We have been closely following the marketing of Aragon Properties' Enigma on the Park, a 9-storey, Quadrangle Architects-designed development containing 86 condominium and townhouse units, to be built in West Toronto at the meeting point between the Bloordale, Brockton Village and Little Portugal neighbourhoods.
Recently we chatted with Enigma on the Park's Sales Manager, Ralph Fox, about the townhouse units being offered in the development, and the advantages they hold over other housing types like single-family homes and condominium units.
UT: The cost of the average single-family home in Toronto recently crossed the $1 million mark. Are Enigma’s townhomes a viable option for people who would have preferred a detached home?
RF: Yes, absolutely. Detached and even semi-detached houses are becoming virtually unreachable in Toronto, and the $1 million figure often doesn’t account for the work and maintenance that needs to go into these houses at the time of closing. The challenge—you have buyers like young families looking to purchase alternatives other than condominiums—and townhouses are right now the only affordable fit.
We have sold a whole bunch of townhouses in the past week or two, with people coming in after losing out on bidding wars for homes in multiple-offer scenarios, who are then able to sit down in a showroom and pick their home over a cup of coffee.
Some of the rooms you would have in a single family home are replaced by common amenities in a condominium. How have you balanced the need for these facilities against the maintenance fees to pay for them?
A lot of times, especially with a project like Enigma on the Park, people really aren’t looking for a ton of amenities because they would like to keep their maintenance fees low, so not having a swimming pool or a concierge can considerably reduce the costs on a month to month basis, and that is very appealing to purchasers. When you have a project like ours, which happens to be situated on a park and offers plenty of green and outdoor space, it offers far more than you can get when you purchase a house.
What are the fees like for a townhouse at Enigma?
Townhouses also generally have lower maintenance costs per square foot than condos. Maintenance fees for the townhouse units at Enigma on the Park are 33 cents per square foot versus the 45 cents per square foot for the building’s condo units. This is because the townhouse units don’t use up as much common space like elevators and hallways as the condo units, allowing residents to save proportionally on their monthly fees.
Enigma’s unique design elements must be attracting certain types of buyers. Who are you finding is purchasing a home at Enigma?
What do you do if you come to the realization that all you can buy is a condo or townhouse, but most of what you see on the market is a generic box? The type of people purchasing at Enigma on the Park are looking for something different that offers both character and the traits that come with living in a neighbourhood setting, like the park we have here on St. Helens. It's a tremendous family-friendly alternative to the only other real option right now, the 'glass box' high-rise developments of Downtown Toronto. So it's families as well as people from all walks of life like young couples and singles… but the commonality is that people really want to live in a building with character and don’t want to live in a generic box.
Even inside of the homes, Aragon is including exposed reclaimed brick walls, a feature that was included in the units at Aragon’s last Toronto project, Showcase Lofts at 88 Colgate. When it is built, Enigma will be an iconic building that people in the neighbourhood will know.
What local features are helping people make the decision to buy at Enigma?
There is a tremendous amount being offered. I think the most outstanding feature attracting purchasers is the park abutting the project. We have a gentrifying area, and that is always attractive to people from an investment standpoint. From a lifestyle standpoint, we’ve got access to the TTC’s Bloor-Danforth Line and a location on a quiet side street, we have the direct UPX transit line connecting Union Station and Pearson Airport with one of the only two stops in between located just down the street from our building at Bloor and Dundas.
The demand for the area is growing given its relative affordability, surrounded by neighbourhoods like Roncesvalles and High Park, the prices for which are just out of reach for many homeowners. Not too many townhouses are being built within the city, these types of opportunities to buy in a building with character in an emerging neighbourhood are few and far between.
We thank Ralph Fox for taking the time to speak with us about Enigma on the Park, and look forward to tracking the construction activity for the new development in the near future.
Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.
|Related Companies:||Aragon Properties, LiveRoof Ontario Inc, McIntosh Perry, Quadrangle, Vicbar Marketing|