Creekside is finishing their successful project with the release of their final product – a three storey, 35 unit, condominium, apartment building. While the sales office officially opens this Saturday, REALTORS® had an opportunity to visit the building this week.
I’ll share my thoughts in a moment but first, a few details. The building is rather attractive, well landscaped and iron rail fencing is still to be added. Each unit comes with one designated parking space as well as a 5’ x 7’ storage locker in the basement. There is a small parkette area and, parking is outdoor. The lobby is appealingly modern and there is a small “hospitality suite” adjacent to the lobby for use by the homeowners. Ground floor units have 10 foot ceilings (lower where there are bulkheads) while the 2nd and 3rd floor units will have 9’ ceiling heights.
All units have high-efficiency ELECTRIC heat and air conditioning, rental electric hot water heaters, roughed-in central vac, operational windows with screens and a patio or balcony that is 6’4” deep and 11’8’ to 14’8” wide depending on the unit.
While prices are advertised as starting at $209,900, there is only one such unit available and it is a 633 square foot, one bedroom model located on the ground floor. The balance of the units range in size from 706 square foot, one bedroom units to 1233 square foot, 3 bedroom units with base prices ranging from $214,900 to $342,900 including HST. Condo fees have been established and are guaranteed for two years by the developer. They range from $199.63 per month to $371.26 for the largest models.
The model units are beautifully decorated and have different levels of upgrades. Buyers need to be cautious in assuming what is standard and what is not. Standard finishes include 40 ounce broadloom and ceramic tile flooring, laminate countertops, one piece tub/shower units, in-suite laundry and 5 white appliances. Things such as engineered hardwood, granite counter tops, cabinet moulding, stainless steel appliances and other finishes seen in the models are upgrades available at an additional cost.
So, what do I think. Hmm. I think it is a pretty building, likely well-constructed and, it has some nice features. The landscaping is lovely and the location has proven to be a successful one. What I wonder though is, who is their target market? If they are after retirees or people down-sizing, units under 1,000 square feet are a stretch so these folks are more likely to consider the 1233 square foot units. The problem with this demographic is that, in my experience, a) they want gas heat (and electric costs are going up) and b) they want two parking spaces. They often prefer underground parking. I’ve also found that they generally prefer 2nd and 3rd floor locations. Base prices before upgrades start at $336,900. for these. This pricing is above the $250,000 pricing we saw in the Shipyards waterfront development in 2012 for a comparable sized unit. It’s also well above Sunset Cove, a building completed in 2001, where the last 1165 sq ft unit sold, for $275,000 with gas heat, underground parking, an outdoor pool and beach.
The smaller units under 1,000 square feet have one key difference from other condominiums and that is, they all only have one bathroom with no ensuites. I think most buyers paying over $200,000 for a condominium are looking for an ensuite. In the case of couples, the single parking space may also be an issue. My guess is that these units are more likely to appeal to couples or singles and in my experience, they want “all that jazz” such as granite, hardwood and stainless steel appliances. With these upgrades, a small unit can easily run close to $300,000 and I just don’t think that will be an easy target to reach.
On the plus side, some of the unit designs are great, the building is brand new, every unit has a patio or balcony, condo fees are reasonable, there are elevators and the basic finishes are not bad. There is virtually no competition out there at the moment for people who want to live in a new apartment building so that will work in the developer’s favour.
The building is not yet registered but 3 units have been sold so far and the earliest occupancies are anticipated for January, 2014. As always, this will be an interesting project to watch.
If you are considering buying a unit in Dwell, the developers are co-operating with Brokers like myself unless you have already given them your name or registered on their website. You may find it helpful to have an objective conversation about your wants and needs to see if the fit is right for you so, give me a call and we can go visit the sales center together.
Update July 4, 2014:
Creekside is showing a banner on the Dwell Building with new pricing, and so an update is in order:
A 706 square foot condo is now listed at $179,900. A model suite with 663 square feet is now listed at $189,900. (as the time of the original post, it was listed at $209,900.)
The balance of the units range in size up to 1233 square foot, 3 bedroom units with base prices ranging from the above $179,900 to $339,900.