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.   

“Priorities change as students move through University,” says Rudy Wallman, Principal of Wallman Architects. “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. Privacy becomes more important in later years as studies become increasingly serious. Privacy promotes productivity, so private space becomes essential for more mature students. SmartStudios™ provide a completely private environment in which all spaces within suites are accessible only to individual occupants.”

The SmartStudios™ come in 274, 366, and 376 square foot floor plans, with prices starting at $149,990. With these low prices, we expect a lot of investors to jump on this opportunity. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some parents of students deciding to invest, and who knows, perhaps a few students will be purchasing.

“Our mandate was to provide all facilities in a very compact suite size,” explains Wallman. “We created a linear block containing storage, study area and European kitchen on one side, which freed up the remainder of the suite for the bathroom, table area and living space. It’s incredibly functional with zero wasted space and provides maximum value for the price, and of course, creates the completely private environment these students now require.”

Investors will be especially pleased to know that the SmartStudios™ come with a custom furniture package, a washer and dryer, and a flatscreen television so they don’t have to worry about furnishing the unit to rent it out. Other features include a three-piece private bathroom in the unit and a TableBed, which serves as a dining table or work space, and is also a bed.

Of course, students still need common areas so they can experience the whole social side of college/university life. Each floor at University Studios has an open common room and lounge so students have a place to congregate or meet up before heading out for a night on the town. Other amenities at University Studios include formal meeting spaces, a fitness area, a games room, and an outdoor courtyard with seating and a fireplace.  

“I’m convinced that this will be a growing trend, especially here in the GTA,” says Wallman. “We’re becoming a vertical city as we’re simply running out of large areas for housing development, especially near universities where student housing is so limited. This concept appeals to a certain demographic and it is proving very popular.”

As Wallman mentions, this concept could become popular in other areas of the GTA. We’re interested to see how many investors make it out for opening day and if there are any penny-pinching students ready to make a safe investment.

University Studios by Podium Developments and Building Capital will be opening early this year, and if you want to be the first to receive the latest information, then you should register today!

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