The Fergus House, second of the planned four buildings of the Philips Square community, held its grand opening on Friday, September 20th.
Markham-based real estate developer JD Development Group partnered with Rez-One to host this event, which was attended by the City of Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, and JD Development Group President Julia Zhang, as well as the managing team of Rez-One.
“Everything about this place is beautiful,” said Mayor Jaworsky in his speech highlighting the buildings architecture, and design featuring a range of amenities, which houses 476 students in 96 individual suites.
Each suite has four bedrooms and private bathrooms with rent starting at $900 per month.
He also thanked Julia Zhang for taking on the responsibility of being the temporary parent to all the students who come to Waterloo to study.
Zhang recalled the initial plan of Philips Square back in 2011 was to build five buildings and have 2250 beds.
The decision to remove one was not considered to be a smart move from the developer’s point of view but avoided the construction of the underground parking area.
Brendon Lorenz, marketing and leasing administrator of Rez-One Management acknowledged the stigma around issues with student accommodation.
“We do pick customer service, safety and security at the pinpoint of what we offer to students and focus on the students first and foremost.
We find that issues tend to arise when you have so many properties in town when you expand too quickly.
It’s really hard to keep up but we’ve been doing this for ten years and only have four buildings up right now and are pacing ourselves to create a positive footprint in Waterloo,”Lorenz said.
Being so close to UW, it has already been established as a luxury student accommodation with Rez-One having approximately 1697 rooms total in all four of its properties.
Lorenz also stated that having the manager in the same building simplifies communication.
“All of our four buildings are run by a specific property manager each so instead of one person managing 5,000 rooms, have one person responsible for 400 rooms,” Lorenz said.
“The manager is also at the building directly as well so instead of having to go to offsite, you come right down and the issues can be brought to the manager’s attention right away,” he said.
The Fergus house opened in 2017, with Hespeler house expected to start leasing in Sept. 2020 and Elora house expected to be completed in 2022.
Along with Blair house, they will form the Philips Square community that will house about 1800 students.