Construction set to begin on 102 affordable homes in South Vancouver

Jan 21 2020, 9:07 am

Mid-block sites at 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive in South Vancouver are set to be redeveloped into a pair of six-storey buildings with a combined total of 102 units of affordable rental housing.

The redevelopment sites are just across from the retail complex that includes Canadian Tire and Best Buy, and located about four blocks east of the Canada Line’s Marine Drive Station.

This housing project for a mix of incomes is made possible by a land assembly of seven single-family dwellings, but the two sites are actually separated by an apparent holdout: a single-family dwelling on a 33-ft lot effectively creates a physical barrier between the two buildings.

In layman’s terms, 83 Southwest Marine Drive is the house from Disney’s Up minus the balloons the city has indicated it did not purchase this property.

According to BC Assessment, this 1961-built house has an assessed value of $1.676 million, down from $1.86 million in 2018 and $1.917 million in 2019. The assessed value in 2016 was significantly lower at $1.09 million, but it saw a 70% one-year increase to $1.85 million in 2017.

75-95 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (CPA Development Consultants / New Chelsea Society / City of Vancouver)

75-95 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

As for the redevelopment, both buildings will be built on land owned by the City of Vancouver valued at $22.7 million. The municipal government is also providing about $1.6 million in development cost charge waivers.

Additionally, the provincial government is providing $10.2 million to New Chelsea Society to execute and operate the project, as well as construction financing and annual operating funding.

The project’s rezoning application was approved in December 2017, and construction is now scheduled to start sometime this spring.

75-95 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (CPA Development Consultants / New Chelsea Society / City of Vancouver)

“New Chelsea Society is very proud to be partnering with the Province and the City of Vancouver, and to have been selected to be the owner/operator of this affordable housing project for seniors and families in Vancouver,” said Pat Buchannon, CEO of New Chelsea Society in a statement.

“This year, New Chelsea Society celebrates its 65th anniversary of welcoming our first resident into our housing. At a time when more affordable housing is so desperately needed in our city, we look forward to that day when we can welcome our newest residents to their new Southwest Marine Drive home.”

The non-profit housing provider will allocate 20 units for people with annual incomes up to about $26,000, 51 units for households with incomes between about $25,000 and $73,000, and 31 units for households with incomes up to about $113,000.

As stipulated by the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, over half of these homes are sized for larger families; the unit mix is 10 studio units, 38 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units, and 19 three-bedroom units.

75-95 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (CPA Development Consultants / New Chelsea Society / City of Vancouver)

Both buildings will have five upper storeys of wood frame construction on top of a ground level of concrete construction.

“The top of each of the two buildings have been sculpted according to the requirements of the Marpole Plan. A one storey step back above the fifth level has been provided on south side,” reads the design rationale, which notes the exterior cladding will use a combination of brick and fibre cement panels and boards.

“An additional two storey step back is provided on the north elevation at level four. These step backs are in keeping with the intent of the Marpole Plan to reduce the apparent height of the building and mitigate shadow impacts to adjacent properties.”

75-95 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 75-95 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (CPA Development Consultants / New Chelsea Society / City of Vancouver)

Residents will have access to indoor and outdoor amenity spaces. Green open space is provided along the rear of the property, where setbacks from the laneway are up to 40 ft.

A single underground level in each building will provide a combined total of 60 vehicle parking stalls and 128 bike parking spaces.

The combined total floor area is 84,200 sq. ft., giving the project a floor space ratio density of 2.3 times the size of its 34,624 sq. ft. of lot area.

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