Building Quality Is More Important Than Quantity, Says Regal Crest Homes

March 1, 2016 Updated: March 2, 2016
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Sometimes less is more.

Such is the philosophy of Regal Crest Homes, the 51-year-old building company that eschews avarice in favour of quality.

“We want to be known as a quality builder,” Art Rubino, contracts manager and marketing manager of Regal Crest Homes, told the Epoch Times. “We work long hours and have a fantastic staff. We’ve all come up through the ranks and sat in different positions over the years, from receptionist to accounts payable—we’ve all learned through our work experiences. We’ve learned what we need to do to make sure a house is built right.”

Regal Crest runs a lean ship with only 13 employees—all versed in the different facets of the construction process—who have no trouble ensuring the construction of 350 to 400 homes annually. While Rubino admits the company could build more than that, he says it doesn’t want to risk imperiling quality.

“We’re not interested in building 1,000 homes a year because we won’t be able to control the quality, but we do want to build enough to make sure we can manage it and make sure they’re built properly.”

Regal Crest builds houses as large as 6,000 square feet as well as townhomes, both regular and stacked, but the former undoubtedly comprises the half-century old company’s bread and butter. The houses incorporate the kind of superlative finishes found in custom homes, and in some cases, lots are as wide as 80 feet.

And among those luxurious builds are projects the Chinese community will have major interest in purchasing, says Rubino, as they have in the past with Upper Cornell in Markham.

“Cornell sold out in two and a half hours in Markham last year,” he said. “People lined up for two and a half weeks before opening. When we had our opening in Markham, people came with chairs and yoga mats and we had a designated person to take names and they’d alternate every 8 hours. They were all Chinese buyers.”

Observatory Hill in Richmond Hill, a joint development between Regal Crest, Country Wide Homes, Aspen Ridge and Conservatory Group, and named after the famous district in which it’s situated that houses the country’s largest observatory, is also expected to have a lot of Chinese buyers.

“That’s an area the Chinese will gravitate to because there’s a high-end school there, and the Chinese community loves to buy in areas with good schools for their children” said Rubino. “There are more Chinese people buying in that area than non-Chinese people. The non-Chinese look at malls and transportation mostly whereas the Chinese community looks at everything. Education for family is extremely important.”

Regal Crest’s allotment at Observatory Hill will be situated on the west side of venerated—and in-demand—Bayview Ave., north of 16 Avenue. Lot sizes are expected to be 36, 45 and 50 feet wide.

Regal Crest will soon launch the next phase of Upper West Side in Vaughan—like Observatory Hill, Regal Crest again partnered with Country Wide Homes, Aspen Ridge and Conservatory Group, and, this time, Townwood Homes.

“One of our flagship sites is Upper West Side at Bathurst and Major MacKenzie in Vaughan,” said Rubino. “We sold out the first phase and they’re $2 million homes.” Rubino also added that major Chinese interest from the first phase should carry over to the upcoming launch.

Also of interest to the Chinese community will be yet another development between Bayview Ave. and Yonge St., and just south of Bloomington Rd, called Bayview Gates.

“The site itself is an infill site, and they’re very high-demand because you’re moving into an area which is totally developed,” continued Rubino. “It’s an enclave, a small parcel of land that will house 52 units and that site will be in very high demand for the Chinese community because the demographics in that area is highly Chinese. They’re million-dollar homes with 40-foot lots, and we’ll be launching sometime in June.”

Rubino credits much of Regal Crest’s design accolades to interior designer, Paul Davies, who is used in all projects. As Regal Crest puts a particular emphasis on its large kitchen, Davies is responsible for choosing stylish granite countertops and maximizing space, while also having an eye for beautiful Berber carpets, oak stairs, and even LED step lights for staircases.

Regal Crest has distinguished itself from other luxury homes with its exterior features and finishes, for which Rubino credits architect Steve Hukari of RN Design Ltd.

“Steve comes up with great ideas, he’s a very brilliant young man,” said Rubino. “His design concept and roof configurations are unbelievable and his houses always get compliments.”

Regal Crest also has its own décor centre on the bottom floor of his Vaughan, Ontario headquarters. All 4,000 square feet are dedicated to one-on-one purchaser meetings—and with about 450 homes closed last year, that’s a lot of customers.

“We book the whole 4,000 square feet for them to do their colours, kitchen upgrades, tiles, granite, carpet, hardwood, trim, faucets, mouldings, fireplaces—we’ve got everything you can think of,” said Rubino.

“What’s really key and different about what we do is it’s one-on-one with the purchaser exclusively. We do a tour, one-on-one, and you as the purchaser have this whole place to yourself. Nobody can bother you. It’s very exclusive, and we did 450 people last year. Everybody who buys a home from us comes through here.”

Neil Sharma is a Toronto-based freelance journalist.