This artist’s rendering shows the proposed three-storey rental housing development on Fifth Street in Sidney.

Proposed Sidney development promises to increase rental housing supply

Three-storey development calls for 71 units on Fifth Street

A proposed 71-unit-development promises to improve the supply of rental housing in Sidney.

Plans for the three-storey development on Fifth Street near the intersection with Malaview Avenue will now appear before Sidney’s planning advisory commission (PAC) scheduled to meet Nov. 5 after Monday’s regular council meeting, where councillors confirmed their unanimous support of the development earlier this month.

“I have to commend you on something that we desperately need in this community, which is rental built housing,” said Coun. Scott Garnett earlier this month after a presentation from the proponents – Michael Nygren, president of District Group, and Renante Solivar, MCM Parternship Architects. “I appreciate the fact that you have not made it look like a rental building. I like the character and the form that it takes, and it doesn’t strike me as your traditional rental building [from the 1970s and 1980s]. It looks like home, for a lack of a better way of putting it.”

RELATED: Habitat Victoria searches for families to own 10 North Saanich homes

RELATED: North Saanich approves Habitat for Humanity development

Gable roofs and a varied scholar scheme aim to give the development an oceanside village esthetic.

Of the 71 dwelling units, eight are three-bedrooms; four are two-bedrooms; 13 are one-bedrooms with a den, 35 are one-bedrooms; and 11 are studio units, according to a staff report, with unit sizes ranging from 38.6 m2 (415 square feet) to 104 m2 (1,120 square feet).

While exact figures were not available, a nearby rental building owned by District Group charges around $1,200 for studios, $1,500 for one-bedrooms, $1,800 for one-bedrooms with den, in excess of $2,000 for two-bedrooms, with larger units approaching $2,500.

“That would be a proxy for what rents would be,” said Nygren.

The development receives financial support from B.C. Housing through a program aimed at middle-income earners, he added. “They effectively provide us a financing package. In exchange for that, we provide a minimum 10-year-covenant that [says] all tenants have to meet an income test that they define,” he said. “I can’t tell you what that income level is yet. We are still going through the process.”

Nygren tried to ease concerns that this affordable component of the project would disappear after 10 years. While he could not offer a longer arrangement, he said his company has no plans to turn the units into condominiums after 10 years.

He said the economics of conversion make it almost impossible to stratify the units within 10 years. “We are long-term owners of rental product,” he said. “Our financial partners are long-term owners of rental product.”

Work on the project started 14 months ago. Features include underground parking that is also ready for electric vehicle charging, and solar-ready roofs with the building aiming for energy efficiencies commensurate with Step 2.

Coun. Peter Wainright praised the development. “This is the first time I have heard a proponent come forward with an affordable housing project, without making a big deal about that in their pitch, and you don’t ask for any variances or rezoning, or anything. This is really novel.”

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith recused himself, citing a conflict of interest by way of a family relationship with a member of the proponent’s team.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

Police are looking to identify suspects in an Oct. 10 report of mischief in at a construction site in the 2800-block of Peatt Road in Langford. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP seeks suspects after trio spray paints Langford construction site

Three individuals caught on camera hopping a fence on Peatt Road

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read