As featured in the Toronto Star
City of Markham gets a luxury edge with Signature Condominium Collection

Downtown area takes on new vibrancy with condo-hotel project that will include Marriott

Published in the Toronto Star, December 12, 2013
By Ian Harvey, Special to The Star

signaturecondos_dusk.jpgThe Signature Condominium Collection

162 Enterprise Blvd. Markham (Warden Ave. & Hwy. 407)
Price range: $258,000 to $721,000.
Sizes: Building J - from 530 sq. ft. to 1,400+ sq. ft. w 300 sq. ft. terraces or balconies. Building K - 530 sq. ft. to 868 sq. ft.
Occupancy: 2017
Contact: Baker Real Estate 416-923-4621

Back in the day, downtown Markham was a quaint village north of Steeles Ave. E. on the aptly named Markham Rd. The historic village is still there but a vibrant city centre is about to emerge on 245-acre site a couple of kilometres west, at Warden Ave. just south of Hwy. 7 and over to Birchmount Rd.

On deck now for shovels in the ground with occupancy by early 2017 are two keystones of that vision. One is The Signature Condominium Collection, a development which will break new ground as the first exclusive condo-hotel development in Markham.

Designed by Quadrangle Architects and anchored by a 209-room, 4-1/2-star Marriott luxury-boutique hotel on its west side, two connected condo buildings are planned to include 305 residential units.

Condo residents will share use of some of the hotel facilities, such as the pool, and also have the option to use other features, like laundry, room service and concierge service on an “a la carte” basis, says Michael Bratty, head of Remington Group’s highrise and commercial and retail divisions. It’s his family’s business and has been building in Markham since the 1970s.

“We started with Cedarland in the 1970s,” laughs Bratty, “though it was long before I joined the company.”

The failure to land an NHL team as a marquee on the construction of a 20,000-seat arena in Markham has been a setback yet plans are still in play. A 58,000-square-foot theatre with 10 auditoriums, three VIP auditoriums and 2,400-plus seat Cineplex are planned. That, too, is a major step forward, not just for the developer but also for Markham itself.

The City of Markham is, literally, about to break out. It’s the 16th-largest city in Canada and is expected to grow 35 per cent in the next 20 years. Thus, the anticipation of demand for luxury hotels, condos, parkland, transit and more.

Downtown Markham also butts up against Rouge Park, the only national park in an urban environment.

“The western side of the development area has been up for a few years and you’ve got townhomes and across from them an office complex with prime tenants like Motorola Canada and Honeywell,” said Bratty of the established projects which front on Warden Ave. “The hotel and condominiums are the next phase.”

With the Marriott brand adjoining, the condo suites with their separate entrance and lobby will also be upscale.

The project is going for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver certification and will include features such as a cistern to capture and redistribute rain water. The entire downtown Markham vision is involves transit and sustainability — one of York Region’s Viva rapid transit routes runs along Enterprise Blvd. in front of the urban centre, and serves the nearby Kennedy GO station.

Parking units are included with the 305 suites, and there are two private rooftop terraces complete with lounge areas and cluster seating, outdoor barbecues, fireplaces and sundeck all connected to a central residents’ dining room for large-scale entertaining.

The 149 condo units in Building J, from the eighth to 15th floors above the hotel, range from 530 square feet to more than 1,400 square feet. Terraces or balconies would add up to 300 more square feet.

Building K, across the piazza, is 12 floors with 156 units similarly starting at 530 square feet and rising to 868 square feet. Prices range from $258,600 to $721,900 for a penthouse unit.

The units will feature nine- and 10-foot ceilings on Floors 3, 4, 5 and 6, and in penthouses. Engineered hardwood flooring and laminate is planned while there is also CRI Green Label Certified carpet for better indoor air quality in bedrooms and applicable closets.

In keeping with its LEED compliancy, finishes will be environmentally friendly low VOC paints on walls, ceilings and trim work. As well, the suites will have high-efficiency, Energy Star stackable washers and dryers and individually controlled heating and air conditioning.

Kitchens will include crafted cabinets with full-height uppers and quartz countertops with stainless steel sinks, ceramic backsplashes, track lighting and ceramic glass cooktops with convection oven, microwave, dishwasher and fridge with freezer combo.

The unique location in a new urban centre where people can work, live and play is expected to attract more owner-buyers to the condos rather than investors, said Barbara Lawlor, president of Baker Real Estate, which is handling sales for Remington.

“From first-time buyers to those downsizing, the selection of units is really right-sized for many different buyers,” said Lawlor.

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