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Posted March 17, 2008
Success of Converted Condo


Since June 2007, twenty-one units have resold from Phase 1, and the prices they are garnering are impressive.

Waterloo Region – The success story of the Kaufman loft development by Andrin Homes in Kitchener’s downtown is a well known one in this community. When the factory conversion project first hit the market back in the spring of 2005, loft units sold out in a matter of months and the developer was honoured with the 2005 Best Small Scale Project Brownie Award in the Heritage/Adaptive Reuse category from the Canadian Urban Institute. But the developer of this real estate achievement isn’t the only one smiling. Original buyers of these units, whether they acquired them as investments, or to reside in them, should be feeling very good about their purchase.

According to a study conducted by Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty based on MLS® data owned by the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board, Inc. covering the period of June 1, 2007 to March 13, 2008, twenty-one units have resold from Phase 1 of the Kaufman Lofts to-date, and the prices they are garnering are impressive.

When the lofts were first introduced to the market by the builder, prices ranged from $114,990 for a 515 sq. ft. unit, to $197,990 for a 1,120 sq. ft. unit. On a per square foot basis they averaged $203. Today, on the resale market, sold units have ranged from just under $150,000 to $299,900 with an average per square foot price of $281. For those original buyers of Phase 1 units (those who purchased prior to the builder adding two storeys, increasing the number of units from 113 to 155 and the prices to an average of $249 per square foot) that means they have seen an average appreciation of 38 percent*.

“This is significant.” said Tim Ingold, Broker and Manager of New Home Sales at Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty. “And it shows that when it comes to buying in a new condo development, it really does pay off to get in early”.

While the amount of resale activity that has occurred at the Kaufman Lofts does seem high for such a short period of time, some of it can be explained by the younger demographic of the people who purchased there. “Certainly there were those who bought units in order to flip them later, but a lot of purchasers simply found that by the time their units were finally ready, their personal circumstances had changed.” Ingold continued. “Some, who were single, found themselves married, or relocating to another city for a new job. A lot can happen in two years, especially in the younger age groups.”

In general, apartment style condos have been appreciating in Kitchener-Waterloo. In researching MLS® data owned by the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board, Inc. Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty found that the average selling price of an apartment condo sold between April 1, 2005 and September 30, 2005 was $137,573 and the average price of a condo apartment sold between June 1, 2007 and March 14, 2007 was $163,787, which is an appreciation of 19 percent. While these are healthy gains, it pales in comparison to the increases seen during the same period at the Kaufman Lofts.

The success of this project bodes well for downtown Kitchener’s retailers, as well as for future residential developments. The continued activity at the Kaufman Lofts through the MLS® resale market proves that people want to live downtown Kitchener, and they are willing to pay more to do so.

What makes the Kaufman Loft Building so special? Chalk it up to several factors:

It’s unique and they’re not making buildings like this anymore. Built in 1908 the former Kaufman Footwear Plant is a landmark, with important historical Significance, located at King St. and Victoria St. the gateway to downtown Kitchener.

Originally called the Kaufman Rubber Plant the building was designed by Albert Kahn, famed architect of Henry Ford and “foremost industrial architect” of the early 20th century.

The building is grand, solid, and handsome with concrete frame and brick exterior facade. These are true lofts in a former factory with ceilings up to 13.5 feet, polished concrete floors, columns, and huge windows.

Loft conversion by an experienced and reputable builder, Andrin Homes

Phase 1 of the Kaufman Lofts consists of 155 loft units located at 404 King St. W. Occupancy of phase 1 began in the summer of 2007. Phase 2 of the Kaufman Lofts, 410 King St. W. was first marketed in the Fall of 2005 and consists of 115 loft units which is slated for occupancy in Spring 2008.

* The survey does not account for upgrades which add to the value of the unit.

© Copyright 2008/Exchange Morning Post/Exchange Business Communications Inc.
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