Adi acquired the five-acre site in the Alton Village neighbourhood in 2015 after a proposed mid-rise project from another developer was cancelled. Adi also owns a site across the street, where its sold-out Valera master-planned community of 435 condo units and 70 townhomes is under construction and should be ready for first occupancies later this year.
The first phase of Realm will include 401 units in two 16-storey buildings joined by a podium, designed by CORE Architects, as well as 20 townhomes flanking a central parkette that will be publicly accessible. There will be one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-den units, with sizes ranging from 446 to 1,163 square feet.
Amenities will include: a fitness centre with a movement studio; social and youth spaces; a kids’ play zone; a work-from-home lounge with office pods and breakout rooms; an indoor garden in the lobby; a lounge on a sixth-floor terrace; and an outdoor basketball court.
Adi, which does its own construction, is looking to start building Realm this fall. First occupancies are anticipated within 23 months of the start date.
Realm’s still-to-be-launched second phase will have 200 units in two six-storey buildings and more townhomes that will provide continuity from Phase 1. It doesn’t yet have a name.
Realm will offer proximity to a number of outdoor recreation options, including: Millcroft Golf Club; Tyandaga Golf Course; Hidden Lake Golf Club; Mount Nemo Conservation Area; Fourteen Mile Creek; and Burloak Waterfront Park. It’s also minutes from the Burlington GO Transit station, Highway 407 and the Queen Elizabeth Way.
Lower-priced alternative for Burlington
Realm’s prices will begin in the $400,000s and rise to approximately $750,000. Adi chief executive officer Tariq Adi told RENX townhouses in established Burlington neighbourhoods are now averaging $1 million and single detached houses are generally selling for from $1.6 million to $2.4 million.
“It’s getting pricey and a barrier to entry for many folks,” said Adi. “We’re all about providing quality housing to everyday people and making it obtainable for everyday people.”
The developer’s purchaser demographic is typically made up of first-time homebuyers, investors and downsizing empty nesters.
“Investors are sometimes looked at as bad people in this equation, but we don’t believe that,” said Adi. “We believe investors are a much-needed part of the ecosystem. They purchase units and then they put them out into the rental pool.
“With Burlington and Halton Region (which are just west of the Greater Toronto Area) not seeing any new rental developments, they’re a conduit to that market. They actually do allow people to be in a home.”
In addition to Valera, Adi has two other current projects in Burlington.
Sales recently closed on the 423-unit Stationwest and The West master-planned community at 101 Masonry Court near the Aldershot GO Transit station. The development includes stacked and street townhomes, back-to-back product and condo units.
Adi said there are a handful of units left in the 240-suite Nautique condominium, which is under construction at 374 Martha St. on Burlington’s waterfront.
Adi in Toronto
While Adi’s roots are in Burlington, it also has two downtown Toronto development properties.
“We’re still very bullish on Toronto and believe that there is a market in Toronto for the right buyer,” said Adi.
Adi believes the city’s high housing prices are a negative factor, however, with homebuyers needing to pay around $1,500 per square foot. At those prices, condo unit investors will need to rent them for five or six dollars per square foot, well above the $3.50 to four dollars they would have gone for in the not-too-distant past.
Downtown Toronto has also lost some allure during the pandemic as some amenities haven’t been available due to government-mandated shutdowns. That has pushed some people to look for larger spaces in which to live, farther out from the core.
“People have come to realize that it’s become really prohibitive to live downtown, irrespective of all the amenities and everything else,” said Adi. “We’ve seen a massive push into secondary markets where people and employers are both accepting partially working from home.”
Adi expects to launch sales for The Addison, a 16-storey, 120-unit condo at 135 Portland St. in the King Street West area, in September.
“We’re hoping that will be a quick sellout,” said Adi.
The company also had plans for a high-rise condo at 64 Prince Arthur, located between the Annex and Yorkville neighbourhoods, but received an unfavourable decision from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
Adi said the developer is taking a pause and reconsidering what steps to take next with the site.
Future developments and third-party work
Adi has acquired a site near the Milton GO Transit station, in the Western GTA, where it plans to build about 600 units.
“Milton is the fastest-growing city in Canada,” said Adi. “They’re anticipating doubling their population in the next 10 years. That’s a town that we’re very bullish on.”
Adi added there are also “a couple of very large master-planned communities that are coming down the pike, but I can’t say anything about those yet. There will be more 10-year plays and lots in the acquisition pipeline coming up soon.”
Adi’s construction arm is growing and will be taking on third-party work. It also has a formwork company called Highline Forming.
“We will be gearing up to start taking some third-party work, which I think is much needed in the GTA today,” said Adi. “Our phones are blowing up with people asking us to have a look and price out their jobs.”