Having the opportunity to actually own the building which houses the business is often the dream of many entrepreneurs, one that often takes years to attain.
A relatively new model of small business ownerships has come to the 400 Employment Lands in Bradford West Gwillimbury with a 2.12-acre site being developed by Toronto-based Rosefield Homes Inc. They are basically commercial/industrial condominiums, meaning the owners of the business, also own the building, and all the benefits that engenders, including the growth in the value as BWG continues to grow and prosper.
A building of 26,000 square feet is planned, containing a variety of units ranging from 1,200 square feet to about 1,700 square feet.
“There are not a lot of these in the Bradford area, but I know that they are becoming more popular in the GTA. We have sold about 60 per cent already without needing to do much marketing. There is a great demand for buildings of this size, which are perfect for any small business owner or entrepreneur to have a unit and not need to pay rent and build equity and get into real estate a bit,” said Rosefield’s Adam Henechowicz who runs Rosefield with his father-in-law.
“You are building liquidity; you’re building equity and you actually own something instead of having to deal with a landlord. As with a residential condo project, once the deal closes and occupancy has taken place, the condo corporation is formed, and the corporation hires a maintenance manager. (There are common costs, like for maintenance, landscaping, snowplowing, garbage removal.)
“And its brand new, so you’re not renting an old space with maintenance issues or buying an older building that needs to be renovated. Everything is brand new from the servicing to the driveway, the HVAC and roof. So you don’t have to constantly worry about needing to repair something as you would in an older building.”
The Employment Lands allow for a generous array of uses, which is demonstrated by the sorts of enterprises Henechowicz is getting interest from.
“We have an HVAC supplier, a woodworking guy who is putting a little office in the front, and his workshop in back. It’s all encompassing really, we can include anything that falls under light industrial, commercial, hotel, retail, finance, almost any kind office, so there are very few limitations as to what people can do. We even have a daycare centre that is going to take three units,” he said.
A small, boutique developer that has been working in and around the GTA since the 1970s, Rosefield learned about a small patch of development lands being sold by Strathallen Capital near the intersection of Highways 400 and 88 within BWGs 400 Employment Lands.
“It’s kind of a funny story. My father-in-law ran into a veteran realtor/broker that he used to do business with back in the 1980s and 1990s and they caught up a bit at a restaurant in Toronto. The guy happens to work in Bradford and knows the area like the back of his hand and said we should come up and take a look. My father-in-law went there, and the guy showed him around, talked about Bradford and how it’s growing, how it’s got a great labour pool and that it’s only 60 kilometres from Toronto with no city traffic,” Henechowicz explained.
“We saw this property and jumped on it. We actually weren’t even looking in Bradford, but these things just happen sometimes. We’re literally a two-minute drive to the 400 and we’re 40 kilometres to Barrie and 60 kilometres to Toronto which is ideal. And with the new 400 to Highway 404 bypass that the government announced, it’s going to open up the Bradford area even more. Since we came here in 2019, we’ve come to realize what a great area this is.”
Henechowicz said he has worked well with the folks at the BWG Economic Development office saying, they are definitely open for business and proactively work to facilitate development.
“They have done a great job of touting the area, and they are super responsive. I have had a lot of discussions with them about a variety of issues, and whenever I have a question, which I have a lot because this is my first commercial/industrial condo project, I would send them an email, set a time to talk and they were always quick to respond and very co-operative. They’ve even been encouraging me to look around for another site, so my experience with them has been great,” he said.
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