515 rental homes, mostly for employees, planned for UBC campus

Apr 21 2022, 2:24 am

More on-campus, below-market rental homes dedicated to those who work for the University of British Columbia (UBC) are planned for the UBC Wesbrook Village neighbourhood.

UBC Properties Trust, the private development entity owned by the university, is planning to develop a vacant 2.6-acre parcel named Lot BCR6, located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Wesbrook Mall and Binning Road.

This will be one of the several future developments framing the future Research Park green space. Up until about two decades ago, the area contained BC Research buildings, Ocean Engineering centre, an a Paper and Pulp Research Centre.

The project is the single largest non-student residence rental housing project on campus, and the largest affordable housing project for faculty and staff yet.

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Location of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Layout of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

The development, designed by DYS Architecture, calls for a 174-ft-tall, 18-storey tower, plus two six-storey buildings. All three buildings combined will provide 515 secured rental homes.

The tower will contain 221 market rental homes, with a unit size mix of 136 studios, 34 one-bedroom units, 17 two-bedroom units, and 34 three-bedroom units.

As for the two six-storey buildings, they will contain a total of 294 below-market rental homes dedicated to UBC staff and faculty, with a unit size mix of 21 studios, 85 one-bedroom units with a den, 33 two-bedroom units, 76 two-bedroom units with a den, 51 three-bedroom units with a den, and 28 four-bedroom units.

Various indoor and outdoor common amenity spaces for residents are scattered across the development.

The base of the market rental housing tower also includes a 5,600 sq ft childcare facility for 37 kids.

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

The development’s design carries many of the same Pacific Northwest nature-inspired motifs found at other Wesbrook Village buildings.

The total floor area of all three buildings combined is 403,400 sq ft, establishing a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 3.5 times larger than the size of the 2.6-acre lot. Two underground levels will contain 410 vehicle parking stalls and 972 secured bike parking spaces.

Wesbrook Village includes a significant retail hub, and much of the residential development to date has been market ownership housing. With that said, nearly all of UBC’s purpose-built faculty and staff housing is located within Wesbrook Village, with nine buildings carrying a combined total of 856 dedicated faculty and staff units constructed in this neighbourhood since the late 2000s. This includes the nearby Evolve and BCR9 buildings with 262 dedicated units, which are currently under construction.

Under UBC’s Housing Action Plan (HAP) first established a decade ago, up to 30% of new campus housing will be rental, at least 20% will be restricted to faculty and staff at below-market rents, an on-campus home ownership program will be offered to faculty, and thousands of additional student housing units will be built. The HAP is set to be reviewed this year for potential strategy updates.

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

ubc bcr6 rental housing wesbrook village

Artistic rendering of BCR6 site for market rental housing, and faculty/staff rental housing. (DYS Architecture/UBC Properties Trust)

UBC has been focusing on building more faculty and staff housing, given the worsening housing affordability challenges, which impacts the university’s ability to attract and retain top faculty and staff talent.

As for student housing, early in 2022, the university reached completion and opened the remaining 500 student housing beds in the The Houses of Ones Belonging to the Saltwater residence complex, located next to Gage Towers. The new five-building residence contains about 900 student beds for upper year and graduate students.

As well, in 2021, after an initial pandemic delay, construction began on the second phase of the Brock Commons residence next to the Allard School of Law.

Brock Commons II will contain 325,000 sq ft of floor area across 18-storey and 13-storey towers, containing a combined total of about 600 student beds and over 90,000 sq ft of classroom space, university administration office space, and childcare. The north building closest to the law building will reach completion in 2023, while the south building replacing Brock Hall Annex will reach completion in 2024.

ubc arts student centre new

Artistic rendering of the new UBC Arts Student Centre, with the future Brock Commons Phase Two in the background. (Leckie Studio Architecture + Design / UBC)

ubc brock commons ii student residence april 15 2022 construction

Construction progress on UBC Brock Commons II student residence, as of April 15, 2022. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

ubc brock commons ii student residence april 15 2022 construction

Construction progress on UBC Brock Commons II student residence, as of April 15, 2022. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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