Kash Pashootan had about 20 years of experience in managing the assets of high-net-worth families, and almost 10 in development, before electing to blend that experience and his passion for design by launching EMBLEM Developments in 2018.
“We wanted to take the results and the success we had with our family’s capital and take it to the next level by doing larger projects,” Pashootan told RENX.
EMBLEM’s staff has grown to include about 30 full-time employees who have experience in construction, pre-construction, development, finance and other areas.
With investments from Canadian high-net-worth families, its own capital and financing available from tier one lenders, Pashootan said his downtown Toronto-based firm has access to more than $1 billion in liquid capital.
Pashootan said being well-capitalized allows EMBLEM to take a long-term view of its investments so it doesn’t have to exclusively focus on maximizing profits on each project. That enables it to pay more attention to achieving high standards in design, materials, finishes and amenities in its developments.
EMBLEM embraces intelligent growth
“Buyers can tell the difference between something that looks and feels like everything else, and something that has had a lot of time and attention paid to every facet, every detail,” said Pashootan. “We’re not willing to jeopardize or compromise on that part of what we do because we feel it’s really the essence of our brand.”
Pashootan said EMBLEM has approximately 4,500 multifamily units, representing some $2.8 billion in value, in its Ontario-only development pipeline. While its portfolio includes some purpose-built rental, condominiums are the company’s focus.
“We feel that comfortably having a pipeline of 10,000 units is realistic,” said Pashootan. “And it works well with our infrastructure and our capital as well as our people.
“And that’s what we’re working towards. We’re not in a rush to get to 10,000 units under development because growth has to be done intelligently.”
Arte Residences and Artform Condos
EMBLEM currently has major projects in various stages of development in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Ottawa.
Arte Residences is a Studio JCI-designed, 18-storey, 427-unit condo at 89 Dundas St. W. in Mississauga, just south of the Cooksville GO Transit station and 300 metres from the Dundas stop on the future Hurontario light rail transit line, that just went on sale.
The Arte site fits well within Mississauga’s Dundas Connects Master Plan that’s guiding future urban growth and intensification along the Dundas Street corridor. The area is poised to welcome 52,000 new residents and 9,600 new jobs.
Arte units will range from approximately 555-square-foot studios to 850-square-foot three-bedroom units, with one-bedroom-plus-den being the main format. Seventy-five per cent of the units will be priced under $650,000. Pashootan believes units will sell quickly and occupancy is expected in early 2025.
Pashootan believes outdoor amenities are just as important as those found indoors, and that has especially become the case since the onset of the pandemic, so many have been duplicated in both settings. Arte will have indoor and outdoor fitness studios, private dining rooms, co-working spaces, bars and lounges.
The Studio JCI-designed 17-storey, 336-unit Artform Condos is located close to Arte at 86 Dundas St. E. Pashootan said penthouse units were held back but all of the units EMBLEM released sold very quickly. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2024.
1 Jarvis, 41 Wilson in Hamilton
All 354 units in downtown Hamilton’s Studio JCI-designed 15-storey 1 Jarvis condo were sold in less than 48 hours, according to Pashootan. Construction started within four months and is expected to complete in Q1 2024.
EMBLEM’s next Hamilton development, 41 Wilson, will be much more ambitious. It will be comprised of three 30-storey towers that will house approximately 1,500 units on a site primarily occupied by a surface parking lot as well as a community centre and an auto shop. The property fronts Wilson, Hughson and John Streets and is a five-minute walk from 1 Jarvis.
Pashootan said EMBLEM is still working through the design details for 41 Wilson, but noted it will have impressive design, finishes and amenities.
Pashootan calls Hamilton a “fresh canvas” for EMBLEM to work on and government investment in public transit and infrastructure adds to its appeal — particularly downtown and on the waterfront.
Robinson Village in Ottawa
Robinson Village will be a four-building purpose-built rental development with approximately 300 units on Robinson Avenue in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood. It’s near the University of Ottawa and the Lees light rail transit station.
The first three buildings will be completed in early 2022, according to Pashootan.
“It will feature the same modern, sophisticated aesthetic that you see with our condominium projects,” said Pashootan, who believes Robinson Village will appeal to mature students and young professionals.
Pashootan said EMBLEM is working on other Ontario projects that aren’t yet zoned, so it would be premature to discuss them at this point.