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PROPOSED
Harris Green Village, tower 1
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 900-block of Yates Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 32
Harris Green Village, tower 1 is a proposal for a 32-storey mixed-use purpose-built rental tower with ground f... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Harris Green Village & Harris Victoria Chrysler/Dodge redevelopment | Multi-phased; mixed-use | Proposed


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#661 marks_28

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 02:42 PM

They are voting on it now.

 

And?!



#662 Casual Kev

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 02:50 PM

Here I am at my parents' suburban cul-de-sac hearing non-stop construction noise because SFHs keep getting torn down and replaced with homes double their size that don't even have secondary suites, then I have to hear councilors use construction noise in downtown as a reason to shoot down a project lol.


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#663 Mike K.

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 03:26 PM

It’s going to a public hearing!

But council has made several demands, including a 15% affordability component at median rental prices. 5% will be required to be accessible.

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#664 KdogK

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 04:14 PM

Thats great!!

Looking foward to this project..



#665 Greg

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 04:51 PM

The DRA has just posted a new letter opposing this project: https://www.victoria...-911-1045-yates

 

When is the last time the DRA supported a project? I don't understand who these downtown residents are that think downtown will be made worse by more downtown residents. 


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#666 Nparker

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 05:18 PM

...I don't understand who these downtown residents are that think downtown will be made worse by more downtown residents. 

Urban NIMBYs.


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#667 DavidSchell

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 06:40 PM

I see "always find a way to say no" Ben lived up to his reputation. 

 

It amazes me how he continues to be so popular while being so out of touch with reality. He, along with past counsels of the same mindset continue to be the main cause of the housing crises.

 

If he ever had a real job he might understand that long range plans are to be used as a guide, they need to be flexible and above all adaptable ... not ingrained in stone. 


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#668 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 04:41 AM

Councillors voted 5-4 Thursday to move forward with the project if the developer meets several conditions, including increasing affordable units to at least 15 per cent (with at least 33 per cent during the first phase of development), increasing the number of two- and three-bedroom units, ensuring the public plaza is mostly “park-like green space,” providing five per cent accessible units and securing at least 450 square metres for child-care space.

https://www.timescol...ward-1.24342723

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 16 July 2021 - 04:41 AM.

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#669 yellow_baron

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 08:09 AM

Councillors voted 5-4 Thursday to move forward with the project if the developer meets several conditions, including increasing affordable units to at least 15 per cent (with at least 33 per cent during the first phase of development), increasing the number of two- and three-bedroom units, ensuring the public plaza is mostly “park-like green space,” providing five per cent accessible units and securing at least 450 square metres for child-care space.

https://www.timescol...ward-1.24342723

 

I don't have an issue with council's requirements - daycare, affordable housing, an increase in the number of 2 beds etc etc, all speak to areas where we need capacity.  The height thing will dog the project but the mayor's comments ("“I can’t in good conscience turn back housing, particularly rental housing,” she said, citing a city report that showed Victoria is between 4,500 and 6,300 units short of housing units to meet current needs.") show why that line of thinking is all moot. 



#670 JohnsonStBridge

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 08:12 AM

Isitt questioned whether allowing up to 32 storeys when the maximum allowed by current guidelines is 20 could lead to a “slippery slope,” rendering city policies essentially meaningless.

 

 

Nice to see Isitt has a new found regard for city policies. Pretty sure the sheltering in parks policy was rendered completely meaningless but it must not have been any result of this law abiding councilor's actions. 


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#671 ventilatte

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 10:21 PM

I don't have an issue with council's requirements - daycare, affordable housing, an increase in the number of 2 beds etc etc, all speak to areas where we need capacity.  The height thing will dog the project but the mayor's comments ("“I can’t in good conscience turn back housing, particularly rental housing,” she said, citing a city report that showed Victoria is between 4,500 and 6,300 units short of housing units to meet current needs.") show why that line of thinking is all moot. 

 

Hopefully a 30+ story building getting approved paves the way for others. Personally, I don't notice a difference at all at street level between a 20 or a 30 story building, so you might as well add an extra 10 stories of housing.  


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#672 baconnbits

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 10:07 PM

This is interesting. Nicola Wealth and it’s various partners have had a couple large (200+ unit) developments approved recently with no affordability requirements.
Other deals as well. Does this just speak to a bad submission and engagement by starlight who are admittedly new developers by all accounts? Their development lead saying the city just didn’t like change probably wasn’t a good line

#673 Mike K.

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:16 AM

Which rental projects has Nicola and its partners received approvals for in the 200+ unit range recently, without affordability requirements?


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#674 Jackerbie

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:09 AM

^ Not knowing the details, I would assume that Nicola's projects were 100% rental and consistent with the OCP, so the affordable housing requirement would be waived as per the policy.

Starlight is asking for a huge OCP amendment, so it makes sense that Council is bargaining for some additional perks. If they were only proposing what is currently allowed in the OCP then they'd have a much easier time with Council.

EDIT: I assume that the Government/Herald/Chatham development is one of the examples? That one does not require rezoning, so the City review is limited to form and character only through a Development Permit.

Edited by Jackerbie, 26 July 2021 - 10:13 AM.


#675 Mike K.

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:01 AM

Yes, those are great points, J.

It’s a complicated beast, the development game, and it can be tricky to nail down the facts or know in detail the minutiae of each proposal.

Starlight is focusing on the fact that it’s delivering 1,500 homes to the downtown core. This is bigger than the density of the Hudson District by 75%, and Harris Green is 100% rental in perpetuity (approximately 40% of HD is condo).

Now it’s possible for a developer to put in a 15% affordability component but other tenants will have to pay for it. And if other tenants are paying for it the project has to justify a subsidy cost on top of market rents. Whether or not they can do that when 1BRs are already at $1,500 as a break-even cost is up to the local Victoria market.

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#676 Nparker

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:23 AM

...it’s possible for a developer to put in a 15% affordability component but other tenants will have to pay for it...

This. "Affordable" housing always means someone else is subsidizing the reduced revenue.



#677 Mike K.

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:31 AM

There is such a lack of inventory in this region that the return to school this fall is going to send shockwaves across the rental market.

Thousands of students are out apartment hunting right now.
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#678 yellow_baron

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:06 PM

What's the vacancy rate at the moment? These projects are slated to come online in 2024/25 right? 



#679 Mike K.

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:33 PM

Effectively zero and getting worse.


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#680 Casual Kev

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:52 PM

This. "Affordable" housing always means someone else is subsidizing the reduced revenue.

 

It couldn't be truer with the "% affordable units" model - the only way builders can compensate is to increase rents in all other units and as such slants new rentals as "inefficient" upmarket. With all steps of the construction process being stupid expensive right now and rentals having much delayed rewards vs condos it's just making things as difficult as possible. 

 

City hall's overriding priority should be getting out of the 1% and under vacancy rates. With available stock always getting massive demand it forces rents at the margin way upwards, which is why even "affordable" units aren't going to be cheap. New stock was never cheap - but older rentals and even condos used to be. Yet with so little inventory available it means the floor for the cheaper stuff gets pushed way up. The gap between cheap and expensive isn't much actually, but when the price of admission is so high every dollar counts.

 

EDIT: I'm just going to add - I don't know why the "more supply" line baffles so many Victorians. The vacancy rate is a very straight forward measure of how many people are looking for rentals vs how much inventory is available at market prices. Renters and landlords alike know openings get flooded with applicants. The most practical, battle-tested method to narrow down the applicant pool... is to increase rent. Even for landlords who want to charge below-market, it's too much of a hassle because they'll get an insurmountable amount of applicants who know marked-down places are a rarity. The surest way out of this problem... is to bring more rentals online so that everyone isn't so bloody desperate fighting for every inch of square foot available in classifieds.

 

There is such a lack of inventory in this region that the return to school this fall is going to send shockwaves across the rental market.

Thousands of students are out apartment hunting right now.

 

Not just students. The BC government slated some time in September as their back-to-the-office date. I don't imagine many workers actually left the CRD during the pandemic with how insulated we were from Covid, but most new hires from out of town are probably remote working and waiting for everyone else to get back. 

EDIT 2 - As someone who checks rentals every few days - I just saw Peterson's website (landlords of the Hudson District rentals) and this was the first time I've ever seen with no vacancies in any of their buildings. Even early 2020, they'd have a handful of units with immediate availability. I'm sure we're going to see a lot of stories of students not being able to find a place next month.


Edited by Casual Kev, 26 July 2021 - 10:06 PM.

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