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All the best, The Editorial Team We will keep adding business units that enhance our offering and separate us from our competition. “ ” Editor From The Dear Reader, Welcome to the latest issue of Construction Source Canada, the magazine that highlights the best in building and building products across the country. In this edition, we’ve taken a particularly close look at the multi-family development industry. We’ve highlighted some of the most exciting developments in the country, along with the developers behind them. We’ve also taken a look at some of those developers’ key industry partners, whose services enable their success. JOIA Condo Rentals, for instance, is aMontreal-based developer behind a unique collection of rental condos. Since forming in 2017, they have already delivered approximately 800 units, with many more in the pipeline. Their flagship property is The MAJESTIC in Côte-Saint-Luc, which includes 120 units between 875 and 1,517 square feet. We talked to co-owner Michael Cons about that project, the company’s rapid growth, and their ambitious vision for the future. OM Outremont, meanwhile, is another high-end rental apartment in Montreal. Located in the heart of the Nouvel Outremont neighborhood, it offers 102 large, highly-refined rental units – all of them providing stylish comfort and spacious living areas, with each unit larger than the market standard. We spoke to Michel Lapointe, who runs the real estate for the firm behind OM. He walked us through the project’s origins, the appeal of the neighbourhood, and the “institutional grade quality” they achieved. Also featured this edition is Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing – not a development or developer, but one of those industry partners that make their success possible. They specialize in sales of condos and townhouses in new residential communities throughout BC. We spoke to Jamie Squire, Senior VP, about their recent growth and acquisitions, and about many of their ongoing and upcoming projects. For those stories – and a lot more like them, about Canada’s leading builders, developers, and their partners – just keep reading.
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THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA With over 90,000 senior executive readers, The Construction Source is proud to offer an attractive platform to share you message with the people that matter most - your customers. Whether your objective is to promote a new condo development, attract financial investment in your upcoming projects, or to build brand recognition, we stand ready to help! To find out more about having your company or latest project feature in The Construction Source, please contact our Group Publisher. Jermaine Poulsen e: firstname.lastname@example.org The Costruction Source Canada 2201 - 250 Yonge St Toronto, Ontario M5B 2L7 E: email@example.com Group Publisher Jermaine Poulsen General Manager Alexandra Box Operations Manager Josh Stewart - Boyd Head of Editorial Content Allen Bishop Production Manager Vicki Lee Editor Zach Janes Graphics Design Pranim Thapa
OCTOBER 2021 EDGE CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN Making buildings like beautiful music JOIA RENTAL CONDOS Building a legacy FIFTH AVENUE REAL ESTATE MARKETING Matching Families with their Future Home OM RENTALS (OUTREMONT) The perfect balance RIVER VALLEY CO Reviving Stories of the Valley AWC GROUP (DANZANTE LIVING) One Stop Shop OCEANICFLO CONSTRUCTION Doing it all INFINITI MASTER BUILDER Dream it, Build it INDUSTRY INNOVATIONS INCINERATING TOILETS OCEANICFLO CONSTRUCTION IN THIS ISSUE OCTOBER 2021 RIVER VALLEY CO. EDGE CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA FIFTH AVENUE REAL ESTATE MARKETING
OCTOBER 2021 Industry INNOVATIONS MODERN & ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOILET SOLUTIONS
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Water connection not required Requires little space No odour Easy installation No frost protection needed Secure for children ash to be emptied No waste handling, only and more Bunkies, For Home, Cottages, Shops, 3 - 4 visits per hour High capacity Propane&Electric models ABOUT CINDERELLA ECO GROUP Cinderella Eco Group is a family-owned company located in the north-western coastal community of Midsund in Romsdal, with deep roots in the beautiful Norwegian fjord-landscape. We have more than 20 years’ experience with the Cinderella Incineration Toilet, a water-free, ecological solution for the management of toilet waste. Cinderella, the natural first choice for those who place high demands on quality and functionality. HIGHLIGHTS OF INCINERATION TOILETS:
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MUSIC Making buildings like beautiful
Edge Construction is a Vancouver-based provider of general contracting, construction management, and design-build solutions. Since forming in 2011, they have worked with a variety of residential, commercial, institutional and public realm clients, and they have successfully utilized all major project delivery methods. These days, backed by that experience, they help their clients choose the most appropriate method for their project. No matter the client’s choice or the size of their project, Edge Construction strives to provide cost-effective construction services with a smooth delivery, and to ultimately make the client’s vision a reality.
Edge Construction’s team of diverse construction and design professionals bring well over 100 years of combined experience to their roles. The company began as the construction services provider for their sister development company, but soon realized that external developers could benefit from their quality results and service-oriented approach. Edge started with a focus on small-scale multi-family projects, but after initially proving themselves, their work rapidly increased indiversityand scope. They now regularly take on multi-storey apartments, tenant improvements, retail stores, and commercial offices. In the early days, roughly 80 per cent of their work was for their sister company and 20 per cent was for third party clients. Today, Edge Construction is fully independent and 100 per cent of their work is for third parties. Whenitcomestothemulti-family sector, Edge Construction’s projects can range greatly in size, from 15 units all the way to 300 units. According to Jaime Tarriba, Principal, the scope of the project is less important to them than the mindset of the client. “It’s not about the size, it’s about the client,” Jaime explains. “We love to work with clients who want to build quality buildings and are open to creative THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “When it comes to the multi-family sector, Edge Construction’s projects can range greatly in size, from 15 units all the way to 300 units.”
OCTOBER 2021 solutions for cost efficiency. When we meet a group that wants a quality-build and understands the construction delivery process, that’s where the magic happens. It makes for more of a partnership where we can really shine and help make our client’s vision a reality.” On the commercial and tenant improvement side, meanwhile, Edge Construction will also take on a variety of projects. They started by doing offices and earneda lot of experience in that space, but they have also done luxury retail stores, common retail stores, gymnasiums, studios, restaurants, and more. “Really, the sky is the limit,” says Richard Whitehead, Client Executive. “We can do 800-square-foot projects, and we’ve done a whole Best Buy. There’s nothing on the tenant improvement side of the business that we wouldn’t be able to take on and knock out of the ballpark.” In both sectors, Edge Construction has earned a reputation for the energyefficiency of their buildings. They have worked on many LEED certified projects – including one of the only LEED Platinum certified buildings in the country – and they strive to make every building they work on as efficient as possible within the parameters of the budget. “We like to support all aspects of efficiency” Jaime says. “We’re very strong when it comes to offering energy efficient solutions that work within the client’s budget and goals. During preconstruction there are often opportunities to suggest small tweaks, like better window systems to achieve better insulation values so we can decrease the mechanical systems requirements.” “That’sthewaythingsaremoving in Vancouver,” he says. “That’s the future of construction. And we support that. This type of project became part of our portfolio several years ago, so in some ways, we are ahead of the curve.”
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “Making environmentallyfriendly buildings is really woven into the DNA of Edge as a construction company,” Richard adds. “We like it when the buildings we produce add to the neighbourhood and the overall environment in a positive way.” Edge Construction is also set apart by their budgeting transparency and accuracy. According to Jaime, Edge can draw on their past experience, their project database, and their close relationships with their trades to come up with the most accurate estimate possible for their clients. “We set expectations properly from day one,” he says. “When we tell our clients ‘This is what we’ll provide to you, and this is what it’ll cost,’ we’re open and honest with our numbers. We want the customer to receive value for every dollar spent.” Edge Construction is also open and honest with other project stakeholders, including architects, engineers, and consultants. Richard described it as a “construction ecosystem,” and he believes strongly that participants should have a netpositive contribution. “We work well with all the different players within the industry,” he says. “That’s due to the fundamentals of how we operate. We value disclosure and communication. We make sure that everybody we work with is fully informed; they always know what’s going on. That allows us to build good, long-term relationships with
everyone who contributes to the construction process.” In particular, the company has built longstanding relationships with their subcontractors and trades. Richard says they highly value those partners, not just for their input on pricing, but also for the quality of work they do. “Abuilder is only as goodas their trades,” he says. “Fortunately, we’ve been able to achieve some very strong relationships with some very high quality trades in the city. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re able to produce such high quality products at such competitive costs.” Edge Construction sources competitive quotes from their trades and has developed a deep resource-pool of quality contractors. The company is growing so they are frequently adding to that pool. Many existing trades have established relationships with Edge team members extending five-plus years. Some trades even have relationships with the Principals going back 10 to 15 years. “All the trades we invite are trades we know will exceed project and client expectations,” Jaime says. “We know they will do a great job and offer value with their pricing and quality workmanship. They also stand behind their work just like we do.” Dayne Cross is a site superintendent with Edge Construction. He believes that trades like working with Edge OCTOBER 2021
because they offer a clean and safe working environment, and because they are fastidious with their scheduling. “When the trades come to site to complete their task, the site’s all ready to go,” he explains. “We give them their space. We’re not piling them on top of each other. We want them to feel comfortable so that they can do their best work as efficiently as possible. Their safety always comes first.” “We make sure they have what they need to be successful,” he says. “Because when they’re successful, we’re successful. And because when you go the extramile for them, they’ll go the extra mile for you. Those are the kind of relationships we have and continue to foster.” Richard describes those trade relationships as the “backbone” of Edge Construction’s business. At the same time, he says the company’s other relationships are just as strong and just as important. “We work closely with architects,” he says. “We relate strongly to them. We complement and champion their visions. We make sure that what we deliver achieves all their objectives.” “Consultants, too,” says Jaime. “We engage them at the right time to ensure the project benefits from their expertise.” “We also work closely with lenders,” he adds. “We give them confidence that they’re working with a quality builder that will perform within the time frames expected.” “It’s kind of like an orchestra,” says Richard. “It starts with the architect writing a beautiful piece of music. In some ways we are the conductor. All the different trades, suppliers, and consultants are like the players in the orchestra who come together to make the music a reality.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
Currently, Edge Construction is working on a variety of projects in both the residential multifamily and tenant improvement sectors. Jaime is equally excited about all of them – the unique hurdles and constraints they bring to the table paired with his team’s ability to overcome these challenges. One example Jaime cites as illustrative of what his team is capable of is ‘The Peak.’ Located at 2727 Rupert Street, The Peak is a six-storey wood frame building, with a concrete first floor. Its 55,000 buildable square feet offers 52 residential rental units on the upper floors and five commercial rental units on the ground floor. The client is Peak Real Estate Group and the architect is Cornerstone Architecture. The Peak is a Passive House apartment building, which Reaching the peak OCTOBER 2021
is one of the reasons Edge Construction is particularly proud of it. Passive House is considered to be the most rigorous voluntary energy-based standard in the design and construction industry today. Passive House buildings consume up to 90 per cent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings. Very few completed buildings in Vancouver have been able tomeet those criteria. “The Peak is an exciting project,” Jaime says. “Cornerstone implemented some clever design and engineering elements to help it maximize energy efficiency. For example, the residential units have long balconies which act as solar shading devices. The windows not shaded by balconies or overhangs are fitted with automatic exterior solar blinds to reduce overheating.” “We’ve worked hard on this project to offer the type of value engineering that will make the building better. There’s a lot of critical thinking that’s gone into it. It’s very unique, and we’re having a lot of fun.” Moving forward, the goal for Edge Construction is to continue taking on projects in Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities in both the residential and commercial sectors. They also want to continue growing in size and project turnover, but in a very controlled and purposeful way. “We ask ourselves every day, ‘How is our business THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
developing?’” Jaime says. “We want to make sure we’re setting our own course; steering the ship purposefully. We don’t just want the wind to take us where it takes us.” “In terms of the multi-family sector, we’re on the right track,” he says. “We want to have sixto-10multi-familyprojectsgoing at any one time, depending on the size and location of the projects. We love when those projects leverage our talent and help us grow.” “On the commercial side of things, again, we think we’re heading in the right direction,” he adds. “We want to have between six and eight of those projects going at any given time. We also want to pursue some larger spaces. It’s going to take a lot of work to get there, and we’re very conscious of that, but we’re excited to put that work in.” As for the size of the company, Jaime says they will only grow as fast as their team allows them. They are very selective in their hiring practices, so that when a new member joins the team, they are a good fit for today and for the company’s long-term vision. “We aren’t the type of company that wants to grow and shrink and grow and shrink,” Richard explains. “We’re a quality-overquantity company. That’s our construction philosophy. That’s how we organize and run the business.” “We aren’t the company who will chase growth at the risk of compromising our reputation,” Jaime adds. “We like to look at things from the perspective that we’re only as good as the last building we built. We stand behind every building we’ve delivered.” “No matter what sector we’re working, we really just want to build projects that we can look back on and be proud of,” Jaime concludes. “We want to be able to say ‘We were part of the team that built that. It was a successful project for everyone.’” OCTOBER 2021
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Edge Construction, their team, their services and project delivery methods, and their past and present projects, visit https://edgeconstruction.ca/
LEGACY Building a JOIA Condo Rentals is the Montreal-based company behind a unique collection of rental condos. Each of their diverse buildings boasts their own unique points of difference, and they meet the needs and expectations of different types of clientele, but they also all have a lot in common. All are located in dynamic neighborhoods. All provide elegant and inviting common spaces, as well as safe environments for residents. All are professionally and conscientiously managed. And all are delivered to a high standard of quality, ensuring the comfort and well-being of residents for years to come.
OCTOBER 2021 JOIA Laval
“We’re here to build a legacy,” says Michael Cons, co-owner of the company. “That means building properties that are going to be here for the longterm. It means providing the best possible service and the best possible quality.” JOIA is a creation of Cons Properties, which was cofounded by Michael and his brother Ronnie Cons in the early 1990s. The two were originally active in the food industry, where they were massively successful. After selling their family business, they sought to create a new company they could leave to their children, and they settled on real estate. They started by managing temperature-controlled Class A industrial buildings, and after achieving quick success, they expanded their activities into the field of rental condos. The brothers’ first project under the JOIA banner was ‘JOIA Griffintown,’ which was located on a property that used to house their first food plant. When the neighborhood started growing in popularity, and property values started to rise, Michael and Ronnie decided to develop high-end rental condos on the site. The decision to rent instead of sell came back to leaving a legacy for their children. “My brother and I have 10 children between us,” Michael says. “We’re not here just to flip some properties and make THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “We’re here to build a legacy,” says Michael Cons, co-owner of the company. “That means building properties that are going to be here for the long-term. It means providing the best possible service and the best possible quality.” JOIA Laval
OCTOBER 2021 JOIA Griffintown some money and walk away. We want to leave something behind for our kids.” While developing JOIA Griffintown, the company bought two smaller properties they intended to develop first in order to get their feet wet. More lots became available as they went, however, and Michael and Ronnie jumped on the opportunities as they presented themselves. They ended up building four projects at the same time, during which they bought a few more properties. Cons Properties’ aggressiveness has paidoff. They arenowproud to hold a diverse portfolio of commercial and residential real estate, including some highly acclaimed rental buildings under the JOIA banner. That list includes five properties in Montreal, one in St-Haycinthe, another in Laval, and one in Côte-Saint-Luc. According to Michael, all those properties are set apart by their luxuriousness. He believes there are very few rental buildings on the market that can compete with JOIA’s in that arena. “The aesthetics, the level of comfort, the quality – in our buildings, it’s all much nicer than what you’d normally find in a rental,” he says. Also, rentals don’t usually come with a lot of inclusions, but JOIA’s properties are the exception. The units themselves come with a lot of extras, and the buildings come with amenities such as coffee stations, car washes, doormen, and concierge desks. In Griffintown, they even have a running track on the roof, a rooftop patio that is heated year-round, and a communal vegetable garden. JOIA also tries to add value to their residents by working with vendors local to their properties. For example, in Griffintown, there’s a spa not far from the building and every tenant gets $50 off a massage. In other JOIA properties, residents are offered discounts on bagels, coffees, and bike rentals. And in every property, first-time residents are greeted by a welcome gift on their kitchen counter with a thankyou note. “Those are the sort of thing that we offer that other companies don’t,” Michael says. “It’s all about making the experience a little bit better for our residents. It’s about giving people a reason to stay.”
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA JOIA Griffintown
JOIA’s “flagship property” is called The MAJESTIC, and is located in the highly soughtafter neighborhood of CôteSaint-Luc. It comprises 120 units between 850 and 1,517 square feet. Each residence features premium stainless steel appliances, hardwood oak floors, a private terrace, and more. “The MAJESTIC perfectly combines luxury and functionality in order to offer the ultimate peace of mind from the moment you walk through the door,” Michael says. The design of The MAJESTIC was by Rubin Goldenberg Architects, who Michael believes is “the first choice for a lot of people building today.” The construction, meanwhile, was by Reliance Construction Group. Michael says they A really high standard Majestic by JOIA OCTOBER 2021
Majestic by JOIA THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
were chosen because “they are reliable, they have a great reputation, and they are known for delivering quality.” JOIA builds most of their properties themselves, but in this case they had a lot going on at once and they were relatively new to the industry besides. They needed a builder with a track record that they could trust to deliver a project to their standards – Reliance ticked those boxes. When it came to The MAJESTIC’s inclusions and finishes, JOIA also went with the best partners available. For example, the faucets and sinks are by Kohler, and the barbecues are by SABER. “We’ve chosen the brands that we’d want in our own homes,” Michael says. “If it’s not good enough for us, it’s not good enough for our residents. We’re trying to build something that will be here for the long-term, so we don’t mind putting in that extra money.” “When people walk in, they see the quality, they see the décor, they see the brands that we’re using – and they see that we’re serious,” he adds. “They see that we’re not here to cut corners or save a few bucks. We’re here to provide the best possible service and we’re here for the long run.” Moving forward, JOIA’s goal is to continue providing that optimal service, and continue looking for ways to add value to their buildings and improve the quality of life for their residents. Their buildings are all new, but they are still always JOIA Ville-marie OCTOBER 2021
JOIA Ville-marie THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
considering ways to improve them aesthetically – that could mean revamping the look of the common spaces, adding new patio furniture, or “whatever we need to do to provide a better offering for tenants,” Michael says. JOIA also wants to continue growing their portfolio. They currently have eight finished properties, but they have several more in the pipeline at various stages of development. The cost of labour and materials currently is at a high, however, so they are waiting to see what happens before they commence building. “Fortunately, we’re not in a rush,” Michael says. “We’re going to build at the right time, when it makes sense.” Lastly, JOIA wants to continue building their brand, which is prominently displayed on all their properties. Most developers don’t market that way – their properties tend to have different names, with no obvious way to tie them together – but JOIA has set out to do something different. “We’ve tried to promote that JOIA brand throughout,” Michael says. “From what we understand, we’re one of the only developers marketing real estate in that way. We’ve done that because we want every building of ours to be associated with quality.” Michael firmly believes that JOIA has earned that association – he believes that everything they do is quality, from their buildings, to their marketing, to their customer service. Properties may have different price points, and cater to different clientele, but he believes the quality is consistent. “In everything we do, we hold ourselves to a really high standard,” he concludes. OCTOBER 2021 Let’s shape the future of real estate. Find out how at jll.ca
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on JOIA Condo Rentals, all their properties, and everything that sets the brand apart, visit https://joia.ca/ For more on The Majestic in particular, and everything that property has to offer specifically, visit https://www.majesticmontreal.com/
Matching Families with their Future Homes
Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing is a fully licensed real estate brokerage with a shared mission of “bringing people home.” Fifth Avenue has a diverse team of marketing and sales professionals who, combined with the collaboration of developers, help bring award-winning products to development along with vibrancy to communities.
Fifth Avenue has long-standing history of residential new home housing development. Over forty years ago, the company was founded by the Belling family. They had a background in sales and marketing. Senior Vice President Jamie Squires has been with the company for nearly half of the company’s lifespan. Squires recounts the company culture when she began working for Fifth Avenue. Squires reflects, “At the time, it was a family-owned company. Since then, the family has retired. We are a bit bigger now. We have Peerage Realty Partners working with us. In the early days, it was like working for a family. They become your family. I stuck with it. It was a very open and honest environment and provided a family dynamic.” As founder Mark Belling approached retirement, he looked for a replacement and discovered W. Scott Brown. In his letter of commitment to excellence, current President & CEO Brown reinforces the company’s passion for collaboration, service, and positive social action. Through its growth and evolutions over the past forty years, Fifth Avenue has always committed itself to employing a diverse team that serves the unique demands and needs of any project. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “Through its growth and evolutions over the past forty years, Fifth Avenue has always committed itself to employing a diverse team that serves the unique demands and needs of any project.”
OCTOBER 2021 Peerage Realty is a partner in the dynamic Fifth Avenue team. Squires mentions the company’s partnership with Peerage Realty and motions towards its contribution to Fifth Avenue’s tremendous growth. “When we partnered with Peerage Realty, we had more backing,” notes Squires. “We have had tremendous growth, especially in the last year. We also acquired a company called Epic Real Estate Solutions.” Alongside Fifth Avenue’s tremendous growth recently, its portfolio outlines successful and award-winning projects which speak to the quality and care that the team at Fifth Avenue deliver to customers. While the company’s home office is located in Surrey, Fifth Avenue continues to build local brands to connect with a broader reach of customers. “Over the last eighteen years we have had projects everywhere. We have increased local brand growth. We bought Epic to run on their own, but we work together. We also started BakerWest, an attribute to Baker (alsoaPeerage company), which is the biggest project marketing firm in Ontario and Quebec. For the island, we are working with The Condo Group. By working with local brands, we can meet pretty much any diverse needs within a local area” notes Squires. While Fifth Avenue has history to attest to its quality of service, Squires points to its vision and versatility as key factors in its continued success. “Havingworkedwithdevelopers for so long,” Squires adds, “we have acquired a developer mindset. We put the needs of the developer client first. We are very honest. We always look from the developers’ point of view--like risk, timing, unitmix, target markets. We advise the pros and cons and risk involved.” Perhaps the most integral part of this company’s success is its diverse, versatile, and interdisciplinary team. For any project, Fifth Avenue has a team that can help with the needs of
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA the client. “It is a science and an art,” outlines Squires. “We work closely with and direct the creative firm that does the branding and the interior designers. We ask them to work together. We do a direction session where we go over the development, expectations, and target markets so they can design the products to those markets. We do a lot of work surrounding the product.” Fifth Avenue has a team that is readytomanagetheconveyance of Real Estate, oversee contract administration, and assist with closing processes. From beginning to end, Fifth Avenue offers services to facilitate with any part of the home-buying process. By being a full-service brokerage, the company ensures that homeowners are always knowledgeable about and fully satisfied with their homes. A quick glance into the communities touched by Fifth Avenue reveals the company’s ability to bring new and future life to neighborhoods and homes. The company prides itself on tasteful and functional townhomes, highrise condominiums, and mixeduse developments. They recently sold out Dansey in Coquitlam by Belford Properties. This low-rise property offers 128 affordable homes with easy access to local shops and transportation. The large windows and 9-foot ceilings provide homeowners with beautiful natural light
OCTOBER 2021 in the bedrooms and living room. It was a great success for Belford Properties and Fifth Avenue. “We did it in record time with record breaking prices” outlines Squires. “The homes were durable, soundproof, and made with long-lasting materials, such as steel frame instead of wood.” Squires also mentions Prosper in Guildford by Mountain Creations, which is coming soon. Prosper offers 65 condominiums in a 5-storey residential building. Its proximity to Hawthorne Rotary Park offers great views and a place for relaxation with family, friends, and pets. Fifth Avenue is working on a breadth of projects, including the exciting new Aldergrove Town Centre in historic Aldergrove.Oneof theirprojects is also Chronical in Cloverdale by Tangerine Developments. Chronical has a designated heritage house that will form part of the new building, as it was a dairy farmhouse in 1924. It will house the amenities for the 48 new condominiums. Fifth Avenue’s projects offer homes with great convenience and character. In understanding the needs of homeowners and the personality that makes a home, the team at Fifth Avenue can match anyone to their future home. Part of bringing families and individuals to their future homes is understanding that a
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home should be both beautiful and functional. Squires mentions that Fifth Avenue focuses on utilizing all space effectively within a home. “We work on a lot of master plan communities from small to larger units,” mentions Squires. “We like to come on early. We work with architects and developers early to make sure we meet the needs of the communities and buyers. We aren’t designing units that do not fit or are not usable. There is no wasted space. We don’t want to design homes with wasted space, adding unnecessary costs for no reason.” Fifth Avenue’s commitment to space extends into their commitments to the community. Fifth Avenue’s website highlights the company’s responsibility for its community development. “We are committed to giving back and sharing knowledge, experience, time, and resources within the communities that we are part of shaping,” its website reads. “Together with our developer partners, we are seeking to do some good and aid those in need.” Fifth Avenue is constantly working towards affordability by ensuring that there are no wasted spaces in homes. At the same time, they are always looking for character and comfort that make a home convenient and comfortable. With over forty years of experience, Fifth Avenue will continue its path of growth and success by bringing even more people home. OCTOBER 2021
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more information about Fifth Ave Real Estate Marketing, their services, and their projects visit-- https://fifthave.ca/
BALANCE The perfect
OM Outremont is a high-end rental apartment located in the heart of Montreal’s Nouvel Outremont neighborhood. The project offers 102 large, highly-refined rental units, all of them providing stylish comfort and spacious living areas, with each unit larger than the market standard.
The building itself is i mma c u l a t e l y - d e s i g n e d , it is equipped with ample amenities, and it is strategically located – the location in Nouvel Outremont is “ideal” and “offers the perfect balance of city life and green space,” according to consultant Michel Lapointe. Michel runs the real estate for the firm behind OM, which has been operating in the area for many years. Their company used to own an older industrial building on the site. When the area was converted into a residential neighborhood, the city approached OM and encouraged them to redevelop their land, which was in the centerof thenewneighborhood. The city’s goals neatly aligned with OM’s, and the idea for OM Outremont was born. According to Michel, the property they came up with is a “distinctive project in Montreal,” and it stands out for a number of reasons. Those reasons include the refined interiors, the building amenities, and the appeal of theNouvel Outremont neighborhood. The interior features include: large balconies; high quality premium heating and cooling systems; top-end appliances; a washer/dryer in each unit; excellent soundproofing; and more than one bathroom in the majority of units. The building also offers a depth THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “According to Michel, the property they came up with is a “distinctive project in Montreal,” and it stands out for a number of reasons. Those reasons include the refined interiors, the building amenities, and the appeal of the Nouvel Outremont neighborhood.”
OCTOBER 2021 of amenities. That list includes: a fitness studio; an oversized foyer; a bike workshop with dedicated storage area; storage spaces; commercial ground floor with direct access within the building; indoor parking spaces; a car-sharing service in the parking lot; a charging station for electric vehicles; an access control point for parcel delivery; and a lot more. Then there’s the up-and-coming neighborhood of Nouvel Outremont, which is highly sought-after. There are metro stations nearby, there are an abundance of schools, some of the city’s top restaurants and shops are only steps away, and the project offers direct access to parks, pedestrian walkways, and bike paths. “It’s an ideal location for everyone,” Michel says. The test of time OM Outremont was designed by MSDL Architects. They were the natural choice, Michel believes, because they were the firm behind the new MIL Campus, which is also being developed in Nouvel Outremont, not far from the site of OM Outremont. “We wanted to have some synergy with the new university campus,” Michel explains. “We wanted to have a look and finish that complimented the new university. So we brought MSDL on board early and we worked with them closely throughout the process.” At the time, most developers were trending towards smaller units, but OM made the conscious decision to buck that trend. Michel credits MSDL for embracing that vision, and for designing some really highquality and really spacious living areas. These days, he believes that buyers are really looking for that space, so their decision to go in that direction has been vindicated. Michel also credits the project’s success to Divco, the builders on the project. They were chosen for the project due to their reputation, as well as their depth of experience on other projects of similar scales. “This is a larger concrete
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA building,” Michel says. “It’s six storeys. It’s institutional-grade. We have 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail. We needed a builder that had done this level of project – and not just once, but many times over. They needed to have the capability to handle something of this scale.” The institutional-grade quality was vital, Michel stresses, because their firm would be holding onto and renting the units. They weren’t going to sell them and walk away. “We’re going to be here for the long-term,” Michel says. “We needed the building to be very efficient, very detailed, and we needed it to last. We didn’t want to be dealing with problems five years from now because we didn’t deliver the right level of quality.” Because of that focus on durability and quality, OM Outremont features much higher-end materials and finishes than many comparable projects. “A lot of people have told us ‘You could have saved a lot of money by choosing a different product, or by doing this differently,’” Michel says. “I tell them ‘You’re right, but that wasn’t the mandate.’ The mandate was to create a really high-end building that would stand the test of time. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Currently, OM Outrement is in the final phases of construction. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting instability in the supply chain has caused some delays, but delivery is now well on track. The second and third floors of the building are due to be ready for occupancy by November, and the rest of the floors are expected to be completed by the Christmas break. When it comes, OM has been hesitant to start marketing before they had a final date. Despite their limited outreach, however, a quarter of their units were already pre-rented in August. “We had people knocking down our doors to get on the list,” Michel says. “They wanted to make sure they wouldn’t miss out. Before we even started pushing the marketing, we had Quality of life OCTOBER 2021
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already done really well.” Michel credits that commercial response partly to the growing interest in the Nouvel Outremont neighborhood, and the limited housing stock that currently exists there. OM Outremont is one of the only options for people who want to move to the neighborhood. The same goes for people who already live in the area, but who want to sell their home and stay there. At the same time, Michel also credits the premier quality of the building. When it comes to the peoplewhowant to sell their homes while the market is hot, but who don’t want to leave the area, Michel believes they feel comfortable making the move because OM Outremont offers them the same high quality of life they are used to. “There are other rentals here, but none that are the same level of quality and finish,” Michel says. “For someone who’s used to living in a large home in Outremont, I believe this is the only building that has the level of quality they would accept.” The team at OM is proud to offer that level of quality, Michel adds, and their goal is to offer it again on their next project. They have another property about four blocks over, which will be their next project. That land includes a large old paint factory – where the firm is currently operating from on a short-term basis – as well as over 100,000 square feet of unused space. Their vision for the unused space is another residential development of the same scale and quality of OM Outremont. “The way we’re looking at it is we’re setting the bar on OM Outremont,” Michel says. “Our goal is to clear that bar on our next project. We want to keep getting better as we go.” OCTOBER 2021 BUILDING BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. I N F O@D I V C O . C A L I N K E D I N (514) 593 - 8888
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on OM Outremont and everything it has to offer, visit https://om-outremont.com/en/
Reviving Stories of the Valley Located in Edmonton is the River Valley Company, which is a development company aimed at evolving Edmonton River Valley into an ideal tourist location with great hospitality and exciting activities for visitors of any age
The River Valley Co. focuses on revitalizing and supporting the Riverdale community through unique, boutique projects. The River Valley Company consists of four partners. Two of those partners are Erin MurrayGreen and Clark Murray. They are a brother and sister duowho contribute different skillsets to the company. Erin MurrayGreen, who is Partner andBrand Manager, has a background in architecture. Clark Murray, who is Chairman of the company, owns different tech companies. One of their other partners owns a construction company. From its very beginning, River Valley Co. has had the goal of bringing new life and opportunity to the beloved River Valley. Murray notes, “our intent is to take the Edmonton River Valley, which is a 22-kilometer park, and develop community amenity buildings with highend hospitality. We design the buildings and operate the businesses in them as well.” The vision Murray and MurrayGreen have for the city traces back to their trips abroad. They tookdesign ideas andcameback to their own community with new insight into how they could revitalize their neighborhood. “What we found on our walks,” says Murray, “is that there were twolittleabandonedcommercial THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “The vision Murray and Murray-Green have for the city traces back to their trips abroad. They took design ideas and came back to their own community with new insight into how they could revitalize their neighborhood.”
OCTOBER 2021 sites in this neighborhood that was redeveloped. We saw that as an opportunity. Six years in, we employ 45 people in Riverdale, and we should see about 10,000 visitors a year to Riverdale annually.” That vision culminated in the company’s first project, which is Little Brick Café. The house has historical significance, which made it more endearing to the community. “It is a small café,” notes MurrayGreen. “It is built down by the river. It is very central. It used to be an industrial area and it used to be a brick plant. The whole area was industrial. The house has historical significance. It was our first project as a team.” Little Brick is a 1902 residence that River Valley Co. converted into a café/pub with a bakery on the second and an Airbnb on the third floor. Over the decades, the house has seen new editions, which created hurdles for the River Valley Co. to overcome. However, with the work of local crafts- and tradespeople, the Little Brick Café project was a success. Murray recounts, “it needed a lot of work, and it was a funny building. It was a hodgepodge of construction styles throughout the years. Fixing it required substantial restorations. We put a kitchen in the basement, and we fixed the wiring.” As part of their dedication to Edmonton, River Valley Co. worked with local trades and businesses to make the Little Brick Café a local success. The company hired a local concrete company, upholsterer, and millworkers to complete the project. “Turning to local craftsman made sense,” adds MurrayGreen. “All the concrete is done locally by Phoenix concrete. Peppers Upholstery was great to work with too. Our millworkers—Studio Bramble-- have a shop in town, so they did everything on site in Edmonton. Working with trades that are here helped us developed a supply chain that was easy and Canadian.”
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Little Brick Café is a prime example of the mission of River Valley Co., which is to bring people together in the community to celebrate its history and its community. This mission is also clearly illustrated in the reception of the café and its survival through the challenging times of the pandemic. “It has won awards from The Huffington Post, The Edmonton Journal, and Yelp. People have taken to it as a little landmark in the River Valley. Covid has been challenging, but the old house has a really big yard. The yard saved us because we could have outdoor dining. With the support of our customers, we could continue going through the pandemic.” In working with the community and receiving feedback, River Valley Co. was able to develop Little Brick Café into a place which fit the lifestyle, needs, and aesthetics of the surrounding community. In a sense, Little Brick Café was the signpost for the future and vision of River Valley Co. Clark-Murray suggests, “We always want to find a site in a space that is walkable but maybe forgotten. Maybe it is a site that hasn’t been utilized to its best intentions. We want to stick to local craftsman and we want great quality.” However, Little Brick Café is just the beginning for River Valley Co. They recently completed Umphreville Block, which is a commercially zoned property in Riverdale. The development will
house a retail and hospitality space on the main level, an office space on the second level, and residential units on the top level. With two successful projects in their portfolio, River Valley Co. is continuously looking forward to more projects they can undertake to infuse new life into the River Valley. “The first thing we did at Little Brick was talk about project two,” Clark mentions. “We think there are about ten sites around the River Valley that we intend to develop. We have done two in the first five years. We are starting our third and fourth projects in the next 12 to 16 months. We want to get started on more projects. We hope to build a community somewhere in Edmonton as a micro-district in tourism.” When looking at their work, it is clear that the team at River Valley Co. works out of love for River Valley. The company maintains a balance between the historicism within Edmonton and the vibrancy found its renewal and futurity. “Edmonton is a great city” remarks Murray. “There is a strong community of small businesspeople that we are proud to be a part of. We hope that Edmonton is part of a vibrant vitalized community with small business owners that are working together to make Edmonton an awesome city on the move.” With the success of Little Brick Café andmore projects to come, River Valley Co. is playing a major role in developing unique and functional spaces that bring new life and movement to the River Valley. OCTOBER 2021
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA To learn more about River Valley Co., their services, their team, and their projects visit-- https://www.rivervalleyco.ca/
SHOP ONE STOP AWC Builders is a Manitoba-based designer and builder of premium residential and commercial spaces. For almost 40 years, their expert team has been involved in building, restoring, and renovating custom homes, office workplaces, retail spaces, restaurants, and more. In all sectors, they are focused on creating spaces that improve functionality, enhance aesthetics, and maximize efficiency. They take care of the job from beginning to end, and they take pride in completing them on time and on budget.
“When renovating, rebuilding, or restoring your space, partnering with AWC Builders is one of the best investments a client can make,” says Daniel Mraovic, President. Daniel has personally been in the construction industry since 1983, when he started working for his dad’s company over summer holidays and school breaks. He formed his own company in 1989, and started off mainly doing renovations and additions of residential homes. That company quickly forged a reputation for quality, and a few years later they started dabbling in commercial work, where they built a similarly strong reputation just as quick. Over the following 30 years, the company steadily expanded their capabilities and completed an unrivalled portfolio of both residential and commercial projects. Today, AWC Builders is just one division of the multifaceted AWC Group of Companies. Another division is Danzante Living – which is an awardwinning designer and builder of custom and spec homes. The group also includes AWC Asset Management and AWC 24/7 Services – the former provides commercial leasing and residential rental services, while the latter offers reactive and proactive contractor services, and promises customers they can be onsite within two hours from their initial call. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “When renovating, rebuilding, or restoring your space, partnering with AWC Builders is one of the best investments a client can make,” says Daniel Mraovic, President.
OCTOBER 2021 On the AWC Builders side, the company’s projects can range greatly in value, from tenant improvement jobs valued under $1 million to new builds valued all the way to $25 million. For Danzante Living – which is “extremely busy these days,” Daniel says – their new homes tend to range in value from $400,000 to $2 million. In both the commercial and residential sectors, Daniel believes that AWC is set apart by their depth of in-house capability. “In our market, very few companies are built and structured the way we are,” he explains. “First of all, we do inhouse drafting. Secondly, an architect is our construction manager. Third, that architect has an interior design degree. That’s all very rare.” “Most companies farm those services out,” he adds. “They have third parties that take care of it for them. We have it all in-house. We can take our clients through the whole entire process. We can introduce them to one person, and they can walk the client through their project right to the end.” AWC is also set apart, Daniel says, by their in-house service department. “We’re not a company that subcontracts everything out. We do a lot of in-house work. A lot of companies our size subcontract almost 90 per cent of their work out. We do not. We’re probably closer to 50 per cent.” AWC also owns and operates their own design centre. Again, Daniel says, that’s very rare among companies of their size. “We buy everything through there,” he says. “So we truly provide a one-stop-shop. Once a client comes through our door, we canwalk them through the entire process from start to finish. A lot of companies say that, but at AWC it’s really the truth.” According to Daniel, being so hands-on and providing such an in-depth service has paid