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Development, Urbanized, News

Developer choosing to waive $1.8-million city subsidy for East Vancouver rental project

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Rumneek Johal May 24, 2019 5:48 pm

The developer of an East Vancouver rental housing building is requesting the municipal government to terminate an agreement that would provide the project with a subsidy.

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In a report from City of Vancouver staff to city council in regards to Hua Long International Technical Investment’s property at 2153-2199 Kingsway, the company wants higher rents instead of receiving a development cost levy (DCL).

According to the report, “the applicant has indicated that the restricted valuation on the project has reduced the amount of financing available and thus does not make the project feasible if the units are to meet the definition of ‘for-profit affordable rental housing’ set out in the DCL By-law.”

The city approved the rezoning application in 2017 under the Rental 100 Secured Market Rental Housing Policy, and in exchange for the waiver, the development was required to follow maximum average initial rents set by the city.

“The applicant has chosen not to seek the optional DCL waiver incentive for 2153-2199 Kingsway and as such, has requested that the rezoning enactment condition for the Housing Agreement be amended to remove the conditions related to the DCL waiver,” according to the staff report to council.

If the DCL waiver is removed from the approved rezoning project, the development will generate about $1.8 million in additional DCLs for the municipal government.

City staff have indicated support of the developer’s request in the report.

“As the DCL waiver is an incentive taken at the applicant’s discretion, staff have concluded that this rezoning application remains consistent with the Secured Market Rental Housing Policy,” says the report.

The approved form of the project entails a 71-ft-tall, six-storey building with a total floor area of about 94,000 sq. ft. It includes 84 secured market rental units and over 13,000 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground level.

Two underground levels will contain 92 vehicle parking stalls.

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