The Rose Corporation is best known as a developer and operator of purpose-built rental properties, but it’s also about to launch the first major new condominium development in Newmarket in more than 30 years.
The Davis Residences at Bakerfield is part of a multi-phase development on a 6.8-acre site in the town of more than 85,000 about 30 minutes north of Toronto.
“The vision of The Rose Corporation continues to be purpose-built rental, but we also believe that a good community that has good planning is a complete community and a healthy community,” The Rose Corporation president Daniel Berholz told RENX. “Condominiums are necessary in a well-thought-out community.”
The first phase, 212 Davis Apartments, was the first privately funded, purpose-built market rental apartment tower in York Region since the 1980s. The 15-storey, 225-unit building leased up in record time with rents that were attractive to both the marketplace and Rose.
In addition to The Davis Residences at Bakerfield, the site will include two other buildings. Both are likely to be purpose-built rentals.
Rose Corp. leads way with condo project
“Some developers viewed Newmarket as a bedroom community, so it drew developers with that mindset,” Berholz said. “Those developers were usually focused on low-rise development.
“There was enough land for low-rise development so there was never a culture of condos as an option in that area.”
Other developers are now considering joining Rose in building larger condos in Newmarket.
The Davis Residences at Bakerfield will have 15 storeys and 219 one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom-plus-den and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 550 to 1,150 square feet. Prices will range from the low $400,000s to more than $600,000.
“It’s been an interesting re-education of the community,” said Berholz. “This generation hasn’t really thought about living in this type of scenario because it hasn’t been available.”
The Davis Residences at Bakerfield will include: an upscale modern lobby and lounge; a fitness centre; a yoga studio; a party room with kitchen and barbecues on a rooftop terrace; furnished guest suites; an indoor play zone for children; a hobby room for crafts; and a pet wash station.
Rose also acquired a piece of adjacent land that will become a public park with a playground.
The development is in a central location with good public transit access.
The Davis Residences at Bakerfield is being designed to meet LEED Silver requirements for energy efficiency.
“Sales are going well,” said Berholz. “We are currently previewing and have only released some units.”
Late 2022 occupancy is being targeted by the North York, Ont.-based boutique real estate development and asset management firm.
King George project in York Region
Meanwhile, construction is well underway on Rose’s nearby King George School Lofts & Town Homes. The site includes 11 condo lofts within the old school building surrounded by 14 two-storey freehold townhomes.
Seventy per cent of the units are sold and Rose has stopped marketing the project, instead relying on visitors to its website or the property itself to sell the remainder. An end-of-year delivery is targeted.
Part of the current attraction for Newmarket is its economy, which created 2,000 jobs in 2018. This was led by Celestica moving some of its operations there from Toronto.
Rose has enjoyed a good relationship with both town and municipal leaders.
“The town is incredibly developer-friendly, but not out of desperation,” said Berholz. “They have a very strong focus on becoming a completely independent economic engine where people have a place to live and places to work and all anybody needs within the town itself.
“We’re very impressed with the direction that the town has been going and the importance they’ve placed on their policies.
“We haven’t had to fight with them at all. With a lot of municipalities, you end up going to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board). We’re just building what they’ve asked for, because what they’ve asked for makes sense.”
Rose Corp. also building in Kitchener
Rose is also active in the purpose-built rental development market in Kitchener, Ont., where Berholz said the local government shares Newmarket’s clear vision.
Rose’s first project is called Woodside Terraces, where the first units opened 10 months ago at 270 Spadina Rd. E. The developer started with 56 larger suites and overhauled and rebuilt them to create 103 smaller ones.
The second phase of the project will be a completely new wing being built on excess land. Planning is underway to start building 91 units in the spring, with construction anticipated to take a couple of years.
Rose is weeks away from breaking ground on a seven-storey, 70-unit purpose-built rental apartment at 388 King St. in downtown Kitchener. It will be the developer’s first all-new building in the city.
Berholz said Rose is also looking at a couple of other properties in Kitchener for future development.
Sale of four Western Canada properties
Rose has sold four properties in Alberta and British Columbia and has one more piece of land left in Western Canada.
“We’re focusing most, if not all, of our new attention on land in the immediate vicinity,” said Berholz. “We’re looking at projects in Mississauga, Peel, Halton and York — more specifically Streetsville, Milton and Vaughan — in addition to Kitchener and Newmarket.
“We’re focused generally on similar types of projects in these areas. We’re not as focused on the Toronto market itself because there are a lot of people developing in Toronto. We feel like we have a niche in the 905 and 519 (area codes) that we’ve had some success with, and we’d like to replicate that success.”
Rose also plans to continue to work collaboratively with all levels of government with its future projects.
“We’re focusing on a win-win-win scenario, providing housing that’s needed, desirable and provides positive social outcomes,” said Berholz. “We’re working hard to design buildings to meet the needs of the market and the masses.”