The Robert Watson Lofts, together with its neighbours the Sorauren Lofts and the Columbus Lofts, are located in Roncesvalles Village on Sorauren, steps to Sorauren Park with its popular farmer's market and off-leash dog area. This is a great stretch of Roncy, just minutes to the commercial district which is attracting a number of new stores, restaurants and cafés. And the Dundas streetcar is just steps away.
Roncesvalles is a great location choice for buyers looking for authentic Toronto lofts for sale in a vibrant neighbourhood but one that's still transitioning when it comes to real estate and commercial offerings.
Roncy is that rare combination of being an already vibrant 'hood but one that's also still maturing. Because of this, buyers here stand a good chance of out-earning the city average in terms of annual rate of value appreciation on their loft, without having to live in an industrial area that's too early on in the gentrification process to have all the creature comforts of an established community.
We're not the only ones who think the stretch of Sorauren south of Dundas is prime territory for real estate investors and end-user buyers alike. Developers have been eyeing this area for years and there a number of new, loft developments under construction - 383 Sorauren Lofts and 35 Wabash loft-style townhomes - in addition to the multi-phase Howard Park condos just a few blocks away.
What's great about this mini condo boom is that the styles, sizes and price points vary widely and so the area is going to attract people from different age groups, lifestyle stages and income levels. And that balance is important in creating a sustainable and diverse community. That strong community vibe is something that residents of the Robert Watson Lofts have enjoyed for years.
A quick look at some of MrLOFT's past sales in this building along with current real estate values and you'll see why the Robert Watson tops our list for buyers interested in Roncy.
This former confectioner's manufacturing plant together with the concrete-framed soft loft addition around back contains 153 live/work lofts grouped around a central courtyard.
The Robert Watson Lofts is one of the most popular loft buildings in Toronto and it's easy to see why. Character abounds in the hard lofts at 363 Sorauren in the historic building. Units boast exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, original wood beams, soaring 12 ft ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Some even have arched windows.
And although we're partial to the units in the original, historic building, it's rare to find a building where the new addition soft lofts are, arguably, just as appealing but for different reasons.
The soft lofts are located around back in 369 Sorauren, a 2007 new build extension built of concrete with a brick facade to keep a consistent look & feel with its historic neighbour.
These soft lofts have better sound-proofing than the historic conversions and while they lack the heritage features, they're far from cookie-cutter with gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings with exposed ductwork and just the right amount of concrete to feel edgy but not cold. They also have terraces, some with great views of the painted brick walls of the historic building.
If you're a loft lover and you know your west-end loft buildings, then the beauty and quality of these loft units won't be a surprise to you. But what not everyone realizes is just how great an investment this building has been for buyers.
In 2015, the average value growth on units sold was a whopping +20.9% over 2014, out-pacing most detached Toronto houses in terms of rate of appreciation (the average, annual value growth for detached houses in Toronto last year was +12.6%).
To put this further in perspective, freehold Roncesvalles houses increased in value on average by +19.83% in 2015 over 2014, so the Robert Watson Lofts are topping even the freehold market in Rony. You can read more about neighbourhood values for freehold housing on our brokerage's website Property.ca.
Prices in this building have been on a dramatic upwards trajectory for the last few years and while that's excellent news for current owners, it's tough for buyers looking to get a foot inside the door of this coveted Toronto loft.
If you have the budget (plan for an average of $753/sqft here, as of date of publishing), this is a solid investment. This dramatic price growth will likely moderate but if you buy here, your unit should continue to out-pace average price growth for Toronto lofts due to the quality and increasing popularity of this building, and the neighbourhood in general. But as with any loft purchase, you have to be careful not to get swept up in bidding wars and overpay going in, particularly if you plan on selling again in less than 5 years.
Thanks to the condo boom happening in Roncesvalles right now, there is more choice coming and so if you're priced out the Robert Watson Lofts or you're looking to roll the dice to get in on the front end of a value growth trajectory (in hopes of growing your investment faster), there are other buildings to consider.
On that note, don't discount the Robert Watson's more humble but great value neighbour the Sorauren Lofts, pictured below. It'll cost you less for a comparably-sized unit and although it lacks some of the wow-factor of the Robert Watson Lofts, if you have a strong sense of style and are willing to do minor upgrades, you could grow your value quickly here in the coming years.
If you're interested in Roncesvalles lofts and want more information on local real estate values, please feel free to reach out to one of our MrLOFT agents.