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Daniels project targets first-time buyers

Daniels FirstHome Markham Sheppard will comprise three six-storey buildings containing 228 suites and 100 one- and two-storey stacked townhomes.

FirstHome Markham Sheppard will provide condominium residences for as little as $290,000 in the east end of Toronto

THE DEVELOPMENT Daniels FirstHome Markham Sheppard

DEVELOPERS The Daniels Corp., Diamond Corp. and Build Toronto

SIZE Suites: 443 to 1,053 square feet; stacked townhouses: 528 to 1,172 square feet

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PRICE From the $290,000s

CONTACT To register, phone 416-288-9865 or visit MarkhamSheppard.com

Thirty per cent of the units at FirstHome Markham Sheppard will be affordable housing.

Across the GTA, the Daniels Corp. has specifically designed 15 communities with cost-saving measures for first-time buyers, offering homes that aren't sold until contruction is substantially complete.

The developer's next instalment in the series, called Daniels FirstHome Markham Sheppard, will provide condominium residences for as little as $290,000 in the east end of Toronto.

"This is our first FirstHome within 416 [area code], which is cool. A lot of our experience has been out in the GTA," executive vice-president Niall Haggart said.

"However, FirstHome is still consistent with what the brand stands for, so these will be prebuilt, quality, financially accessible homes … and multigenerational communities with different unit types and configurations to appeal to a broad spectrum. And it'll have great amenity packages."

The project consists of 228 mid-rise suites and 100 townhomes.

Construction has already begun at 5131 Sheppard Ave. E., just east of Markham Road, where three six-storey buildings containing 228 suites and 100 one- and two-storey stacked townhomes will be created in collaboration between the Daniels Corp., Diamond Corp. and Build Toronto.

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The latter – an independent real estate and development investment corporation established by the city – sold the 3.6-acre site to the Daniels Corp. with a stipulation that 30 per cent of units be slated for affordable-ownership housing.

To achieve that goal, this project will offer a down-payment assistance program, called First Home Boost, to help first-time buyers who have an annual household income below $90,500. It will be funded by federal and provincial governments and administered through the city's Affordable Housing Office.

"While there is a Boost component, we have not had any experience in the past where people are thinking somehow that compromises quality," said Mr. Haggart, who explains Daniels offered a similar program for a Regent Park project. "We have done 15 FirstHome communities across the GTA, so we've got a great track record."

Units in the mid-rises will range from studios to three-bedroom suites.

In addition, Daniels will offer a gradual deposit-payment plan and utilize cost-efficient building practices, such as wood-frame construction and completing units, right down to the paint colours, before commencing sales.

"We understand the cost side very well and save all the marketing dollars and expenses and are able to pass those savings along to purchasers," Mr. Haggart said. "We're able to sit with trades and say, 'This is it, there's no change orders,' and that's how we're able to get really sharp pricing."

Removing customization also means these homes – including studios to three-bedroom suites in the mid-rises and one- to three-bedroom townhouses – will be move-in ready as soon as 60, 90 and 120 days after purchase.

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"[Buyers] can walk it, touch it, see it; it's a real tactile experience," Mr. Haggart said.

The project will feature a greenhouse, potting shed and programs to promote urban agriculture.

Other highlights will consist of private outdoor space for individual units and a shared children's play area, fitness, games and party facilities.

"In all our communities, we bring urban agriculture, so this will be no different," Mr. Haggart said. "We'll have a greenhouse, a potting shed and programs promoting urban agriculture."

Sales will begin for purchasers eligible for the First Home Boost program by the spring of 2018 and the general public by spring, 2019. "In all our experience, the communities are generally sold out the first day they go on sale," Mr. Haggart said.

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