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November 17, 2009

Lions danced to frighten away evil spirits, gongs clanged, a feng shui diviner stood by to ensure good luck for residents and Chinese fortune tellers looked into the years to come.

It was all part and parcel of the celebrations at the ground breaking ceremony for South Unionville Square on Kennedy Road in Markham. On November 10 Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Mady president David Mady drove the traditional spade into the ground to signal a start of construction on the GTA’s first major condo mixed use project and the first major retail-office-residential community targeted to meet the needs of Markham’s fast growing Chinese population. The development will be comprised of 550,000 square feet of retail, commercial and residential space with a value of $150 million.

“It is a great day for us, for the team behind South Unionville Square,” said Mr. Mady. “The moment we acquired this property I knew we would have to create something special, something unique.

“What we are delivering is an entire self-contained community that reflects the admirable entrepreneurial spirit of Chinese Canadians and gives the community the chance to enjoy a traditional lifestyle adapted to the demands of their new country.

“They can live, work, shop, eat, entertain and enjoy themselves all within a few minutes walk. South Unionville Square is, in effect, a traditional village or neighborhood but with a 21st Century face.”

The centerpiece is the 300,000-square-foot retail mall with about 300 stores on two levels, all anchored by T&T, the traditional Chinese supermarket chain recently acquired by Loblaws. That space is already 85% sold out.

Above the retail shops will be 80,000 square feet of commercial office space – again all owned as condominiums. Already doctors, dentists, small local businesses and services such as hairdressers and tailors have snapped up space. The offices are already 50% sold out.

The 11-storey residential tower with its 200 suites sits at the southwest corner of the property and is directly adjacent to the mall and connected by an underground walkway. No braving the rain and snow. Residents can do their daily shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meats without ever having to set a foot outside.

The suites start at $189,900; one bedrooms start at 550 square feet; one and dens at 700; and, two-bedroom suites run between 900 and 1,000 square feet.

All have generous balconies, hardwood flooring in the principal rooms, 40-ounce broadloom in the bedrooms, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel Energy Star rated appliances and even a special Chinese touch – a high velocity stainless steel exhaust fan over the range top – a must for wok-style cooking.

In fact the entire residential tower will be LEEDS Silver certified when completed.

“This project has been an enormous success,” says Mr. Mady. “We only launched sales in June, in the midst of a global recession and already most of the retail space, half the office space and about 65% of the residential suites have been snapped up.

“What I think it reflects is the faith our Chinese community has in the future and the very sensible attitude they take that says ownership of your store, your office and your home is the best way to ensure future prosperity.”

Sound like a condo that you may be interested in for your new home?

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