Featured Neighbourhood | Centretown has many great condo buildings. This video features Centretown data as well as building-specific data including average price per sqft, highest list price as well as the number of units sold.
Search through current active listings and buildings in Centretown to learn more about each condo building in the neighbourhood.
To learn more about some of the buildings featured, check out the link below:
There is only one new condo building built in the last 3 year, which is set to open this year. Thank you, SoBa! So, what exactly happened to the ever-growing skyline of Centertown? First, we have to go back 12 years ago to 2007. This was the start of the condo boom in Centretown when you could buy a unit in the Mondrian pre-construction for under $200,000! With pricing like that the condo market started to take shape. Every developer was starting to build and frantically looking for more land. Coming into 2009, everyone in the market was making money. Seller’s were naming their price and getting great ROI, Buyers were jockeying for position to get into these brand-new condos, and developers were in helicopters trying to find the next big plot of land. Then, 2011 hit…. Hard… Mike Tyson right hook, hard! The market absorbed all the condos it could at rising prices and then it stopped. That wasn’t good news for all those buyers in the last few years living in dreamland thinking how fast the market was growing and not thinking, “Hey, is this market real or is it going to crash?”. Compounding problems, developers were scheduled to build phases of towers i.e. TriBeCa East and TriBeCa West with a shrinking condo market. Until roughly 2017, most people in the condo market were trying to recover, wait for pricing to get back to what they paid for and then some, while developers were pushing to get rid of 100’s of condos. Fast forward to today. Pricing has mostly recovered and developers have sold out the majority of their inventory. Great news, right?… Not really. Now that the market is getting interesting again, there aren’t any new project’s coming on the market.
Don’t be worried, the team at OC has done some digging and we’ve found 3 projects that should be coming on the market soon!
Ottawa’s biggest developer, Claridge Homes, has brought you some of the most popular condos in Ottawa, including Claridge Plaza Phase 1, 2, 3 and 4 and TriBeCa West, East and Lofts. They are currently building a purpose-built rental building on Lisgar (The Onyx) and have several plans for Centretown and the Byward Market. That said, they are going to be the first developer to bring a new project to the market in Centretown. Located on the corner of Albert and Lyon (yes, right next to Ottawa’s saviour, the LRT), Moon Condos is set to be built. The site will contain 3 towers, 2-27 storey towers and 1-9 storey tower. Moon Condos will be one of the 2-27 storey towers, with the other tower being purpose-built rentals. The project is being designed by Neuf Architects and will have ground floor retail space (fingers crossed for a Starbucks) and will feature amenity spaces throughout the building. The unit mix will vary from 422 sq ft studio units to 956 sq ft 2-bedroom units. The project is currently reviewing comments by the community and other stakeholders, but the sales centre is built and we expect sales to start this year. For more details on the project, click here.
Moon Condo Ottawa – Future LRT Station
Moon Condo Ottawa – Development Site
Moon Condo Ottawa – Developers Application
180 Metcalfe St
180 Metcalfe St – Future Development Site
Arguably Centretown’s most popular condo building, TriBeCa has been a smashing hit with the market. If you want to live downtown there is no more convenient location with a grocery store in the lobby of the building, and steps to Elgin St. What more can you ask for? (A Starbucks? Great idea, just walk to the corner of Elgin and Lisgar and pick up your venti chai latte with extra whip!). Next door to TriBeCa is an art deco style heritage building called the Medical Arts building. It has some of the most amazing architecture but looks worn out. Recently, Jadco bought the building and the massive parking lot in the back is planning something special! They have proposed to keep the existing building, build out the back of the building to have 6 floors of commercial space, likely retail and office, and then construct a 27-story tower of residential. RMA Architects have assisted with the planning and the unit mix varies from 347 sq ft studio’s to 952 sq ft 2-bedroom units. The layouts from the plans to the city look quite promising. A Heritage permit was issued on October 12th, 2018, which means this project will likely go ahead with construction in the next 12-24 months. Unfortunately for all you condo buyers out there, it looks like the building will be designated as a purpose-built rental. Either way, this project is sure to wow all in Centretown. For more details on the project, click here.
267 O’Connor Development Site
SoHo isn’t just the name of a famous neighbourhood in New York City. It’s also the brand name of condos that Mastercraft Starwood has brought to Ottawa. The people that brought you SoHo Lisgar, SoHo Parkdale, and SoHo Champagne are looking to replicate their success with a second condo in Centretown. Located on the corner on O’Connor and Gilmour, the site is primed for redevelopment and would give that part of the neighbourhood a much-needed facelift. The project is proposing 2-27 story towers done in 2 phases with ground floor retail and 4 levels of underground parking. One unique feature of this proposed project is the massive flower bed and miniature park that will separate the buildings and act as an oasis in the heart of downtown. IBI Architects are assisting with the designs of the project. No further plans have been submitted regarding unit mixes, but you can assume the same style of all existing SoHo buildings. The application of the project is still pending with the city since August 6th, 2014. With the condo market starting to take shape again, we hope this project gets going soon. For more details on the project, click here.
It’s an exciting time in the condo market, prices are starting to climb, developers have an appetite to build again, and it’s never been a better time to live in Centretown. Combine that with the popularity of the Ottawa real estate market nationally and globally, we hope condo developments will start to flourish once again.
*This information is believed be accurate, but not guaranteed.
Following a call with a client yesterday discussing assignments at Soba Condo Ottawa and Hideaway Condo Ottawa, I thought it would be helpful for readers and clients if I put together a few of my thoughts surrounding condo assignments and how HST can affect condo assignments and pre-construction purchases in general. Understanding the following will assist in underwriting your decision to purchase pre-construction and assist in setting up the purchase in the most profitable way.
For the sake of this discussion, units can be purchased in four ways. Each of which carries differing HST implications. The four options are:
As an owner-occupied unit
As a rental unit
As an assignment
As a flip
When completing the transaction via Option 1 – The statutory declaration at the time of closing will be owner-occupied. With this option, the property has zero HST implications associated to the purchase under the pre-construction purchase contract. Meaning the contract price is the full purchase price. This transaction will only be subject to standard closing adjustments.
When completing the transaction via Option 2 – The statutory declaration at the time of closing will be a rental property. With this option, the federal government has a program called the Rental Rebate Program, which in turn covers 98-99% of the HST that would have been included in Option 1. The purpose of the rebate is to encourage the addition of rental units to the market.
When completing the transaction via Option 3 – There will be no statutory declaration at the time of closing. This is because a title transfer closing never takes place. With this, the HST implications will be a consideration of the end Buyer that is purchasing the agreement. Other implications via capital gains and/or losses or other are another story.
When completing the transaction via Option 4 – To me, this signals a RED FLAG, basically this is a steer clear option. The reasoning is that it is difficult to pass the test of owner-occupied or rental while never occupying or renting the unit and subsequently turning over the title quickly following the official unit title transfer date. This can cause any included in purchase price HST or HST rebates to be called back or voided.
Condo Assignments Summary
If the intent is to flip a pre-construction condo, this will be best done via option 3 as an assignment prior to registration and unit title transfer. The only other way I would suggest entertaining the ‘flip’ option would be in the event a unit was occupied or intended to be occupied during the interim period but following unit title transfer, for some believable reason you have a change of heart, subsequently selling shortly after registration. This move may result in red flags as the title of the condo will have changed hands quickly and an audit will be likely.
Alternatively, and for the risk adverse, the best fall back strategy when talking condo assignments and understanding HST Implications surrounding pre-construction purchases, my opinion is to earmark the condo at the onset as a rental for at least one year, leaving no possibility of HST impacts outside of the Rental Rebate Program. This will lead you to sell the unit down the road while tenanted. While tenanted the unit can carry and cover. At this point, you can sit on your hands and wait the completion of the lease term. When the lease term approaches you can market the property for sale while it is lived in, collecting rent and carrying its own weight. Keep in mind finding a tenant at this point is key. Rents are great, but having a tenant with nice furniture and artwork is even better as their furniture will act as free staging 😉
Hideaway Condo Ottawa or ‘Hideaway at Central’ is now gearing up for final closing and title transfers. This is when the units are officially transferred from the Developer to the Purchaser. The latest updates from the Developer are estimating a registration and final closing date of April 25th, 2015. Hideaway Condo Ottawa has been in interim closing since November 2014. Interim closing is the time in between when occupants begin moving into their units and when they officially close on the unit (title transfer date). During this time the soon to be Owners pay the Developer a fee for access to their units. This fee is a sort of rent and is comprised of property tax, interest, and condo fees. This fee is not credited back to the Purchaser on title transfer date.
Units are priced between $220,000 and $420,000 and typically rent in the range of $1400 – $2300 per month. In the Hideaway Condo Ottawa, the smallest one-bedroom floor plans are branded as the ‘Blue Palace’ units at 410 sq ft. One of the more mid-size and likely the most popular floor plans are the ‘Lalu’ units at 609 sq ft.
There are always units for sale and also for rent popping up between these three buildings. If you or anyone you know is interested in these developments, please reach out to us!