First Rental Building of Its Kind in Mississauga in 20 Years

When I started chatting with Don Pugh, the vice-president of the Daniels Corporation, I was initially surprised to learn that the company's new Eglinton and Erin Mills Parkway Skyrise Rental Residence high-rise is the first new rental building in the city in 20 years. It's also one that will help tenants transition into homeowners (although not in those particular units).

For the past two decades, condominiums have sprouted like luxurious, glass-faced weeds throughout the city. While ample rentals in the form of older apartment units, townhouses and basement suites are available to Mississauga tenants, it's been awhile since a new multi-story building specifically for renters was built.

The demand for the facility was high.

"It's the first rental building [of its kind in Mississauga] in 20 years," Pugh said. "It's got the same caliber of finish that you'd find in a condo because that's what people want today."

There are a few things that set the new building -- set to welcome its first batch of tenants on March 1 -- apart. Skyrise residents can collect HIP dollars (more on those later) to put towards the purchase of a home. For people who find saving challenging, the program is a good incentive.

In terms of location, the Skyrise building occupies some prime real estate, standing walking distance from Erin Mills Town Centre and Credit Valley Hospital (which is great for hospital employees and residents who give themselves second-degree burns making breakfast). The building boasts 323 rental suites (and all suites are exclusive to tenants -- units cannot be purchased) with lake and city views, high ceilings, high-quality finishes, custom-designed kitchens by HOK with caesarstone countertops, stainless steel appliances, thermostats for suite-specific temperature control, in-suite laundry, balconies, storage lockers and parking spaces.

In terms of the building itself, it offers some cool condominium-style amenities. Residents have access to an outdoor courtyard with a running track, gardening plots, children's play area and a farmer's market. The facility also offers a party room, conference centre, a WiFi-enabled lounge, home theatre and fitness centre.

"We've known there's demand for years," Pugh says. "We've been working on this for a couple of years. There's been no new rental stock in forever. People can find rentals, but they don't produce the security they need. Owners can sell or move into their units. We love the fact that this is truly a rental building. People are responding positively to that."

Pugh raises an interesting point. Most renters can indeed find accommodation in traditional luxury condos, but there are possibilities to consider when leasing an owned unit in, say, a trendy City Centre building. An owner could indeed sell the suite, or decide he or she wants to live there. Skyrise is unique in the sense that it's a brand spankin' new facility where renters deal with Daniels Gateway Rental Communities and not individual landlords. Tenants could decide to lease for one year or 20 and never have to worry about the suite being sold out from under them.

As far as renting a unit goes, typical industry standards apply. Tenants sign year-by-year leases and can rent studio, one bedroom, one bedroom + den and two-bedroom units. As far as pricing goes, rental rates are comparable to other buildings of similar design and style.

Rents start at $1,375 a month for one bedroom suites and $1,725 for two.

One of the most interesting aspects of Skyrise is the introduction of the Daniels Gateway HIP Program (HIP stands for Home Investment Program). While Skyrise should not be confused with a rent-to-own facility, residents can parlay their tenancy into homeownership.

The program will allow tenants to accumulate HIP dollars that can go towards the purchase of a new construction Daniels home anywhere in the GTA. People who rent for 12 months will receive a certificate for $2,400 that can be used as part of a down payment on a Daniels home. If $2,400 isn't enough, residents can collect up to $6,000 HIP dollars (or $200 per month to a maximum of $6,000) to put towards a home purchase.

In terms of rules and regulations, tenants can also enjoy a little more flexibility.

Simona Annibale, VP of marketing at Daniels, said that pet ownership, in-suite smoking and some personal customization is allowed.

"Skyrise is a pet friendly building and we do have a limit with respect to the number of animals per suite to respect neighbours," Annibale said in an email. "With respect to our smoking policy, smoking is not permitted around any exterior entrances to the building, and smoking is not permitted in any of the common areas/amenity spaces within the building. Tenants may paint their suite when they move in. We ask our tenants to return the suite to its original wall colour prior to when they move out."

New tenants can also get a temporary break on their internet and cable bills.

"Rogers and Bell are offering incentives," says Pugh. "Rogers is offering 25 per cent off internet, TV and smart home monitoring and Bell is offering 25 per cent off as well."

If you're interested in the building, you can book a model suite tour with a leasing representative by calling 905-813-9730. You can also check out www.skyriserentals.ca.

Prospective tenants can view rental suites beginning Feb 6 by appointment only.

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