This artist’s rendering shows the proposed three-storey rental housing development on Fifth Street in Sidney.

Proposed Sidney development promises to increase rental housing supply

Three-storey development calls for 71 units on Fifth Street

A proposed 71-unit-development promises to improve the supply of rental housing in Sidney.

Plans for the three-storey development on Fifth Street near the intersection with Malaview Avenue will now appear before Sidney’s planning advisory commission (PAC) scheduled to meet Nov. 5 after Monday’s regular council meeting, where councillors confirmed their unanimous support of the development earlier this month.

“I have to commend you on something that we desperately need in this community, which is rental built housing,” said Coun. Scott Garnett earlier this month after a presentation from the proponents – Michael Nygren, president of District Group, and Renante Solivar, MCM Parternship Architects. “I appreciate the fact that you have not made it look like a rental building. I like the character and the form that it takes, and it doesn’t strike me as your traditional rental building [from the 1970s and 1980s]. It looks like home, for a lack of a better way of putting it.”

RELATED: Habitat Victoria searches for families to own 10 North Saanich homes

RELATED: North Saanich approves Habitat for Humanity development

Gable roofs and a varied scholar scheme aim to give the development an oceanside village esthetic.

Of the 71 dwelling units, eight are three-bedrooms; four are two-bedrooms; 13 are one-bedrooms with a den, 35 are one-bedrooms; and 11 are studio units, according to a staff report, with unit sizes ranging from 38.6 m2 (415 square feet) to 104 m2 (1,120 square feet).

While exact figures were not available, a nearby rental building owned by District Group charges around $1,200 for studios, $1,500 for one-bedrooms, $1,800 for one-bedrooms with den, in excess of $2,000 for two-bedrooms, with larger units approaching $2,500.

“That would be a proxy for what rents would be,” said Nygren.

The development receives financial support from B.C. Housing through a program aimed at middle-income earners, he added. “They effectively provide us a financing package. In exchange for that, we provide a minimum 10-year-covenant that [says] all tenants have to meet an income test that they define,” he said. “I can’t tell you what that income level is yet. We are still going through the process.”

Nygren tried to ease concerns that this affordable component of the project would disappear after 10 years. While he could not offer a longer arrangement, he said his company has no plans to turn the units into condominiums after 10 years.

He said the economics of conversion make it almost impossible to stratify the units within 10 years. “We are long-term owners of rental product,” he said. “Our financial partners are long-term owners of rental product.”

Work on the project started 14 months ago. Features include underground parking that is also ready for electric vehicle charging, and solar-ready roofs with the building aiming for energy efficiencies commensurate with Step 2.

Coun. Peter Wainright praised the development. “This is the first time I have heard a proponent come forward with an affordable housing project, without making a big deal about that in their pitch, and you don’t ask for any variances or rezoning, or anything. This is really novel.”

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith recused himself, citing a conflict of interest by way of a family relationship with a member of the proponent’s team.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Victoria artist in residence seeks seniors to share stories of life with students

The meeting is part of an intergenerational project focusing on face-to-face conversations

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

SOOKE HISTORY: Sawmill location significant to region’s industrial history

Steam sawmill closed with death of pioneer Michael Muir

Most Read