November 20, 2014

Metalworks® development praised by Guelph residents

GUELPH— Natasha Janke stares at the scale model of the 10 storey condo building slated to be built along Speed River in 2016 and tries to picture what her life might be like two years from now.

The 24-year-old came out to the grand opening of Metalworks® condos on Saturday morning to get information and possibly buy one of the units. The units are now available for purchase. She along with dozens of others lined up outside the new sales office on Arthur Street and filed in one at a time to chat with sales reps and get a glimpse of what the development will look like when completed.

Janke said if she wanted to purchase one of the units, she had to put a $5,000 deposit on it immediately and then pay 10 per cent of the price within 90 days. She said she had a lot to think about.

“I think it’s a good investment for anyone,” she said. “By the time it’s built the prices will go up.”

She said her decision was mostly based on whether or not she could afford it. Prices for a one-bedroom unit start at around $215,000.

The option of taking the GO Train into Toronto for work instead of driving was very compelling, she said. The former University of Guelph student was also trying to think of how her dog might react to living in this type of environment. She said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to purchase the condo to live in, or just to have as an investment.

Rod Oandasan was also unsure if he wanted to live at that location or just keep the units as an investment. The father of three spent the night outside, lining up to be the first one in to the sales office on Saturday morning. He said he arrived to line up on Friday afternoon.

“I wanted to make sure I had first choice,” he said, adding he ended up buying two one-bedroom units.

He said he heard about people waiting in line overnight for Fusion’s Chillico Run housing development that opened on Nov. 8 in Guelph’s west end. It wasn’t too cold overnight, he said. At around 4 a.m. he left his car and went into a heated tent on site.

The doors were opened at around 8 a.m. – one hour ahead of schedule – to benefit those who came extra early to the event. The lineup outside the office remained constant throughout the morning with a handful of prospective buyers showing up. Fusion employees were only letting a small number of applicants inside the sales office at any given time.

The Metalworks® development will contain more than 600 condo suites and townhomes constructed on an historical industrial site on the east side of the Speed River.

The land at 5 Arthur Street was once the site of a distillery, part of Allan’s Mill, dating back to the 1830s. It then briefly became home to the A.R. Woodyatt Company for the manufacturing of lawnmowers and home hardware before it was sold to Taylor Forbes Company. The W.C. Wood Company eventually bought the land in 1956, with most of the Taylor Forbes structures intact.

Lee Piccoli, the CEO of Fusion Homes, said the Metalworks® development has garnered more interest than any other development they’ve had in the past. He compared the future buildings to Toronto’s distillery district.

Complete with a gym, courtyards, restaurants, coffee shops, the Speed River and in close proximity to the downtown core, the development will be like a self-sustained village, he said.

The development will be made up of five phases. Phase 1 will have 114 units in the tower, five penthouse units and 14 townhouses. Of those townhouses, six of them will be facing the river and be known as river lofts. The move-in date for this phase is expected to be late 2016.

Piccoli said Phase 2, which will be a similar looking building to Phase 1, is expected to have a move-in date by the end of 2017.

He said one of the reasons there has been so much interest in the development is because of the cooperation between the residents in the area, the City of Guelph and the developer.

Maria Pezzano, the chair of the Ward Residents’ Association, said residents are extremely pleased with how the development has come together. The association was created specifically to help shape the project, and Pezzano said more than 300 residents got involved.

Meetings were held nearly twice a week during the group’s first year in 2010. There were several designs brought to the association by the developer and some were rejected by residents. Pezzano said the river loft townhouse idea came from residents, and Fusion Homes listened.

“They’re gracious for letting us have a voice,” she said, but added residents had to make some compromises as well.

Phases 4 and 5, stretching 14 storeys into the sky, acting as bookends of the development, were not wanted by residents, she said.

Piccoli said he wouldn’t comment on future opening dates beyond the first two phases.

cseto@guelphmercury.com

The article Metalworks® development praised by Guelph residents originally appeared on guelphmercury.com.

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