The anticipation is palpable and hardly bearable as the Elora Mill restoration and renovation nears its’ much-lauded completion. Weddings are booked firmly and irrevocably from June through to the fall. Brides are anxious, grooms are switching to hard liquor and locals are chomping at the bit to have a peek inside, myself included.
Pearle Hospitality has an amazing vision for Elora, one that will place us firmly on the positive side of 5 Star tourist destinations and nuptial venues worldwide. Their investment, however, is not all about The Mill itself as a stand-alone project; it’s about collaboration with local artisans, with local restaurants, with local retailers and with our regional towns. It’s about building a future and a healthy economy, and it’s about inclusion for those who wish to be included. The excitement is real, this is a game changer of the nth degree for Centre Wellington.
Once the Mill begins operation and the spa and restaurants are running smoothly, the focus will shift monumentally to the South Side of the river where amazing things will continue. The master plan allows for 120 condos including 14 condo town-homes, a wedding chapel and a convention centre, a second hotel, funky retail locations, upscale eateries and ample space to simply take it all in. This South Side hub will be thoughtfully linked by cobblestone walkways, bespoke lighting and communal benches begging the small village connection that we all love. Think Europe, think street performers, buskers and musicians, folks chilling with ice cream and lattes, slow down and simply let the moment unfold. Picture an elongated glass lobby spanning the river from the main hotel to the convention centre and the second hotel, stop and be awed by the Tooth of Time as you saunter across, dawdle and admire the roar of the water and the sheer power of the flow. This is Elora, this is what we have always loved, magnified many times over.
Construction on the South Side has begun already with the restoration of the iconic Little Folk Administration Building which will be transformed into the wedding chapel combined with the sales centre for the condos. You may have heard whispers already that The Bread Bar is coming which is sure to be a hit with locals and tourists alike, envision patio season, twinkle lights, the roar of the river and feel-good vibes all around. The planned reinstatement of the much-loved pedestrian bridge will be a welcome connection between Mill Street West and the South Side, and the Conference Centre will undoubtedly host events attracting world-class travellers to the hotel and spa.
The Mill condos fall solidly and unapologetically into the luxury category with a range of 900-2000 square feet of glamorous high-end finishes and contemporary layouts, most with either 2 bedrooms or one bedroom plus den. Package options to include spa and room services along with a swipe pass for the conservation area may be available to the fortunate owners. The condo project also includes the construction of several condo townhomes along the river’s edge. Artist renderings show modern cubist exteriors and to Pearle’s attentive vision I can imagine the interiors will follow suit. Condo parking will be available underground along with charging stations for electric vehicles and elevator access to the units. Oh the unadulterated joy of not having to scrape snow and ice or struggle with groceries in the rain, now I can definitely get my head around that!
Make no mistake, these are not by any means your ubiquitous condo products. The attention to detail together with the proffered lifestyle potential will be a magnet for local and foreign buyers alike. The sales centre is tentatively set to open in the Fall of 2018 and pricing along with related documents have yet to be allocated.
So what does this mean for property values in Elora, Fergus and Centre Wellington as a whole? This is a one-way ticket to double-digit appreciation, hands down and hats off, slam dunk baby! Employment opportunities associated with the Mill will bring new families to the area, many will purchase homes and some will rent at first until they decide to stay forever, because why would you ever leave? A perpetual lack of resale inventory will put newcomers directly into the stylish Summerfields and Storybrook communities. An infusion of retail dollars is bound to follow suit, infrastructure spending is already happening and increased tourism is guaranteed which will all provide an adrenaline shot for associated local industries.
The collaboration and connection between all the moving parts in Centre Wellington is mind-blowing. Good things are happening here, great things are coming and together we are on the cusp of leaving an amazing legacy for future generations. Let’s grab coffee sometime soon and chat…..