BORO CONDOS ACCESSIBLE TO BUYERS
Accès Condos program aids in purchase
Montreal’s housing development corporation — the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) — has made home ownership possible for thousands of families over the last decade, but its latest venture is unlike many past partnerships. The Boro Condos project in PierrefondsRoxboro offers something different than your typical Montrealarea condo development.
The building is made up of 26 units, 22 of which are stacked townhouses — i.e. two-floor residences with access through an internal corridor. Nearly 75 per cent of the units will have three rooms on two levels, with terrace — an ideal option for families — and the SHDM’s Accès Condos program makes home ownership more accessible than ever.
Condos range from $144,000, including taxes, for a 549-squarefoot, one-bedroom unit, to threeand four-bedroom apartments of 1,280 square feet starting at $261,000.
It’s a diversity that has attracted a great deal of interest; more than 200 people showed up on opening day at the sales office last weekend. The SHDM program offers buyers a 10 per cent purchase credit, refundable once the house is sold or the mortgage is paid, and enables purchasers to make a down payment of as little as $1,000.
Built by Construction Vera Nadiamona, the building itself is not a typical condo structure, featuring modern design by Rocio Architecture for a building that will age well in its environment. The design features a blend of contemporary materials and colours, with structural lines framing and extending across the entire project and opening on the sides, for a distinctive and vibrant addition to the surrounding landscape.
The two-floor design of the units offers more privacy in nighttime spaces ( bedrooms and bathrooms), which are separated from daytime spaces (living room, kitchen and dining room). What’s more, they feature large terraces that increase living space.
“When you buy a project that’s part of the program, new construction is guaranteed so you don’t have to wait till a certain number of homes are sold until it’s guaranteed,” said Leslie Molko, SHDM spokesperson. “If they are Accès Condos accredited, the project goes forward, guaranteed. We don’t have to wait for a certain percentage to be sold before they dig. The SHDM has never had to buy an unsold unit.”
The program targets areas that promoters typically don’t envision for development: “Areas that are undergoing revitalization are key. We don’t want an area or project to be only one thing. We want a variety of people, of uses, families, singles, workers, professionals, a range of revenues.”
The promoter and the SHDM are looking at lots of interest from first- or second-generation immigrants, as “being able to buy a property is a big deal for this population. When you arrive in a new city you often don’t know where to live; you’re not sure. But wherever you are, you want to be close to good schools, commerce, parks, playgrounds and, of course, transportation.”
The location on Gouin Blvd., just east of Sources Blvd., offers fast and easy access to Highways 40 and 13, and the Roxboro-Pierrefonds train station is 600 metres from the building. Bike paths and lanes along Rivière des Prairies offer more active transportation options.
“It’s an excellent location for families that work in Laval, downtown, and South Shore,” Molko said, not to mention the abundance of nearby sports and recreation facilities, like soccer fields, tennis courts, the Roxboro swimming pool, library, and the Sportsplex.
A turnkey project means buyers just choose finishes for kitchen and bathroom and move in.
“We don’t complicate your life,” Molko said. “It’s a simple purchase, especially with Accès Condos.”
Accès Condos has enabled about 4,000 households to acquire quality properties at very competitive prices while remaining in Montreal, contributing to neighbourhood renewal in a sustainable way and creating dynamic living environments. SHDM has accredited 31 projects in 11 districts.
The only qualification for buyers is to be eligible for a mortgage for the amount not covered by the program, Molko said. “You must also live inside the unit; it must be your primary residence.”
Often the program will be associated with a larger development, where city rules require a portion of the units must be social or affordable housing. In the case of Boro, she said, a tender for proposals was put out for a project that would contribute to a sectors revitalization while offering quality and affordability.
“Because we guaranteed to buy the condos, it helps the developer to lower the cost because the risk is lower. That leads to a better quality construction while we offer the financial tools to the buyers.
“We push the project by itself if it’s in an area that’s where we can help.”
With more than 19 per cent of its population aged 14 and younger, compared with an average 15 per cent for the entire city of Montreal, it’s the first Accès Condos project in Pierrefonds-Roxboro. “It’s really easy,” Molko said, “especially for young families for whom buying a house can now be really affordable.”
Boro is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.