Starting rents may exceed $3,000 for a three-bedroom at proposed East Vancouver development

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      A public hearing will be held on a proposed rental project in East Vancouver in which starting rents will not be fixed.

      This could mean that three-bedroom units in the planned development at a triangular property on northwest corner of Victoria Drive and Stainsbury Avenue may go for more than $3,030 a month.

      The application was made under a program by the ruling Vision Vancouver party of Mayor Gregor Robertson, which seeks to encourage the development of “for-profit affordable rental housing”.

      “If approved, the application would contribute 153 secured market rental housing units towards achieving the City’s affordable housing goals as identified in the Housing and Homelessness Strategy and the emerging directions of the Housing Vancouver Strategy,” according to a staff report to council.

      Under the Rental 100: Secured Market Rental Housing Policy, developers can apply for incentives like increased heights and densities if all housing units are devoted to rentals.

      Developers can also seek a waiver in paying development cost levies (DCL) if their starting rents are equal or below maximum rents set by the city.

      Under the incentive guidelines, the maximum rent per unit that must be met to qualify for a DCL exemption in East Vancouver are the following: $1,360, studio; $1,747, one-bedroom; $2,308, two-bedroom; and  $3,030, three-bedroom.

      In the application filed for the property at 3681 Victoria Drive and 1915 Stainsbury Avenue, DVRM Investments Ltd. is not seeking a DCL waiver.

      “As such, starting rents will not be secured and a DCL will be payable on the new floor area constructed,” according to the staff report to council.

      The report does not indicate what will be the initial rents at the new rental development. The developer may decide rents that are either at or above those that could have qualified the project for a DCL exemption.

      The city expects to collect an estimated DCL of $1,781,695.

      Location of the proposed rental development.

      The project site currently has two-storey industrial buildings housing an auto body shop, and a wholesale distributor.

      To the north of the property along Victoria Drive is the Porter, a five-storey apartment building. To the west along Stainsbury Avenue is The Works, a four-storey condo building.

      The application seeks to change the zoning of the site from commercial into comprehensive development.

      DVRM Investments Ltd. has retained Yamamoto Architecture Inc. for the development of two new six-storey buildings.

      The twin buildings will have 153 rental units. The proposed unit mix is 45, studio; 46, one-bedroom; 35, two-bedroom; and 27, three-bedroom.

      According to the plan, four units will be artist live-work studios.

      The public hearing is scheduled on Tuesday (November 14).