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Crystal Homes tops off first mid-rise Nuvo condo in Oakville

Homebuilder moves into higher-density housing in response to growing housing shortage

A rendering of the Nuvo Condominiums being built in Oakville, Ont. (Courtesy Crystal Homes)

Crystal Homes, in collaboration with Fernbrook Homes, has topped-off its first mid-rise Nuvo Condominiums project in Oakville, Ont., marking a change of pace for the land developer, homebuilder and broker.

Based in Burlington, Crystal Homes was established in 1988 and has its roots predominantly in the low-rise asset class across southwestern Ontario. Its past communities include Wildflowers in Hamilton, Valleyview in Stony Creek and Edgewater in Oakville.

With Ontario pushing for intensification to deal with a huge influx of immigration and the resulting demand for new housing, Crystal Homes president Kathy Di Silvestro said it sparked a shift in focus for her firm.

“As builder, we need to provide housing for people,” she told RENX Homes in an interview. “There is a housing shortage. If you want to be able to contribute in a substantial way, I think you need to get into the mid-rise, high-rise sector.

"That’s what the province wants, that’s where the approvals are going. It was just a natural transition.”

Nuvo will be the flagship element in Crystal Homes’ plan to build Nuvo-branded communities across southwestern Ontario.

About Nuvo Oakville

Nuvo Condominiums' Oakville site consists of two, eight-storey towers of 487 units total across 4.5 acres at 2333 & 2343 Khalsa Gate near Dundas and Bronte roads.

The units come in the form of studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-den layouts.

The den units are well-suited for people who work from home, according to Di Silvestro. There are also shared spaces in common areas which she hopes will be used as office/work space, so residents who work from home can also network.

“I think if it’s in your building, I think people will use it," Di Silvestro said.

Approximately 1,000 people will be housed in Nuvo, which Di Silvestro said sold out quickly from November 2020 to February 2021. Di Silvestro said prices for the units ranged from $550,000 to $1.3 million during the sale period.

The project's amenities emphasize a healthy lifestyle, she said, including community gardens, a putting green, rooftop terrace with a pool, a gym, pickleball court, basketball half-court and outdoor BBQs.

Its location next to a transit node that moves many commuters to Toronto also provides accessible transportation options, she added.

Di Silvestro said younger adults and retirees who have sold their homes have comprised the bulk of the Nuvo Condominiums buyers.

Nuvo has been developed in collaboration with Fernbrook, a long-time partner of Crystal Homes. Di Silvestro said Crystal Homes approached Fernbrook for the project, having already worked on several low-rise projects with the company. She hopes to work with Fernbrook on future Nuvo developments.

“I’m very happy working with them in a low-rise. It was just a good fit,” she said.

Crystal Homes’ plans

With Ontario focused on building new housing for its growing population, Di Silvestro said there is a great opportunity for Crystal Homes and other builders to step up and advance their proposed developments.

One attraction of Nuvo in Oakville was that its price points were lower than in adjacent larger cities. Crystal Homes is now aiming to expand the Nuvo concept in Brampton, create a second development on Oakville’s Trafalgar Road, and in the communities of Brantford and Paris.

The Brampton Nuvo condo community will consist of 430 units shared with 60 to 70 townhouses.

The Trafalgar Nuvo is proposed to contain 1,200 mid- to high-rise units, but Di Silvestro stressed that project is still in the zoning phase.

In Woodstock, Crystal Homes has partnered with Fernbrook to develop a low-rise community of approximately 1,200 lots named River & Sky at Oxford Road 17 and 15th Line. This community will feature a mix of townhomes and single detached residences on lots from 35 to 50 feet. 

Pricing starts from $750,000. It is slated for first occupancy in 2026.

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