With people continuing to be priced out of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) single-family housing market, communities on the periphery are taking advantage and looking to meet their needs.
Shelburne is a town of less than 10,000 people located about 100 kilometres north of Toronto. Its residential density has been mandated to increase by the Ontario government’s Places to Grow Act and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
“Over the last five or six years, Shelburne has experienced over 10 per cent growth in population,” said Greybrook Securities chief executive officer and Greybrook Capital partner Sasha Cucuz. “You can see a migration of people into the area because of its more affordable and accessible price point.
“You’re getting a lot of households that have a reasonably high household income that are moving into the area, and that’s going to spur the development and need for housing. We thought that all of these factors combined with its accessibility to the city made it a great place to build single-family homes.”
Site is close to highways and green space
The site is close to the intersection of Highway 89 and Dufferin County Road 124 and beside 32 acres of natural green space.
Greybrook contributed $8.9 million to the land purchase while Cucuz said Fieldgate made “a meaningful co-investment” in the site, which is expected to be developed into a residential community consisting of 246 detached homes ranging in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, with four or five different unit types on predominantly 40-foot wide lots.
Cucuz expects it to take a year to 18 months before all of the municipal approvals are granted and sales can start. The two companies are targeting a move-in date of about four years from now. An average price of $575,000 is anticipated, and the development has a projected completion value of $134 million.
“If you look at the GTA and its entire radius going from Guelph all the way to Bowmanville to the east, you would be hard-pressed to find any 40-foot single family detached homes that are brand new in the sub-$600,000 range,” said Cucuz. “We think it represents great value for people because you’re in close proximity at a pretty accessible price point on a relative basis.”
Greybrook and Fieldgate portfolios
The portfolio of low-rise development holdings managed by Greybrook includes more than 900 acres of land in southern Ontario that’s projected to result in the completion of more than 5,000 single-family homes. Greybrook and its affiliates have been involved in the creation, development, construction and management of more than 50 real estate projects that are expected to create more than 15,000 residential and commercial units from Fergus in the west to Oshawa in the east.
“The challenge is getting your hands on good properties,” said Cucuz.
Greybrook has partnered with 15 developers in the past, but never with Fieldgate, which has delivered more than 20,000 homes across southern Ontario over the past 60 years. Cucuz was introduced to Fieldgate CEO Jack Eisenberger through a mutual partner a year ago, and they identified synergies.
“We started to talk about different opportunities and where we could collaborate, and we agreed that the Shelburne project would be a good place for us to start based on our investment thesis and where we’re headed and what Fieldgate’s expertise was,” said Cucuz.
Fieldgate’s recent single-family detached home developments include Impressions in Kleinburg and Valleylands in Brampton, while its recent condominium projects include 90 Niagara, Heartwood The Beach and Zigg in Toronto, as well as Kenneth & Holmes in North York. Several others are coming in addition to the Shelburne development.