New Development of The Week: Chicago Condominiums

Condos

4 minute read

August 7, 2008

“Chicago Condominiums?” I asked myself when I first got the package.  Why do I care about real estate in Illinois?

Once I realized it was in Mississauga, I remained confused but this time due to the choice in name.

I mean, are there any condos in Chicago called, “Toronto Condominiums?”

chicagocondos.JPG

I may be the creator of the TORONTO Realty Blog, but this time around I’d like to examine a condo that is in Mississauga…

“Chicago Condominiums” is being developed by Daniels Corporation, who has developed over 18,000 homes and condominium units in the past two decades.  Best known for their work on the cluster of buildings at Bayview & Sheppard, Daniels Corp also completed Kilgour Estates just north of Leaside, which is arguably their best project to date, and is currently building “Festival Tower” at King/John.

Now, they’ve ventured west into Mississauga to add another building to their existing “community” of condos.

While I know slightly more about Mississauga than the facts that it’s in Ontario and starts with the letter “m,” I’m not so sure that I know enough about the actual area to debate the value in the project from a location standpoint.

Instead, I’ll chose to look at the developer and the price.

To give you an idea where the project is located, take a look at the Google map:

chicagomap.JPG

So the development is located just to the left of where Google maps considers “Mississauga.”  That’s a good start, right?

In all seriousness, if there is such a thing for me, I’ll say that I’m skeptical of this project before I even opened the package just because the name on the front of the envelope.  This has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t really know where Mississauga is (does it have a “downtown?”) and everything to do with the fact that once Daniels Corporation builds a condo, you can expect ten others to surround it shortly.

Check this out:

daniels.JPG

There in the bottom left corner you see the site for “Chicago Condominiums.”  You can also see that other projects such as “One Park Tower,” and “Capital Condominiums” are being built and “Amica” has been completed.

But what you also see are the words “Daniels’ Future Residential” three times, which is a nice way of saying, “You will be living, eating, and breathing construction for the next decade if you buy here.”

I got this advertisement at work today from Chicago Condominiums that reads, “CHICAGO just got taller!  We’ve added three new floors!  Act now to cash in!”

My immediate reaction was a smirk and the thoughts, “Sounds like I won’t be the first one to cash in….since the builder has about thirty more units to sell.”

Changes with pre-construction condominiums are frequent and should be expected, but imagine buying on the top floor and then being informed that they’d be building three more on top of you?

That’s like the season ticket holder of the Toronto Raptors who had front row seats…..until they added two rows in front of him!  He’s suing MLSE, and hopefully he will win an American-style lawsuit for like a gajillion-dollars and bring the company to its knees, but I digress…

How about the marketing ploy:  “The soul of Chicago in the heart of Mississauga.”

For a moment, let’s ignore the ridiculous comparison of historic Chicago to the city Mississauga and dig deeper to see where the term “Chicago” is associated with the project.

Inspired by the Chicago School of Architecture.”  Really?  I mean, I’m “inspired” by Brad Pitt’s hunky looks, but I don’t call myself Dave Pitt.  Tell me there is more to the name than simply “inspiration”!   Tell me the bricks were shipped from Chicago or at least a Chicago mobster was burried in the concrete beneath.  I need a story behind the name!  Then again, there is no story behind “Charlie” or “Rezen”…

When looking at the price of these units, you must remember that this is not downtown Toronto, but rather Mississauga.  Where else could you expect to get six-hundred square feet for $232,900?

The “Morgan” model is priced at $232,900 or equivalent to $388/sqft which is much cheaper than anything in Toronto, but let’s compare apples to apples.

At existing Amica City Centreon Princess Royal Drive, a unit just sold on the 18th floor for $296,000 and was 820 square feet.  Do the math, and you’ll see that the EXISTING condominums are selling for less than the PRE-CONSTRUCTION!

Huh?

Speak into my good ear, please.  It sounded like you said “pre-construction is more expensive.”

Well within the Daniels Corporation’s new Mississauga “community,” it is.

We have long understood that pre-construction sells for less than existing resale because it does not yet exist, and as Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.”  It seems to reason that you would pay more for something you can have now as opposed to something you must wait for years to enjoy, right?

When did this trend begin, I wonder?  This new trend whereby prices have risen within pre-construction “communities” just because there are existing buildings within that community?

I guess I have it backwards.  I guess I think the last thing I want is to be surrounded by buildings, but Daniels Corp figures that a desolate building on its own is less appealing than the 10th building of a ten-building, planned “community.”

I guess I can see that side to the argument if the building is in the middle of nowhere, but these buildings are apparently right in “the heart of Mississauga.”  What’s wrong with having a 360-degree, unobstructed view?  Why the need to pay MORE for a building plunked in the middle of six others?

I’ve always figured, “If you’re gonna go down, go down in flames.  After all: why not?”  That’s kind of how I see this situation shaping up.

If the prices were lower, I might see some value.  But to pay MORE for something I deem less worthy makes no sense.

I’m not a fan of condominium “communities”…..especially overpriced ones…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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1 Comment

  1. akarli

    at 7:38 pm

    Amica City Centreon is a senior citzen home btw. It’s call downtown of Mississauga because it is very close the city hall of Mississauga, and the 2nd largest mall in Canada. It is one of the most expensive condo in Mississauga next to Absolute Condo. Usually Condos are more expensive than the first generation from the same builder. There will be 4 more to be exact. Even though you say there will be lots of construction, but it will be even more when Parkside Village (locate on the other side of Central Parkway) be build, til God knows when! Yet, it’s good investment in the long run, like another 20 years?

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