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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
1025 Johnson Street
Uses: rental, civic
Address: 1025 Johnson Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 12
1025 Johnson Street is a proposal to build an 12-storey mixed-use affordable rental tower along the 1000-block... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Johnson|Cook|Yates | Victoria No. 1 Firehall | Rentals, condos, retail, and office space | Under construction


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#241 Casual Kev

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 11:04 AM

We could fill every square inch of downtown real estate with 30 story towers and rents would not be the $750 a month that people seem to expect to pay. There are nearly 1,000 places to rent in Victoria on Craigslist and the vacancy rate is now higher then it has been in years. The issue is high land prices and construction costs alongside a low productivity workforce in a largely service oriented market. Building more floors on a tower won't solve that.

 

No you wouldn't have dirt cheap rent, but you wouldn't have new renters paying $1,300/month for a no pets no kids slice of basement either.

Towers are only part of the equation anyhow. What we REALLY need is a boom of 4-6 stories wooden walkups in the region, but for some inexplicable reason NIMBYs hate those too even though they are omnipresent and to no one's detriment. 



#242 tjv

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 11:14 AM

We have a housing crisis afterall and climate crisis. High density downtown living works to help both these things

The problem is we have a housing crisis for affordable rentals and condos.  New stock always demands top dollar as its new.  Its pretty rare from what I have seen to see a new condo/apartment renting for less than $2k per month.  Even a quick check of used victoria sees people demanding $900 for a roommate situation in older stock.

 

Building new stock right now will do nothing to solve the problem in the short term

 

Frankly the only way to deal with the affordable crisis is people will have to change their expectations.  There are plenty of expensive housing markets in north america where young educated professionals such as doctors, lawyers, etc are working full time and have a roommate to keep the costs down.  The reality is that is what people will have to get used to here, if they want to live here.  I know the truth hurts, but lets rip the band aide off and deal with it head on


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#243 Nparker

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 11:23 AM

...What we REALLY need is a boom of 4-6 stories wooden walk-ups in the region... 

Walk-ups? I suspect building codes demand elevators in any structure over 3 floors.



#244 aastra

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:07 PM

 

The issue is high land prices and construction costs alongside a low productivity workforce in a largely service oriented market. Building more floors on a tower won't solve that.

 

Methinks we should be careful what we wish for. If you add more highly paid professionals and executives into the mix then prices would surely skyrocket. You know those luxury towers that everybody frets about even though they don't exist? Downtown would have a bunch of them.



#245 jonny

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:18 PM

If only Victoria wasn't so popular it would be a cheap place to live.

#246 baconnbits

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 01:04 PM

Firehall and 130 units of affordable housing are amenities
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#247 jonny

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 01:09 PM

Replacing a car lot with housing, commercial and retail is an amenity, too. Adding to the vibrancy of the city is a huge amenity.

We as a society demand too much from developers and then wonder why housing is expensive. There is no such thing as a free lunch/amenity.

#248 spanky123

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 02:21 PM

Firehall and 130 units of affordable housing are amenities

 

They are not amenities when the public paying above market value for them.



#249 spanky123

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 02:22 PM

Replacing a car lot with housing, commercial and retail is an amenity, too. Adding to the vibrancy of the city is a huge amenity.

We as a society demand too much from developers and then wonder why housing is expensive. There is no such thing as a free lunch/amenity.

 

Rezoning land adds value. I think that it is perfectly reasonable for the City to ask to share in that uplift in return for the new zoning. 

 

If the City decided to waive all fees for new construction do you think that developers would lower the prices of their units and/or give refunds to those who had pre-ordered? Of course not, housing sells for what a buyer is willing to pay. 


Edited by spanky123, 18 February 2019 - 02:27 PM.


#250 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

If the City decided to waive all fees for new construction do you think that developers would lower the prices of their units and/or give refunds to those who had pre-ordered? Of course not, housing sells for what a buyer is willing to pay. 

 

that is a tad bit simplistic though.  if every municipality dropped all construction fees and victoria did not do you think that would actually apply downward pressure on what a buyer is willing to pay in victoria when he compares the stock offered to what is offered in other municipalities?

 

put another way:  if today only one condo was available for sale in all of victoria it would certainly sell perhaps for 1 or 2 or 4 million dollars.  a buyer would be willing to pay that.  but now that there is actually hundreds of units for sale, every one of them creates more and more downward pressure on prices.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 18 February 2019 - 02:38 PM.


#251 G-Man

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:24 PM

I think the DRA's issue is not the density, it's that they feel the developer is getting a sweet discount for their rezoning that other developers aren't getting. And that it appears the developer and the City got this all figured out long before it was presented to the public and that all they want now is the community's rubber stamp to get this under way.


So then so long as the City increases the FSR across the entirety of downtown the DRA would be okay with this? Not a chance.
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Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


#252 G-Man

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:33 PM

The problem is we have a housing crisis for affordable rentals and condos. New stock always demands top dollar as its new. Its pretty rare from what I have seen to see a new condo/apartment renting for less than $2k per month. Even a quick check of used victoria sees people demanding $900 for a roommate situation in older stock.

Building new stock right now will do nothing to solve the problem in the short term

Frankly the only way to deal with the affordable crisis is people will have to change their expectations. There are plenty of expensive housing markets in north america where young educated professionals such as doctors, lawyers, etc are working full time and have a roommate to keep the costs down. The reality is that is what people will have to get used to here, if they want to live here. I know the truth hurts, but lets rip the band aide off and deal with it head on


First off I do not believe that building new housing is going to provide affordable housing for everyone. It does provide housing however and I will bet there will be people using it once built.

However I fail to see how taking a vacant lot and building housing on it is not going to help.

Could someone please send me some evidence of where a city didn't build new homes on vacant land and it improved housing vacancy.

This project will so clearly improve Victoria that it is making me crazy to see how auto dealerships make our city good.

The only problem I have with this project is that the buildings are still not dense enough and not tall enough.
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#253 jonny

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 05:19 PM

If the City decided to waive all fees for new construction do you think that developers would lower the prices of their units and/or give refunds to those who had pre-ordered? Of course not, housing sells for what a buyer is willing to pay.


The point is that if our local munis removed a half dozen restrictions on housing redevelopment there would be many more projects coming online and prices would be lower.
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#254 Mattjvd

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 07:52 PM

Rezoning land adds value. I think that it is perfectly reasonable for the City to ask to share in that uplift in return for the new zoning.

If the City decided to waive all fees for new construction do you think that developers would lower the prices of their units and/or give refunds to those who had pre-ordered? Of course not, housing sells for what a buyer is willing to pay.


Possibly, it would cause developers to go ahead with projects that are currently just below their required ROI. Adding supply.

Edited by Mattjvd, 18 February 2019 - 07:53 PM.

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#255 baconnbits

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 08:24 PM

Rezoning land adds value. I think that it is perfectly reasonable for the City to ask to share in that uplift in return for the new zoning.

If the City decided to waive all fees for new construction do you think that developers would lower the prices of their units and/or give refunds to those who had pre-ordered? Of course not, housing sells for what a buyer is willing to pay.

If the city made it easier to build and less costly, supply would pick up and yes i think prices would drop or at least grow less slowly.
Rents have decreased in Seattle recently as a result of added supply w city making it easier to build.
Is the fire hall contract and affordable being delivered at an above market price? No one builds for free I was under the impression it was cost plus but perhaps I read wrong.
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#256 spanky123

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 06:56 AM

If the city made it easier to build and less costly, supply would pick up and yes i think prices would drop or at least grow less slowly.
Rents have decreased in Seattle recently as a result of added supply w city making it easier to build.
Is the fire hall contract and affordable being delivered at an above market price? No one builds for free I was under the impression it was cost plus but perhaps I read wrong.

 

The City is paying almost $1,000 a sq ft for the firehall (no equipment). Haven't done the math on the affordable housing as it is undetermined yet how much additional the developer will get from a 10 year tax holiday and their affordable housing fund ask. 

 

According to this site, average rents in Seattle are up and not down. https://www.rentcafe.../us/wa/seattle/. For comparison, the average 1 bedroom in Victoria would be less than $1,000 US a month or about 1/2 of the price of Seattle. 



#257 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:07 AM

let’s not compare our rents to seattle. port angeles is much closer and their rents are half ours. but that’s not a relevant comparison either.

#258 baconnbits

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:21 AM

The comparison isn’t absolute rents between the cities but that making construction of apartments easier in Seattle has resulted in a lot of apartments being built which has resulted in rents falling.

#259 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:50 AM

For comparison, the average 1 bedroom in Victoria would be less than $1,000 US a month or about 1/2 of the price of Seattle. 

 

that's the comparison i mean is not useful.



#260 spanky123

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:51 AM

The comparison isn’t absolute rents between the cities but that making construction of apartments easier in Seattle has resulted in a lot of apartments being built which has resulted in rents falling.

 

That was the point of the article, rents aren't falling they are increasing.

 

The side effect of rent controls is that developers cannot rent a unit for less than the price they need to justify the building valuation. Whatever they rent it for today they are stuck with for as long as the tenant remains in the unit. If they were tempted previously to rent units below market to fill them up they are better off to have them sit empty until they can get the rent they want.


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