Homeless in Vancouver: Leeward Apartments sells for millions—another 48 affordable rents gone?

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      We all know which way the wind is blowing in Vancouver—real estate-wise. Today (June 20) I learned that another batch of affordable rental housing in the Fairview neighbourhood has likely gone with that wind.

      One of the tenants of the Leeward Apartments, located at 1686 West 12th Avenue, tells me that the building has recently been sold for something like $15 million.

      The 11-storey, 48-unit apartment highrise had been listed for sale since at least May of 2017, with an asking price of $21,950,000, which is a little more than 117 percent of the property’s total 2016 assessment of $18,787,000.

      Lots and lots and lots of apartment building

      Overhead view of 1686 West 12th Avenue.
      City of Vancouver Vanmap

      The 49-year-old concrete tower (built in 1968) is in very good shape and commands three lots worth of manicured greenery—”yes, we do have a yard,” the long-time occupant of the building admitted.

      The tenant further told me that the landlord pulls in about $450,000-a-year in rental profits. In fact, the Goodman Report real estate website lists the property”s annual net operating income as $417,762.

      With a bachelor suite in the Leeward going for $996 a month; a one-bedroom for $1,125, and a two-bedroom for a mere $1,310, the Goodman Report says that “the rents are significantly under market”. But probably not for much longer. 

      Seen from the alley, 1686 West 12th and its two towering peers, both seriously refurbished.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine
      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.