The Chase: an avowed west-ender takes a chance on a Regent Park condo

The Chase: an avowed west-ender takes a chance on a Regent Park condo

The buyer: Abeer Islam, a 29-year-old music producer and owner of Ivory and Hammer Music House.

The story: Two years ago, Islam bought his first home, a 600-square-foot one-bedroom loft at Bathurst and Queens Quay. It was a bargain at $260,000, but the layout was highly impractical: there was no separation between his living space and his home studio. When friends came over, they’d often end up sitting on his expensive recording equipment. Last year, he decided it was time to upgrade. He hoped to find a two-bedroom place, preferably in a west end neighbourhood with good resale potential, for less than $350,000. His six-month search took him all over the city and ended in a place he never expected.

East Liberty Street (at Strachan). Listed at $349,000, sold for $349,000.
Islam liked the ground-level terrace and two-storey layout in this Liberty Village townhouse, but there was no extra room for his production equipment. He was also worried about the neighbourhood: with so many new buildings going up, he thought the market might become oversaturated and the unit wouldn’t retain its value. He decided to keep looking.

Sudbury Street (at Queen). Listed at $324,900, sold for $320,000.
This was a corner loft with a great second bedroom, but Islam wasn’t keen on some of the finishes. The studio floor would need carpeting to absorb sound, and there was a random pillar in the living area that chewed up a lot of space. Given the work and extra money he’d have to put into the place, it also seemed overpriced. He briefly toyed with a lowball bid of $310,000, but decided against it.

Sackville Street (at Dundas). Listed at $348,000, sold for $348,000.
Islam had never imagined himself living in Regent Park, but the new mixed-income redevelopment intrigued him. The building was still under construction, which meant he’d get to pick out all the finishes. It had a planned on-site fitness centre, and he’d be able to afford a spacious corner unit with panoramic views spanning down to the lake and all the way up to St. Clair. Most importantly, it had a separate den that could easily accommodate his music equipment. He signed the deal in October 2011, and the building was finished on schedule last September—almost unheard of in this city. Since moving in, he’s become a big booster of the new Regent Park: he’s already convinced two of his friends to buy units in his building.