Over 500 applications to live at new Vancouver rental building with 52 suites

Jan 20 2023, 9:11 pm

A modestly sized rental housing building in East Vancouver with rents that are at the low end of market rates has reached completion and opened.

The Peak at 3737 Rupert Street — located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Rupert Street and East 22nd Avenue in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood — is a six-storey, wood-frame building.

There is a range of unit sizes, with monthly rents from $1,200 for a studio to $3,000 for a three-bedroom unit.

Sample unit sizes put studios at about 460 sq ft, one-bedroom units at about 620 sq ft, two-bedroom units at 830 sq ft, and three-bedroom units at about 1,050 sq ft.

This project is one of a growing number that is financed by the provincial government through BC Housing’s HousingHub’s program of offering low-interest financing to cover the cost of construction. HousingHub is available to both for-profit private developers and non-profit developers to build rental housing that is suitable for the underserved middle-class population.

By providing loans from the provincial government with lower interest rates than what the market would typically provide, the construction costs and project risks are lowered, and some of the reductions to costs are seen with providing lower rents to tenants. Such low-interest financing may also determine whether such projects are feasible to pursue at all.

“Through our HousingHub program, we look forward to building more housing like this across the province to respond to the housing crisis faced by far too many people,” said Ravi Kahlon, the BC Minister of Housing, in a statement.

For The Peak specifically, the project was provided with about $21.6 million in low-interest financing by the provincial government. This will be repaid with low interest by Peak Real Estate Marketing Ltd.

Jordan Eng, the president of Peak Real Estate Group, told Daily Hive Urbanized the interest in renting at The Peak was overwhelming.

They received over 500 applications to rent at The Peak, including 300 applications in the first two weeks of renting the first batch of 26 units and an additional 200+ applications in the second round to rent the remaining units. Essentially, an average of about 10 households had applied to live in each of the suites.

the peak 3737 rupert street vancouver

The Peak rental housing at 3737 Rupert Street, Vancouver. (Success Realty & Insurance)

the peak 3737 rupert street vancouver 2

The Peak rental housing at 3737 Rupert Street, Vancouver. (Success Realty & Insurance)

According to data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate for secured purpose-built rental housing in Vancouver, like The Peak, is hovering at about 1% — a rate that has been sustained for years, except earlier in the pandemic.

The selected residents began moving into their new homes at The Peak in December 2022.

BC Housing’s support was invaluable for us as a small developer, given all the risks associated with increased cost of construction and COVID-19 related delays of materials and supplies,” said Eng.

This building was also designed to a superior green standard, with a Passive House certification that reduces heating and cooling needs and costs.

In addition to the rental housing uses, the building has two retail/restaurant units on the ground level that add to the intersection’s small retail district.

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