Ground broke Monday on what will soon become the newest set of condo towers looming over the downtown Kitchener skyline.

One Hundred – the name for the 19-storey and 15-storey buildings going up at 100 Victoria Street South, just south of Joseph Street – is the work of Momentum Developments, which also built the 1 Victoria tower at Victoria and King streets.

“The downtown area is hot right now,” Momentum partner Brian Prudham said in an interview.

“We’re seeing new restaurants, new cafés, new amenities being added to the local scene almost monthly.”

Already, about 70 per cent of the units in One Hundred’s two towers have sold. That percentage was even higher, but the developer recently decided to convert some planned office space into additional residential units.

“We know we can sell residential, and … there’s good demand for residential suites,” Prudham said.

Prudham cites a number of factors for the building boom in downtown Kitchener, including its fast-growing tech sector and the impending arrival of the Ion light rail transit hub.

City officials say they began planning for the current downtown renaissance more than a decade ago.

By the end of this decade, they say, downtown Kitchener will have experienced nearly $1 billion worth of development since those plans started coming to fruition.

“We’ve gone from a period where nobody wanted anything to do with downtown, to now being one of the most popular places that people are talking about,” said Cory Bluhm, Kitchener’s manager of downtown development.

Uptown Waterloo, by contrast, is forecast to have seen about half as much building activity over a similar time period.

With reporting by Max Wark