“Relatively small” homes in proposed East Vancouver rental start from 532 square feet for family units

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      A proposed East Vancouver market rental development goes to public hearing early next year.

      The project involves a six-storey mixed-use building at the southeast corner of Kingsway and Joyce Street.

      A staff report to city council regarding the rezoning application for 3304 Kingsway indicates that the rental homes will not be sizable.

      The report states that the proposal contains 79 dwellings of “relatively small unit sizes”.

      For two-bedroom units, which are described family units, the sizes will range from 532 square feet to 733 square feet.

      One-bedroom units will come between 395 square feet to 490 square feet.

      As for “some studios”, these will be at 320 square feet.

      “Staff are supportive of the smaller unit sizes provided there is generous and high quality indoor and outdoor amenity spaces to improve the overall livability of the development,” the staff report to council stated.

      The report also noted that “further design development should occur to the unit sizes and layouts to follow the recommendations in the High-Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines (HDHFCG)”.

      The said city guidelines provide, as an example, that “each bedroom should be large enough to accommodate a single bed, a dresser, a desk or table, and in children's bedrooms, some floor space for playing”.

      The staff report regarding 3304 Kingsway noted that the rezoning application includes multiple amenity spaces for future residents.

      “There is a small indoor amenity room of 39.7 sq. m. (472 sq. ft.) and a contiguous outdoor amenity space on the second floor; a large rooftop outdoor amenity space which includes a children’s play area and urban agriculture; and below grade amenity space provided in the second level of the underground parking lot,” the report stated.

      The rental is a project of development company Hudson, through Jam (3304 Kingsway) Holdings Inc.

      The location is currently occupied by a 7-Eleven store, and across Joyce Street to the west is the Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School.

      The staff report stated that the proponent may later “seek to qualify for a waiver” from paying development cost levies (DCLs) for the rental component of the project.

      This is because the proposed homes fall under the city’s definition of “for-profit affordable rental housing”, which make them eligible to receive incentives such as DCL exemption.

      The report cited average rents in “newer” market rentals in East Vancouver, or those built from 2011 and onward.

      These rents are $1,549 for a studio; $1,825, one bedroom; and $2,354, two bedrooms.

      The DCL waiver for this project is estimated at $857,879.

      The report told council that the development will contribute to the city’s housing objectives.

      The rental homes will be on the upper floors of the building, with commercial spaces taking up the ground floor.

      The rezoning application for 3304 Kingsway has been included in the January 18, 2022 public hearing schedule of council.