Hunter Milborne, CEO of Milborne Real Estate, is pretty clear about what will work in 2014’s condo market.
“The projects that are going to launch will be either waterfront, subway-related projects or neighbourhood projects where they don’t have to sell 400 units to get to a finance target,” he said.
None of that is news. But Milborne is particularly interested in development that capitalizes on infrastructure built for the Pan/Parapan Am Games in 2015.
The Union-Pearson express route (now branded the UP Express) is an express rail route linking Union Station to Pearson International Airport. No, Torontonians, it is not a proposal. It is fully funded, construction is happening right now, and it is on schedule just in time for its first passengers who will be headed to the Pan/Parapan Am Games in the summer of 2015.
“Nobody’s thinking of it as a commuter train,” Milborne said. And with good reason; there are only two stops between Union and Pearson. But they are stops nonetheless.
“If you live near one of those stops you could get down to Union Station quicker than if you lived at Yonge and Bloor,” Milborne said.
Though Metrolinx will not provide information about travel times between stops, the trip from Union to Pearson should take only 25 minutes. And what does Milborne see as a potential result of these two stops?
“You’re going to see an explosion of values and volumes around the Union Pearson Express.”
One of those stops will be at Bloor St. W. and Dundas St. W., where projects are already springing up. There are several larger projects, with many boutique buildings dotting Bloor West. It certainly seems like quick access to the downtown core while getting some relief on price, and larger units will make sense to many.
But then there is the second stop at Weston Road and Lawrence, an area where not much is going on at all. What will a 15-minute train ride to Toronto’s downtown core mean to that community?