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    Posted July 3, 2015 by
    RobertHecht

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    Louie Santaguida: “Condo buyers will continue to buck the parking trend”

     

    Most of us have heard or read about the amount of money parking spots now fetch in major cities like New York City, Toronto or London.  Over the past five to ten years, the value of inner city parking spots has not only skyrocketed, it’s also frequently inspired bidding wars.

     

    In New York City last year, a condo development in SoHo created a media buzz when the development decided to charge a record $1 million per parking space.  This being in a city where the average cost to have a parking spot in a condominium is now $136,000.  Meanwhile, up north, in the major cities of Canada, things are not much different.  In Toronto, condo parking spaces can now add $50,000, if not more, to the price of a condo suite.   That’s a lot of money going toward a car, and if you’re not driving your car every day or if you need it sparingly, that’s a lot of money going down the drain.

     

    But, what if there was an alternative to paying an exorbitant amount of money for a slab of asphalt?

     

    What if that alternative was simply not having a parking spot?

     

    This is the choice that an increasing number of condo developers in major North American cities are making, and what’s more, buyers are supporting the choice and the ease it provides on their wallets.

     

    In Toronto last year, a new condo tower became the first condominium development to advertise itself as a “no parking” development.  Located on University Avenue, the condominium was built with only nine parking spots, and those spots reserved solely for a car-share program.

     

    What’s interesting to note is that the developer had to receive special approval from the city counsel to build a no-parking tower.  However, city requirements forcing developers to include a certain amount of parking spaces in their developments may also be on the retreat.  Becoming what appears to be a nationwide trend, condominium builders in other Canadian cities are also beginning to reduce the number of parking spots provided in their new developments.

     

    As mentioned, parking spots are not just falling out of favor among developers, they are also becoming less of a necessity among condo buyers, especially among Millennials. 

     

    “I think in many ways, [developers] are responding to the attitude of buyers here,” comments Louie Santaguida, a condo developer and founder of Toronto’s Stanton Renaissance.

     

    One of Louie Santaguida’s current developments is the renovation of the historic James Street Baptist Church in the city of Hamilton, a renovation that will involve constructing a 30-storey tower rising from the James Street Church.  In an interesting set of circumstances, Santaguida and his team discovered that building a full underground parking structure to meet the parking requirements of the new building’s 259 units would significantly disturb the church’s foundations.  As a result, Louie Santaguida and his team decided to offer 122 parking spots for the 259 condo units, this after some deliberation and negotiation with the city of Hamilton.

     

    “I really think this is a new age for condo development,” says Louie Santaguida.  “We have buyers who are environmentally aware and who realize that in living downtown and buying condos conveniently located near metro lines, they don’t need the expense of a car.”  Louie Santaguida then adds, “Condo developers are following buyer’s new lifestyle demands and I think city governance throughout the country will soon follow the same path.”

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