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Affordable housing in Victoria


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#41 zoomer

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:18 PM

My Janion plan:
Level 1, front: night club
Level 1, back: restaurant
Level 2: offices
Level 3: condos


awesome! Funny enough for years I've had dreams of buying that building and turning it into the world's coolest two storey nightclub. Victoria doesn't really have a first class destination nightclub and it would be a major attraction. The idea of a restaurant out back is wicked too, with a nice back patio. Could call it The Blue Bridge, or Bridgeside at Janion. :)

#42 aastra

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:22 PM

I think we should think about it for another 75 years. No need for rash decisions.

#43 mikedw

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:40 PM

I think we should think about it for another 75 years. No need for rash decisions.


Why not let Mel Cooper and company take it over? With a little work a huge amount of other people's money, could have a first class development in operation for as long as three months.

As to 99 year lease: I had that thought, but the lease would be with the owner. She is likely to die soon (math-wise: husband died 30-50 years ago so she has to be 50-100 years old). If she isn't going to sell it she isn't going to transfer it to a third-party corporation that has a life of its own. So when she kicks it, I could see the property going up for sale and leaseholders being shown the door. With that said, if a lease could come with two clauses:
1) a first-right-of-refusal for any sale of the property then the lease concept could fly. When she kicks it, some bitter nephew inherits it. He honors the lease or sells the property and the lessors would have the chance to buy it.
2) cancellation comes with payback. If the owner tosses the lessors, the owner would have to give them a pro-rated payout of the improvement costs (e.g. if the roof and paint has a lifespan of 30 years, tosses them in 10 means that the owner is on the hook for 2/3 of the roof and paint costs plus interest).

#44 Holden West

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:56 PM

Seismic and soil remediation costs make roof repair look like nickel and dime stuff.

Development will probably entail demolishing the building and keeping the facade.

Fogg & Sudds building is getting a retail tenant soon.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#45 G-Man

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 07:19 PM

Methadone clinic or a 24 hour liquor store would both do well there.

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#46 gumgum

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 08:13 PM

They've wanted to put a children's fun type museum here. I'd like that.

#47 renthefinn

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:37 PM

Soil remediation? Was the site used for industrial uses?

#48 Holden West

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:52 PM

Virtually every downtown project has soil issues. Sometimes minor, sometimes major. The fact that the Janion is beside a former train depot is worrisome. God knows what was happening there before 1950.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#49 m0nkyman

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 10:18 PM

Methadone

We don't need ideas like that brought up even jokingly. :shock:

#50 mikedw

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 08:19 AM

Virtually every downtown project has soil issues. Sometimes minor, sometimes major. The fact that the Janion is beside a former train depot is worrisome. God knows what was happening there before 1950.


I was using the roofing and paint as examples. There very many expenses tied to this. As an example look at the BC Hydro reclamation down the road (on Discovery?). BC Hydro was willing sell the property for $1 plus clean-up. The Cherry Bank Hotel had soil issues last year. When you dig beneath the surface in Victoria, you'd be surprised at what you find.

#51 D.L.

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:24 AM

This is a thread about affordable housing. I am going to put forth the idea that to provide more affordable houseing we should be building more View Towers like buildings.



My grandfather lived here during it's seedy days. I always found the walk through the hallways and elevator so interesting, but my mother was horrified. I hear the place has been cleaned up now.

I bet if someone were to propose to build affordable housing similar to View Towers today people would fight it because they don't like fatscrapers. But maybe this is the best way to build affordable housing because it keeps construction costs down.

#52 Walter Moar

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:47 AM

Edmonton offers $200 subsidy as rents soar
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | 11:35 AM MT
CBC News

Edmonton has announced a $200-a-month rent subsidy aimed at making housing more affordable for the working poor.

The city's overheated economy has sent rents soaring while vacancy rates are falling.

On Tuesday, the city, province, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced they had set aside $5 million to spend over the next five years on subsidizing 400 existing rental units.

Hope Hunter, who works with the homeless and working poor in Edmonton through Boyle Street Community Services, called the program a good first step.

"We have people in the river valley who are camping who are working," she said.

"The difficulty is they don't have an address, so they can't even begin to improve their circumstances."

Clayton O'Brian is among those sleeping in a tent in the city's river valley.

"I think it would make a huge difference," he said. "The apartments we're looking at are, say, around $600 per month and at $200, that's a third of the rent right there."

Tuesday's announcement is part of what's called the Cornerstones Plan, fulfilling a promise Mayor Stephen Mandel made during the election campaign two years ago to create more affordable housing for Edmonton's working poor.

"This is the tip of the iceberg, we need to do a heck of a lot more," he said.

Edmonton's apartment vacancy rate fell from 4.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent in the first six months of 2006.

And after years of stability, rents have taken a 13 per cent jump. The average one-bedroom rented for about $650 a month in July.

#53 Holden West

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:49 AM

I don't think it's the fatscraper design that makes it cheap nowadays. I think there are other massings that provide the same density without the slab effect. Use of basic industrial materials helps.

There are things that are more expensive initially but pay off over time. Concrete stairwells are expensive but cheaper to maintain than carpeted wood-framed stairs. Low maintenance landscaping helps too. Of course, there won't be any granite countertops or stainless appliances here.

The big cost factor for construction is pre-fab. The more stuff that can be assembled off-site, the cheaper the total tab.

In the hands of a creative architect, a pre-fab building could be great.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#54 Galvanized

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:01 AM

Why didn't the Janion squater pick the Wing in VicWest? That would make great affordable housing units.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#55 G-Man

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:20 AM

Good call!

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It has a whole new look!

 


#56 D.L.

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:24 AM

Rental subsidies are a short term solution. The problem is that people receiving the subsidies get more living space than what their contribution to society would normally allow them. The real solution would be to build rental units small enough that the poor can afford them, teensy-tiny units. Then if the people want a larger unit they can improve their working situation.

#57 Holden West

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:32 AM

Why didn't the Janion squater pick the Wing in VicWest?


Because even this dude has standards:


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#58 renthefinn

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 04:30 PM

Soil remediation problems in Victoria are more prevalent under newer buildings built on former industrial land, though you bring up a good point Holden with it being beside the train Station, though the depot has never been there. The cherry bank was a newer building, many of the newer buildings in town were built on former industrial sites or gas stations, so increase the likelyhood for remediation concerns. The old BC hydro site has been a very industrial spot in the past, coal gasification plant, that place had some terrible contamination, you could smell it next door, if the breeze was going the right way.

#59 Caramia

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:14 PM

The roof has been compromised for years,



Apologies and correction. She put a new roof on it a couple of years back I found out today.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#60 Number Six

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:22 PM

There's been a lot of discussion about the homeless and working poor but what about first-time homeowners?

Currently on mls.ca there are 8 downtown Victoria properties priced below $200,000 (all between 350 and 450 sq. ft.). If you had no debt, a decent job ($40K+) and could scrape together a 10% deposit you could probably just about manage it. But with condo prices rising faster than salaries how much longer will this be possible?

I know there are a lot of new developments but the majority are high-end units and of little help to first-timers (and even some who are not first-timers). It's not good enough to simply increase downtown density ... we need to ensure that the housing is suitable for a wider range of buyers.

I've owned a couple of properties in the past and so I have a little equity to play with, but even with my equity and a decent salary, affordability is still a serious issue. I decided to sacrifice floor space (<500 sq.ft.) but I would have happily traded my granite counterops and european marble bathroom for another 100 sq. ft., unfortunately this wasn't an option. If you ask the realtors and/or developers they'll tell you that's what the market demands. I don't believe them.

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