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Rogers M City Condo Development: Should You Invest with the Cable Company?

Rogers revealed spectacular plans this week to build 10 condo buildings in a large parcel of land in Downtown Mississauga with Urban Capital as development partner. Should you invest with Rogers? Andrew la Fleur gives his take on this development and the Mississauga City Centre sub-market.

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M City Condos by Rogers in Mississauga City Centre

Click Here for Episode Transcript

Andrew la Fleur:
This week Rogers announced plans to develop a ten-building condo community in downtown Mississauga. Is it time to invest with the cable company? Find out on today’s episode.

Automated:
Welcome to the True Condos podcast with Andrew la Fleur. THE place to get the truth on the Toronto condo market and condo investing in Toronto.

Andrew la Fleur:
Hi and welcome back to the show. Once again, on today’s episode we’re going to be talking about Rogers’ new planned community for downtown Mississauga. In case you have been living under a rock and you missed the announcement this week, Rogers has announced that they are planning on developing a ten-building community with ten condo towers in downtown Mississauga. They’ve been sitting on this big huge, empty parcel of land all the way back since 1960. The land was originally purchased in 1960 for apparently $170,000, which doesn’t sound like anything, but keeping in mind that was just really farm land back in 1960 and that was probably a lot of money in those days in 1960.

Now, of course, that land is worth tens and probably hundreds of millions of dollars. I’d say it was a pretty good investment for the Rogers corporation and now they’re looking at developing this big block of land into ten condo buildings, it’s going to be called M City, presumably ‘M’ for Mississauga, ‘M’ for mobility, something like that. That’s what it’s going to be called, M City. Ten condo towers, 1.5 billion dollar project is what they’re estimating, probably going to be a lot more than that I would think because they’re going to be building it over a number of years. It’s going to be 6000 units in the development over the ten buildings. There are going to be rental buildings as well as condo buildings. It’s very good to hear. I’m very exciting to hear that Urban Capital has been chosen as the development partner.

Urban Capital, they built many great buildings downtown. Thinking of their most known building is probably the River City development, River city I, II and III. They’re also known for Smart House. They did St. Nicholas near Young and Bloor building. They’ve done a lot of buildings. They’ve also done a lot of work in Ottawa as well. Very good to hear Urban Capital is building it. I am a big fan of the developer and their work, especially River City Phase III, which is one of my favorite buildings and a lot of my clients have purchased in River City Phase III and I think that’s going to be a fantastic, fantastic building, really a landmark building architecturally in the city.

Glad to hear that Urban Capital is going to be building out the project for Rogers. Definitely take a look at the renderings for the project if you haven’t already and I’ll include the link to that in the show notes for this episode. You can get the show notes for this episode and every episode of the True Condos podcast by heading on over to truecondos.com/podcast. The buildings look very cool, very funky, definitely not your typical cookie-cutter sort of buildings. Really looks like something futuristic and unique and could be very, very cool. It’s in downtown Mississauga, not downtown Toronto.

That’s what we know so far. Obviously the project has not launched yet. As of time of recording here we are in September, 2016. It’s probably going to be launched in the Spring of 2017 is what it sounds like they’re aiming for in terms of starting sales. Obviously they’ll sell one building at a time and build out one at a time. The first building perhaps we could be getting it in the Spring and, of course, I’ll keep you updated and all the subscribers from truecondos.com. If you’re not a subscriber make sure you become one, just head on over to truecondos.com, sign up anywhere on the website for any project or any sign-up form and you will become a True Condos subscriber.

The big question, of course, that I want to answer here today is: Should you invest with the cable company? Should you be investing with Rogers in this project? It’s a little bit of a speculative question because we don’t have any details on it yet, of course. We don’t have pricing and floor plans or anything of any specifics so it’s impossible to do any thorough analysis to see if this is a good investment right now. That is something I tell investors all the time when they ask me about projects: Should I invest in this one or that one … projects that have not been released yet? My answer is simply: I don’t know. It’s impossible to say whether something is going to be a worthwhile investment or not without having the details on it. We can speak in general terms and that’s what we will be doing right now.

A year ago if you had asked me “Andrew, should I invest in a condo in the downtown Mississauga area, city-center Mississauga area …” which is the area around Square One Mall if you’re not familiar with life in Mississauga and the condo market there, a year ago I would have said no way. There’s way too much inventory in that sub-market. Prices are flat. Rents are flat. It’s not an area to invest in and not a great area there, I should say there are much better areas where there is more growth. Basically the area was really built up over the last five to seven years. A lot of new product was added to the market and that product was still slowly being absorbed into the market and the population and the job growth and everything just had not caught up to the actual development growth after the big boom over the last five to seven years.

A year ago I would have said stay away from anything in that area, it’s really not a good place to invest in right now. Again, the condo market and these things go in waves. They come in cycles and they go through periods of over-building and under-building, over-building and under-building. I think Rogers’ timing on this is excellent because we’re not quite there yet but I think we are going to be just about entering into a period soon in Mississauga City Center of that sort of under-built, not enough product part of the market which is exactly where you want to be purchasing and investing as a condo investor.

What we’re seeing in the market right now, today, prices are rising, they’re definitely picking up. We’re seeing inventory levels are shrinking. We’re seeing new price points being reached in many buildings in the area, prices that have never been seen before. Rental rates, we’re also seeing encouraging signs on the rental rates and increases in the rental rates in the sub-market as well. Things are looking good. Things are looking up now for this area and for this neighborhood. It potentially could be very good timing to get into this area assuming that something like this would be launching next year.

I think the biggest thing that really is driving what I think is the future success of this area and the reason why I think this area is going to do very well over the next few years after having a slow period for the last few years is that the value is just very, very good overall. If you look at affordability across the GTA, if you’re looking to purchase a condo in a good area, an established built-up area with good amenities, access to transit, access to roadways and highways, to me Mississauga City Center area is possibly the best value right now in the entire GTA. You’ve got the average prices for the resale product in the Mississauga City Center area or all resale product of all ages is actually under $400 a square foot, under $400 a square foot. Very hard to find that kind of a number anywhere in the GTA for an area of comparable access and amenities, certainly.

If you just look at the newer buildings, buildings that were completed in the last two to three years, you’re talking about under $500 a square foot, so high-$400 per square foot for newer resale condo buildings. Again, very, very good value for new product. If you’re looking at anywhere around the GTA from the east Durham region to York region to the North, the Markham, the Richmond Hills, the Pickerings of the world, when you’re looking at new product selling for over $500, mid-$500 per square foot, even the Vaughans of the world as well, some of these new builds are pushing $600 a square foot in these suburban GTA areas and you’re still seeing product in Mississauga City Center for new-ish product under $500 a square foot, to me that’s excellent, excellent value and it’s just a matter of time before the market overall sort of notices “Hey, there’s amazing value here, more so than other areas …” and the money starts to flow into that neighborhood and it catches up. This is just the cycle that we see over and over again in the condo market and in the various sub-markets of the condo market across the GTA.

Affordability. Affordability I think is really I think the key thing that is very good to see in this area and that it has in its favor. When I hear the folks at Urban Capital and their press releases talking about releasing one-bedroom units under $200,000 in this new development, I presume under $200,000 probably means $199, it’s not going to be $150 or anything like that. Even if you say $200,000 for a one-bedroom, where can you get that in the GTA? Very, very few places. Where can you get that in an area like Square One, so let’s talk about the area a little bit again just to refresh your memories, what’s there? The big thing that you’ve got there is the Square One Mall, which is one of the top malls in Canada, it’s got all the high-end shops. It’s undergone major, major renovations. It is the nexus, it is the centerpiece of Mississauga in many ways and of the area and it’s got everything, absolutely everything in it, including restaurants as well, many great restaurants are there and are opening up all the time.

You’ve got highway access so the 403 highway is just two minutes away. The QEW is about ten minutes away. You have GO access as well, GO train station is right there, right in the neighborhood bringing you into the city. The big thing that has been announced that is coming is the LRT. There’s an LRT being built on Hurontario, all the way up and down Hurontario from Lake Shore Boulevard I believe going all the way up to Brampton, if not now then eventually. The LRT, of course, major transit investment there, any time you can purchase in an area where there is a major investment into infrastructure and transit that’s always a good sign. Basically it means that Hurontario will become much more developed, much more development and businesses and condos and money being poured into Hurontario as the main thoroughfare of Mississauga so that is happening, that is definitely happening.

That is a short distance away from where the Rogers site is. Again, it’s all connecting, forming the spine of Mississauga up and down Hurontario. Those are the things that are positive signs and good things about the area. If you look at all those things that the area offers and if you look at the prices that the sub-market is selling at, under $500 a square foot for new-ish resale buildings and presumably if Rogers can come in with similar pricing or a similar sort of approximate pricing structure then to me there is tremendous value there and looking forward if you look at anything across the GTA, to me that’s a very, very attractive sub-market to be looking at potentially.

We’ll wait and see. We’ll see what Rogers comes out with next year when they do that and, of course, I will keep you updated here on the podcast and on my weekly newsletter, which I hope you are receiving. If you’re not, again just head on over to truecondos.com and subscribe. We’ll keep you updated and we’ll see how this all develops. It will be interesting to watch, certainly. Rogers, their first foray into development but, of course, Urban Capital, the very experienced developer, are really the ones driving this and going to be building the buildings and selling the buildings.

Okay, there you have it. That’s today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed that and we will talk to you soon.

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