Student housing gets a rethink

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Student housing gets a rethink

Frat house … just whisper those two little words and watch the neighbours cringe. For many, the mere idea of having a group of university students sharing a home on their street conjures up images of John Belushi’s wild and crazy antics at Delta Tau Chi in the classic 1978 comedy Animal House.

But have no fear, condo developers are doing their best to put drunken toga parties on the back burner. Judging by the new offerings, student living has gone upscale as brand new mid-rise and high-rise buildings sprout up in university towns. Not only are the suites furnished but the amenity spaces boast fitness studios, outdoor lounges and catering kitchens on par with condo buildings typically built for these kids’ parents and grandparents. To boot, investors can snap up a suite or two and then hand them over to a management company that will secure the tenants and cater to their every need.

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Success in the learning curve

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Success in the learning curve

For Bernard Luttmer, 36, and Oskar Johansson, 38 — founding partners of Podium Developments — their housing experiences as Olympic competitors in sailing, and as university students, have helped hone the vision they have for their buildings.

Podium’s latest project, University Studios, is an eight-storey, 308-unit condominium to be built in Oshawa’s education hub that includes Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology which, together, have an enrollment of approximately 24,000 students. Co-developing the project is Markham-based Building Capital, a specialist developer and investor in student living and also commercial real estate.

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Student housing 2.0: How developers are filling a niche for kids, parents and investors

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Student housing 2.0: How developers are filling a niche for kids, parents and investors

Frat house … just whisper those two little words and watch the neighbours cringe. For many, the mere idea of having a group of university students sharing a home on their street conjures up images of John Belushi’s wild and crazy antics at Delta Tau Chi in the classic 1978 comedy Animal House.

But have no fear, condo developers are doing their best to put drunken toga parties on the back burner. Judging by the new offerings, student living has gone upscale as brand new mid-rise and high-rise buildings sprout up in university towns. Not only are the suites furnished but the amenity spaces boast fitness studios, outdoor lounges and catering kitchens on par with condo buildings typically built for these kids’ parents and grandparents. To boot, investors can snap up a suite or two and then hand them over to a management company that will secure the tenants and cater to their every need.

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Investors and tenants to benefit from University Studios’ Smartstudios in Oshawa

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Investors and tenants to benefit from University Studios’ Smartstudios in Oshawa

Before Rudy Wallman, principal at Wallman Architects, undertook the task of designing the units at University Studios, an Oshawa condo community from Podium Developments and Building Capital located across from Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, he looked at the way post-secondary students live.

“Priorities change as students move through University,” Wallman discovered. “In the first few years social life is a high priority. During this time, it makes sense for students to live in accommodations that have shared living, dining, kitchen and bathroom spaces with the only private space provided by bedrooms,” he explains.

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University Studios: Investors very interested in SmartStudios™ concept

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University Studios: Investors very interested in SmartStudios™ concept

Near the end of last year, we received news of a new condo development in Oshawa, geared towards investors and student life, called University Studios. Podium Developments and Building Capital are working with Wallman Architects on this interesting project.

Located near Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), University Studios will feature what the developers and architect are calling SmartStudios™. To our knowledge, there is no other condo in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) quite like this. We’ve seen new condos popping up next to college and university campuses, but none that have specially designed studios for students.   

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University Studios: Residence Brings Urban Character to Oshawa

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University Studios: Residence Brings Urban Character to Oshawa

Though Oshawa doesn't exactly have a long-standing reputation as a university town, things are changing quickly in the city east of Toronto. Since its inception in 2002, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has been one of the province's fastest growing universities, with enrolment now totalling over 10,000 students, a sharp increase from approximately 1,000 in 2003. Nearby Durham College has also experienced recent growth, helping transform Oshawa into a nascent education hub. 

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Affordable investment opportunity coming to Oshawa at University Studios

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Affordable investment opportunity coming to Oshawa at University Studios

A convenient location usually comes at a big premium, but not at University Studios, a new condo development from Building Capital andPodium Developments in Oshawa.

The community — which has units starting at just $149,990, nearly 200 per cent below the average price of a new high-rise home in the GTA — is centrally located in Durham’s education hub, just steps from Durham College and the University of Ontario.

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         How to Ask – and Get – Premium Rental Rates on Student Housing – With A.J. Keilty of Varsity Properties   University Studios is a new investment opportunity in Oshawa, right beside UOIT and Durham College. Varsity Properties is offering a 3 year rental guarantee to all investors who purchase in this project. Varsity Properties has been achieving premium rents in the student rental markets of Kingston, Oshawa and Barrie for over a decade. We chatted with A.J. Keilty – President and CEO – to talk about how they do this and specifically we discuss the investment opportunity in Oshawa.

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How to Ask – and Get – Premium Rental Rates on Student Housing – With A.J. Keilty of Varsity Properties

University Studios is a new investment opportunity in Oshawa, right beside UOIT and Durham College. Varsity Properties is offering a 3 year rental guarantee to all investors who purchase in this project. Varsity Properties has been achieving premium rents in the student rental markets of Kingston, Oshawa and Barrie for over a decade. We chatted with A.J. Keilty – President and CEO – to talk about how they do this and specifically we discuss the investment opportunity in Oshawa.

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University Studios bringing condominium living to Oshawa for under $150,000

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University Studios bringing condominium living to Oshawa for under $150,000

Imagine the opportunity for condominium living anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area for under $150,000, unheard of residential value in one of the hottest condominium markets in the Western World.

That is what is being presented by Podium Developments and Building Capital’s new University Studios condominiums in the heart of Durham’s education hub, adjacent to the campuses of Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa.

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Kingston and environs a burgeoning market for first-timers and downsizers

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Kingston and environs a burgeoning market for first-timers and downsizers

They come for an education or for the lifestyle, and some come merely for the waterfront views.

Whatever their reason, home and condo buyers are heading east — looking for second homes, a place to retire, or an investment property with rental potential. And they’re finding those in Kingston and its surrounding areas.

“I think Kingston is an incredible place to live. The city’s putting a lot of money into the amenities,” says Greg Newman, vice-president of the Kingston Home Builders Association.

There are several trends feeding the area’s new home and condo market, he says. Waterfront sites are popular in and outside the city, especially with a retiree demographic. Younger buyers are looking for affordable product and fuelling the sales of townhouses and condominium projects — the latter of which have traditionally not been common in the area. “I think that condo format is providing opportunity for people to get into the new home market, as opposed to renting,” Mr. Newman says. “I think there’s also a changing preference for lower-maintenance housing formats.”

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Invest confidently at University Studios with the 3-year Vendor Leaseback program

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Invest confidently at University Studios with the 3-year Vendor Leaseback program

When it comes to innovative condo developments, the Durham region isn’t exactly the first place you think of, but that is changing with an exciting announcement from Podium Developments and Building Capital.

In early 2016, Podium and Building Capital will be opening University Studios in Oshawa, a new contemporary condo geared towards students and investors. The developers have recognized that Durham is becoming an education hub due to the popularity of Durham College and the recent expansion of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

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