel appliances, polished quartz countertops and polished chrome fixtures. Bathrooms will have handset porcelain tile flooring and walk-in showers with glass doors; each unit will also feature a soaker tub.

“The designs are ultra-modern,” says Ferraro. “They’re clean, chic and a style we’re drawn to.”

As well as being close to the GO station, the community will have covered tunnel leading to the station.

Stationwest

Address: 101 Masonry Crt., Burlington, Ont.

Developer/builder: Adi Development Group.

Architect: ICON Architects

Size range: 340 square feet to 865 square feet

Latest phase: 168 units in two, six-storey condo buildings

Parking: Underground space included with each unit

Available layouts: Studios to two bedroom plus den

Prices: Low $ 200,000s to low $ 400,000s

Completion: February 2019

Contact information: adidevelopments.com; 905-681-7743; sales centre at 101 Masonry Crt., Burlington.

— Elaine Smith

TORONTO STAR | LIFE | HOMES

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