Despite its comparatively low urban densities, the City of Oshawa is introducing new models of compact student housing to the GTA. Sold out after just two weeks of sales, Podium Developments and Building Capital's University Studios brought the SmartStudios concept to Ontario. Designed by Wallman Architects, the highly efficient layouts included foldable beds, hidden storage spaces, custom-designed kitchenettes, and in-built USB ports. Adapting the model to shared homes, the developers have returned with University Towns, a 134-unit stacked townhouse development.

The brightly coloured University Towns, image courtesy of Podium / Building Capital

Like University Studios, University Towns is situated in close proximity to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College, with both campuses a three-minute walk away. While University Studios offers only single-person dwellings, University Towns exclusively features three-bedroom suites, including 112 townhouses and 22 condominium units. 

Ranging in size from 922 ft² to 1,092 ft², the units more closely resemble traditional housing, forgoing some of the ultra-compact design elements seen in University Studios in favour of more spacious configurations. Designed by Emerich Kaspar Architects Inc., the project's modern stacked townhouse typology is characterized by red and black brick exteriors, lending the development a prominent street presence. 

A 'doll house' view of townhouse interiors, image courtesy of Podium / Building Capital

While the majority of suites are arranged as stacked townhouses, University Towns also features 22 single-story condominium suites. Since the project is geared to a student population, residents of all 134 units will have access to a range of amenities seldom found in townhouse developments. The condo-style amenities include a fitness centre, media room, lounge, and an indoor party room with full kitchen. Additionally, private study spaces are also planned, providing students a library-inspired work environment close to home. 

For buyers, the development is being marketed as a turnkey investment, providing a largely hands-off revenue stream. The fully-managed community does not require buyers to take an active role as landlords, while a "2-year vendor leaseback" is meant to facilitate an easy entry into the market.

A closer look at the street-level exterior, image courtesy of Podium / Building Capital

We will keep you updated as the project continues to develop, and more information becomes available. In the meantime, make sure to check out our dataBase file for more information. Want to share your thoughts on the project and Oshawa's new investor-driven student housing? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the conversation own our Forum.

Related Companies:  Building Capital Inc., Emerich Kaspar Architect Inc., Live Patrol Inc., McIntosh Perry, McOuat Partnership, Milborne Group, Podium Developments , Varsity Properties, Wallman Architects