Let’s start at the beginning. The people of London Ontario know who “Tricar” the builder is. Around town here they are responsible for such addresses as 330 Ridout Street North, the “Renaissace II”, “The Northcliffe” at 1030 Coronation Drive in north-west London, “Wellington Park” at 250 Pall Mall, “The Westcliff” at 353 Commissioners Road West and the new “Village North” on Sunningdale Road West. Over the last ten years they have being London’s most prolific high rise condo builder and they are the recipients of the Ontario High-Rise builder of the Year by the Tarion Warranty Corporation Award.
In 2013/2014 they set their sights on the City of Stratford, population 32,000 and they completed the construction of a new condo project called “Thirty Six Front Street”. It is a 31 unit four storey building with condo sizes ranging from 1,200 sq. ft to 1,800 sq ft. This location is superb, steps away from the Avon River and steps from many of the cultural treasures Stratford has to offer. Walk to world class theatre, concerts, festivals and fine restaurants. Golfing, curling, tennis and lawn bowling are all also only a few blocks away.
This complex was instantly a hit, especially with out of town buyers. It is a small building by today’s standards. To be fair, some people initially were of the opinion that this buildings location impeded the views and sunsets of the neighbouring condo building of a similiar statue at 30 Front Street right next to it. Yet for some strange reason something happened. The sudden influx of new condo buyers into this neighbourhood helped to noticably increase the resale value of this neighbouring building.
Now that this project is completed “Tricar” is turning their attentions to a slightly more ambitious undertaking. They have recently announced plans to start work on a new condo project at 140 Caledonia Street, a site which was formerly the Avon Public School. This red brick building sitting on a 2.48 acre parcel of land has being vacant since 2004 and plans are now it place to have it demolished. Something new will be built, two “boutique style” low rise condos buildings, each consisting of about fifty units. Prices are expected to start in the high $200,000’s. Will this project prove itself to be a home run for Tricar? To be honest, many Stratford residents are perplexed by the scale and the sensibility of this project. It’s not afterall in a centre stage location like the “Thirty Six Front Street”location is.
Potential condo buyers new to Stratford will want to know where this 140 Caledonia Street location is in relation to Stratford’s vibrant downtown core. Stratford’s mapping using “Google” as a search engine is surprisingly user friendly. Within a few seconds you can locate it if you start by looking on the Stratford city map for the location north of Huron Street at the river near the western portion of Stratford’s downtown core. If one then goes north on Huron Street and up past Morington Street and up further past St. Vincent Street North up to John Street North and then turns right and travels two blocks over they will find it. It’s an older, some would say “middle class” Stratford neighbourhood. That’s where this new project can be found.
If all of this sounds a little bit complicated let’s try to visually offer a different explanation of where this location is. Streets like William Street, Elizabeth Street and Mornington Street just north of Lake Victoria are undoubtably the location of some of Stratford’s most beautiful older homes. That’s where the “St. James Church” is located. It is at the corner of Morington Street and Caledonia Street . If you start with this location and then proceed three blocks north you will come apon this “Avon Public School” condo site. Once again, it’s an older part of Stratford where the opulence of the town’s wonderful past varies block by block.
How well will these new condos fit into this older neigbourhood? Might the visuals of these two new structures prove to be a bit of a disconnect? They will afterall be brand new. That’s a concern many local people now seem to have and where will all of the new buyers come from who will be willing to pay these prices? Will Tricar be successfully able to promote this slightly hidden awaylocation? Will newbies to Stratford buy into the concept of purchasing a condo which doesn’t have views of Lake Victoria, nor a park, gardens, golfing or views of the downtown core? Is being about six blocks away from the Stratford General Hospital much of a selling point? Will Tricar start with one building only or will they do the entire project all at once? They do afterall have a history of twinning the buildings that they put up. When do the presales start? These are all mid 2015 questions which only time will help answer.
One thing is certain. If these new condos do end up selling quickly, other developers will be out actively searching around for other new condo sites. Tricar must now be complimented for helping to create a new “condo buzz” in town.
Watch for the launch of our new Stratford/St. Marys “Your Condo World” condo website sometime in the near future.