No minimum starting rents set for tenants at three Vancouver developments endorsed by city hall

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      Vancouver city council is likely to approve three proposed rental developments that can charge high market rates upon opening.

      There will be no minimum starting rents at these future buildings.

      However, proponents of these projects are asking city hall to allow them to build higher and bigger so they can make all units as rentals.

      What will happen is that builders will pay development cost levies to the city, and charge future tenants whatever rates the market can bear.

      City staff have endorsed the projects for council approval after public hearing, claiming that these will contribute to the goal of providing “affordable” housing options for residents.

      One of these rental projects is at 478-496 West 48th Avenue, which is adjacent to the Langara-49th Avenue Station of Canada Line.

      South Street Development Group filed a rezoning application on behalf of 1041782 B.C. Ltd. to permit the development of a 10-storey mixed-use building with 59 market rental units, and commercial space at grade.

      According to the staff report endorsing the rezoning of 478-496 West 48th Avenue, the “development of secured market rental housing aligns with the City’s priorities to encourage the continued building of strong, safe and inclusive communities that are sustainable, affordable and environmentally sound”.

      “Rental housing provides a more affordable housing option for nearly half of Vancouver’s population and contributes to a number of City initiatives intended to sustain socially, economically and environmentally thriving communities,” the report noted.

      The other proposed rental building is at 2075 West 12th Avenue.

      Yamamoto Architecture Inc. filed a rezoning application on behalf of Strand Arbutus Development Limited for a six-storey residential building with 48 market rental units.

      City staff are supporting the application, stating in a report to council that it will help the city’s “affordable housing goals”.

      “If approved, this application would make a contribution to the achievement of key affordable housing goals of the City,” staff note in a report.

      An artist’s rendering of proposed rental building at 2075 West 12th Avenue in the Arbutus neighbourhood.

      The third proposed rental building is at 3030-3038 Commercial Drive.

      Gair Williamson Architects Inc. filed a rezoning application on behalf of 3060 Commercial Drive Nominee Ltd. to permit the development of a six-storey mixed-use building with commercial uses on the ground floor, and 43 market rentals above.

      According to a staff report endorsing the project, the development is at a site currently occupied by a three-storey building with 10 rental housing units.

      Staff reported that tenants at the existing building pay an average rent of $1,307. The current tenants will be relocated.

      Staff state that the application is consistent with the city's objective of encouraging the development of rentals as a "more affordable housing option than home ownership".

      “If approved, this application would contribute to the achievement of key affordable housing goals of the City,” staff advised council.

      The three projects are included in the list of developments subject to a public hearing on Tuesday (December 12). 

      An artist’s rendering of proposal rental building at 3030-3038 Commercial Drive.