Large affordable condo project under way in Sidney

Affordable condo unit project given residential tax break by the Town of Sidney.

Demolition crews brought down the former office of the McKimm & Lott legal firm on Fourth Street in Sidney. The lot is being cleared to make room for a new five-storey condo building. The project is being developed by the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society and will consist of affordable units. Thanks to Hugh Hollingworth for the vantage point for this photo.

The site of a new affordable housing project in Sidney is being cleared this week.

Demolition of structures began late last week on Fourth Avenue in Sidney, across from the veterans’ association lot. Room is being made for an $11 million, five-storey condo structure, being built by the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society (GVRDS).

The Town of Sidney gave the project its official go-ahead in late July, after signing off on a series of financial concessions. The residential portion of the building — 56 units, more than half of which are deemed affordable — will not have to pay residential taxes for 10 years. As well, the Town dropped permit and development fees. They agreed to the GVRDS’s request to help make the project viable and to meet the Town’s stated desire to have more affordable homes built in the community.

The commercial portion of the structure on the ground floor would still be subject to municipal taxation.

More than half of its residential units will be offered at below market rents, according to GVRDS Executive Director Alanna Holroyd. She added they based rental rates on Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) guidelines on what would be considered affordable housing in the region.