West End rental property proposal causes a STIR
Published Wednesday, May 12, 2010 6:55PM PDT
A proposed rental property in Vancouver's West End could be in jeopardy due to resistance from neighbourhood residents.
An old church on the corner of Broughton and Comox was recently sold for $4.25 million. The developers who bought the property are taking advantage of incentives offered by the Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR) program, which offers incentives to encourage the creation of new market rental housing.
The plan includes a community centre, a children's playground, more facilities for Gordon Neighbourhood House, and some seniors housing.
"The plan is to build a purpose-built rental project on that site, the first in decades in the West End," said Gregory Henriquez of Henriquez Partners Architects, who are working on the development. "This would not have occurred without STIR."
The new West End rental property may sound like a win-win for the community, but some West End residents think otherwise. Randy Helten heads the West End Neighbours, a group that is fighting this development.
"There is very little benefit to the community," Helten told CTV News. "Over 4,200 people are rejecting this one. They want to stick with the current height and density and they want a proper plan before we do this kind of stuff."
Meeting those requirements could force the developer to put up a building no greater than six stories and 25,000 square-feet, changes that may not make the building economically viable.
Time is also a factor. If opposition forces delay the project, they could succeed in killing the proposed West End rental property.
"There is a very short window here where a few rental units will be created," said Henriquez to CTV News.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's David Kincaid