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Why Union Village Phase 2 is the hottest low rise community in York Region

Why Union Village Phase 2 Is the Hottest Low Rise Community in York Region

[part 2/3] In part 2 of our Minto Miniseries, Justin Bossio breaks down Minto and Metropia’s plans for Union Village phase 2 release for April 2021. Find out what these 2 great developers have in store for their landmark lowrise community in the heart of Markham Unionville.

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Andrew la Fleur: The much anticipated Union Village phase two is almost here. Stay tuned for details on the launch and everything you need to know about Union Village.

Speaker 2: 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 there, welcome back to the show. Thanks again for tuning in. Once again, this is Andrew la Fleur. You can get a hold of me, (416) 371-2333 or you can email me This is part two of a three part mini series. We're calling it, I guess you could call it the Minto Miniseries because we're talking about three Minto communities projects that are launching right now in the first half of 2021, as we were doing this recording. The first episode, if you missed it, is all about North Oak, the high rise community in North Oakville. This episode is going to be about Union Village, phase two specifically. Union Village is a partnership between Minto and Metropia, two amazing developers. And once again on the show, I'm going to be talking and hearing about the project from none other than Justin Bossio of Minto communities GTA.

Andrew la Fleur: And Justin's going to fill us all in about what's happening at Union Village, what's coming up, what's launching, what we can expect. And I know a lot of buyers are very excited in particular about Union Village, one of the hottest, if not the hottest low rise project, anywhere in the GTA from the past year or so. Of course, low rise housing in the GTA is the scarcest asset around. Everybody is trying to get their hands on all things low rise. The market has never been hotter. And so this project coming out now, phase two, is really coming at a very opportune time. Yeah, a lot of people are, as I said, been waiting for this for well, many years since the site was first announced by Minto, the purchase of York Downs Golf Course, made major headlines five, six, seven years ago. I can't remember exactly when they purchased the site, Minto and Metropia. and yeah, so we're here in phase two, phase one sold out in two seconds, basically.

Andrew la Fleur: There was just a frenzy of demand when the first release came out. Phase two promises to have a lot of great product and a lot of units and opportunity for anybody who missed out on phase one. And particular people who are looking for single detached, brand new single detached homes in this location, prime Markham Unionville. It's such an amazing spot, so much to like about it. And so yeah, looking forward to sharing this interview here with Justin Bossio. Hope you enjoy it. And once again, also check out part one, if you haven't already. North Oak and part three after this, which is all about the Heights of Harmony. Again, if you're interested in Union Village or any of these projects from Minto that we're talking about, make sure you let us know ASAP because demand is extremely high and they're all expected to sell out very quickly upon release. You can let us know if you haven't already, or call, text (416) 371-2333. All right. Enjoy this chat with Justin Bossio.

Andrew la Fleur: Number two big launch on the immediate pipeline is Union Village. Union Village, Markham, Unionville, obviously 12 months ago, right before COVID, the first phase came out. That was many years in the making, that site to get to that point of selling a year ago. And it was of course a massive success and phase one is completely sold out and there's a lot of people waiting and anticipating phase two. What do we need to know about phase two Union Village?

Justin Bossio: Location wise, Union Village a number of years ago, Metropia and Minto purchased half of York Downs Golf and Country Club with another developer. And so Minto is leading the sales program, the product development, the land development. That's all Minto, but Metropia plays a big part and they're 50% partner in what we're doing. They have a lot of visibility into how we're doing things, but it really it is Minto running most of it. We bought this piece, it yields 1,250 homes just for Minto and Metropia. And then the other developer has the same.

Justin Bossio: In phase one, which we launched last year, what we did, we tried to maximize the number of lots that were not on the golf course because the golf course was still operating last year. What we did, we wanted to maximize our first phase and we did, we got 500 lots and we sold 500 homes. And we did a lot of that in one crazy weekend in early February and we thank you and our realtor partners for helping us there. We sold about half a billion dollars in real estate in a couple days. It was pretty incredible.

Justin Bossio: And so now phase two, we now get onto the golf course lands. And a phase two is actually the largest phase by land count in all four of our phases in Union Village. And why that is, it's we have brought into phase two, there is a school block. It's right now, it's with the public elementary school board so we've pulled the school block into phase two, which actually gets the clock running, to make the school board make their decision earlier than later. We wanted to make sure that that was brought in there.

Justin Bossio: We also have a large wetland area, so there's actually a naturalized wetland, a real wetland. Ducks and channels. That has to be preserved and it takes a large portion of our phase two, but it's really, truly unbelievable to have a wetland in your backyard. And then beside that wetland, we're creating a giant stormwater management pond, something that will be when complete, will be something like another wetland. It's going to be fully landscaped and there'll be some walking trails around it. And then we have our lots and phase two lot count, we've got it split into a couple, but we're looking at about 200 to 260 lots total for phase two. Which coming off of phase one over 500, you can see, how it's a little bit smaller of a release. Although the lands are probably twice as large.

Justin Bossio: But here I would say for phase two is really, I'm calling it our first release of detached. Things happened pretty quick in phase one and I don't think many people would got an opportunity to see what we have to offer. This time around, we really are putting our best foot forward still and pushing the envelope and staying at market with what we're offering. Phase two will be a big offering of a lot of detached product. We'll have 36, 43 and 50 foot front load singles and we'll have traditional towns, two story, traditional towns, as well as three story rear lane towns to be included in phase two.

Andrew la Fleur: That's exciting, yeah. As you said, just a lot. It happened so fast phase one, a lot of people just blinked and missed it. Obviously lot of people want to know price points in particular for the single family detached. Do you have, obviously it's nothing's been set yet, but what kind of range or approximate numbers can people sort of expect for the different product types?

Justin Bossio: I would say for that, it's something that we are still working on and because it's a partner project, it's different than if it was a wholly owned project that Minto controls a 100%. I'd say here, we're getting very close to finalizing that, but it's not something today that I can share. But just again know that, what we're doing and even what I talked for North Oak, we're always cognizant of what's to come. And phase two is another step for us, but it's not a final step. We still have another 500 detached to sell there. We think we have a premium location. We think we have a premium brand. We think we have great layouts and elevations, but we're not looking to get that top, top price that our neighbor is looking at doing. But we do believe that we do have a better offering than a lot that are out and around us. We're watching and we're probably a couple weeks away from finalizing and announcing our starting from price points. But it'll be very in line with what others are doing in the market right now.

Andrew la Fleur: I got you. What can people expect in terms of occupancy dates? Because obviously most people buying these homes are going to be end users. There's some investors, but most people are looking at moving in themselves so occupancy date becomes very important. What can people expect for ranges of occupancy for the different types that are coming up here in phase two?

Justin Bossio: Yeah. Because phase two, there's so much work to do with the lands, with ponds and getting the grading right, even before we can start with the land servicing program, it's going to take a little bit of time. Right now we're looking at closings anywhere from I'd call it 26 to 32 months. A little bit longer than we typically want. Typically we'd look for about a 24 month sale to close, but because of the work that we have to do with the pond and all the grading around it, it's going to take a little bit longer for us to construct, but obviously the market is what the market is. And there's a lot of demand and a lot of pressure for us to sell now. We're happy to do that, but it just means it's going to take a little bit longer for us to deliver those homes than we typically want. Just over, I would say, starting about two years to about two and a half years for closing.

Andrew la Fleur: Does it make a difference when we're talking about the townhomes versus the singles? Is it longer for the singles? Or shorter? Or is it at all in phase two, roughly that 26 to 32 month range?

Justin Bossio: Yeah, we're going to start north to south is likely our construction program. You got to build it in an even flow when you can kind of have stops and starts all over the place. We're probably going to start from Baroque and work our way south, which means most of the townhomes are going to be on the north side of this piece and the singles will be siding or backing onto the ravines and woodlots and wetlands. The gap won't be huge, but I'd say it's the towns and those closest to Baroque, we'll start delivering first. And then as we go south on the program, there'll be some later deliveries there. But yeah, there you're looking perhaps 30, 32 to 34 months.

Andrew la Fleur: 30, sorry, that's for the 32, so the longer end of it.

Justin Bossio: For the singles.

Andrew la Fleur: For the singles.

Justin Bossio: The longer end, exactly.

Andrew la Fleur: And the more the north side is more than the townhomes with a bit of a shorter turnaround. That's great. Yeah. A lot of people very excited about Union Village coming up. And I know we're getting tight on time here. Definitely we'll want to touch on Oshawa.

Justin Bossio: Can I talk one thing that Union. Hold on before we go there, I can't.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, of course.

Justin Bossio: Our sustainability team and Roy would not be happy if I didn't touch on probably the biggest thing that we're doing this year with advancing our sustainability and geothermal in Oakville is great. And that's something that from a high rise perspective, we're targeting to do on all of our future high rises is got geo to be a part of it. For low rise construction, what we're targeting for and what we're trying to push in using Union Village is net zero. We're looking to build, to offer net zero homes for the first time in a production, a community like this. It's really our first time offering this. And we have been ready for a couple years now to bring that zero to low rise. It's just, we've been waiting for the opportunity to be able to introduce this.

Justin Bossio: We are looking at introducing net zero as an upgrade option for now. We'd love to roll it into a standard at some point in the near future. But for those that are interested in getting themselves carbon neutral almost, net zero wind and solar PV panels on the roof and upgraded mechanical systems and installation, these are things that we will be offering to our homeowners as options. For those that want to take that extra step in getting their home future-proofed because it's not something really, you can't build net zero afterwards. It has to be something that's part of the construction of the home. And we're going to give our homeowners those options for those that are buying the single detached to actually go up to a net zero ready home or a full net zero offering with PV panels.

Justin Bossio: We'll begin what we have and we're working even with some partners on finding different ways to be able to provide options for solar panels for our homeowners. We're really pushing this part of it. And again, it's our sustainability and what we're looking to do going forward. We're interested to see just how the reception and the pickup is for net zero in Union Village because it's something we hope to do everywhere going forward.

Andrew la Fleur: It's exciting. Yeah.

Justin Bossio: You heard it here first.

Andrew la Fleur: There we go.

Justin Bossio: You heard it here first.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, that's definitely the future. Yeah, it's great to see Minto leading the charge once again.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay, there you have it. That was my conversation with Justin Bossio about Union Village phase two from Minto and Metropia, coming up very, very soon. Again, make sure you let us know if you're interested. or (416) 371-2333. This has been part two of our Minto Miniseries on their launches that are happening right now. We also have part one again, which was North Oak, the Oakville community, high rise community and part three is Heights of Harmony. Make sure you check out all three of these episodes or just the ones you're interested in, whatever you choose. Either way, we'd love to hear from you. I'd love to hear from you and help you if you're interested in purchasing in any of these communities. We'll talk to you soon.

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