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What’s the best way to sell a new home during a lull in demand for new homes? In the case of the Oak Residences, an Oakville condominium project that launched sales earlier this year, the answer lies in catering to an affluent clientele.
According to a recent Royal LePage and Leger survey of Canadian house-hunters, about 40 percent of respondents said rising interest rates prompted them to postpone buying a home in 2022. The survey, however, did not take respondents’ net worth into account — a point of focus for the builders of Oak.
The sales campaign for the four-storey boutique building’s 10 units — priced from $2,999,000 to $4,999,000 — targets downsizing GTA professionals who are less concerned by burdensome mortgages than the average Canadian, explains Matthew Tautt, co-founder of the project’s development firm, Modern Skyline, with long-time business partner Jean-Sebastien Leroux. “In many cases, our clientele gained affluence by understanding economic cycles,” Tautt says. “The current cycle is more familiar to them than what unfolded during the pandemic, and they are confident in the Bank of Canada’s expertise in reining in inflation.”
That confidence is ultimately what spurred Modern Skyline to bring the Oak Residences to market almost two years after the project was put on hold owing to increases in construction costs and other pandemic-related uncertainties. For buyers seeking strong returns on their investments, the timing of the sales launch was strategic, Tautt says. “Now is a great time to purchase a luxury pre-construction condo because you have at least two years to sell your existing home, and can benefit from a rebounding market in terms of what you are locking in now, and what you are selling and closing on later.”
One aspect of the project that hasn’t changed is the appeal of its setting in Old Oakville. Bordered by the town’s harbour to the west and Chartwell Road to the east, the lakefront neighbourhood “is one of the most overlooked and undervalued luxury condo markets in Canada on a per-square-foot basis,” Leroux says. “If you look at Rosedale, Yorkville and other luxury markets in Toronto, the same product is going for $7 million to $10 million, but without the Oak Residences’ lakefront integration. And as the only boutique condo project on offer in the neighbourhood, we know development around the site won’t be an issue.”
That isn’t to say there has been a lack of community development in the area. A nine-minute walk north, the three-year-old Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre is home to a 25-metre lap pool, therapeutic warm water pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre with running track, and other facilities totalling more than 53,000 square feet. A twelve-minute walk south, past the restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques of downtown Oakville, is the Oakville Club, which offers racquet sports like tennis, badminton, squash and pickleball, a newly renovated 3,400-square-foot fitness centre, an outdoor pool and dozens of boat slips on Sixteen Mile Creek, steps from a dockside patio.
Given the calibre of amenities in the wider community, Modern Skyline chose to maximize the square footage of the Oak Residences’ suites instead of developing an extensive in-house amenity program, Tautt says, adding that a full interior redesign was conducted during the project’s two-year sales pause. Led by architect Bill Hicks’s design studio, the firm behind palatial Oakville builds such as the $50-million mansion belonging to former Interbrew CEO Hugo Powell, the rethink helped earn the Oak Residences a 2021 BILD Awards nomination for Best Mid-Rise Design. It included the addition of a lobby, which serves as a hub for security monitoring and private elevator access to all suites above ground level. The elevator also carries residents to a rooftop English garden equipped with an outdoor fireplace, lounge seating and a bar area. To supplement underground parking equipped with charging stations, an automated vehicle elevator provides up to two parking spots per suite.
Clad in Ontario-mined limestone, the Oak Residences’ exterior gives way to two- and three-bedroom suites sized from 2,128 to 2,984 square feet. Should a customer request it, the building’s two penthouse suites can be combined to offer 4,992 square feet of panoramic living space for just under $9 million.
Featuring nine- or 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling high-efficiency windows, all of the open-concept units are equipped with fireplaces, Miele appliances, Graff-designed faucets and Sonneman light fixtures. Oak and Silestone radiant-heated flooring, custom millwork and Italian tiles complete the luxurious packages, which include five-hour consultations with Toronto-based Kim Lambert Studios to customize decor. Suites on the south side have two balconies, and the penthouses have rooftop patios. Occupancy is slated for 2025.
“Our goal is to create a secluded sanctuary that is custom-tailored to promote residents’ wellness and connect them to nature,” Leroux says. “We are focused on helping people live the best years of their lives without any compromise.”
Suites at the Oak Residences start at $2,999,000. For more information, visit modernskyline.com.
A new park adjacent to the Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre is home to a play structure, a water play area, a shaded pavilion and bicycle parking. 325 Reynolds St.
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The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts is home to a 470-seat auditorium and a 120-seat studio theatre. It presents up to 260 performances a year, including works by local, Canadian and international artists. 130 Navy St.