66 affordable rental homes for artists being built in New Westminster

Nov 8 2019, 8:28 pm

Construction is underway in downtown New Westminster on 66 affordable rental homes for people who are working in or retired from BC’s performing arts and entertainment industry.

This project — developed by Vintop Development Corporation and Domus Homes, and designed by GBL Architects — at 831 Carnarvon Street entails an eight-storey podium rental housing building and a 29-storey tower with close to 200 market condominiums. The property is located almost immediately adjacent to SkyTrain’s New Westminster Station.

813-823 Carnarvon Street Stage New Westminster

Location of Stage New Westminster at 813-823 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster. (Domus Homes / GBL Architects)

813-823 Carnarvon Street Stage New Westminster

Location of Stage New Westminster at 813-823 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster. (Domus Homes / GBL Architects)

The rental housing portion of the mixed-use project has public sector and non-profit partners — the provincial government and Performing Arts Lodges (PAL).

According to a release, a $7.4 million contribution by the provincial government through BC Housing will help cover the cost of building the rental component of 25 studio units and 41 one-bedroom units, dedicated for those from arts-oriented professions with low-to-moderate incomes — especially for seniors and people with disabilities.

831 Carnarvon Street New Westminster

Artistic rendering of 813-823 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster. (Domus Homes / Vintop Development Corporation / GBL Architects)

PAL has a mandate of providing ‘veterans of the performing arts industry’ with affordable housing. When complete, these units for musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and artists will be operated by PAL.

“It is widely acknowledged that the work done by arts and culture professionals enriches our communities and that housing affordability is an acute challenge for many who work in the arts,” said Mike Klassen, board president of PAL Vancouver, in a statement.

“With the generous support of our partners, many people from this important cultural sector will have access to affordable housing in New Westminster͛s vibrant downtown neighbourhood.”

A small commercial component of 6,100-sq-ft of retail and restaurant space will be situated on the ground level at the southwest corner of the property, fronting a small public plaza.

831 Carnarvon Street New Westminster

Artistic rendering of 813-823 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster. (Domus Homes / Vintop Development Corporation / GBL Architects)