It isn’t just local residents who are worried about the city’s low rental housing stock – Coun. Colleen Jordan spoke about the issue at the March 30 council meeting.
A recent proposal for a standalone rental building in Metrotown was the first she remembered seeing since she became a councillor in 2002, she said.
“We’ve had others that are part rental and part condo, but I think this is the only, sort of, big building – I’m assuming it would be, in the Metrotown area with that zoning – that would be strictly for rental purposes,” she said. “And as such, I am over the moon, as they say.”
Bentall Kennedy is proposing a highrise rental building at 4769 Hazel and 4758 Grange streets, on the same site as two other high-rise rental apartment buildings, which share an underground parking lot.
The first two buildings were constructed in 1971 and are in good condition, according to a report from the city’s director of planning and building, Lou Pelletier.
City staff are working with the applicant on a rezoning application for the site.
Other new developments, such as the Brentwood Town Centre residential towers, do include rental stock, Mayor Derek Corrigan said at the meeting.
“But they’re half and half, this is only for rental,” Jordan said. “I know that this company has built standalone rental in Alberta recently, for the long-term benefit of their investors, and I’m just very pleased to see – I think this would be their first such building on the West Coast, and it’s proposed to be in Burnaby.”
Bentall Kennedy Canada is the country’s largest property manager, according to the company website.
Council has responded to concerns about rental housing stock in the past, saying that they can’t force developers to propose rental-only developments, which can be expensive to build.
The city’s density bonus program allows greater density for projects that include rental units or community amenities.
The standalone rental building proposal is a positive step, according to Corrigan.
“It’s good news, and it’s good news any time we’re seeing more rental accommodation,” he said at the meeting. “It alleviates some of the intense pressure there is on rental accommodations throughout the city, so good for them. We’ll keep working with them and see if we can make this come home.”