A new housing development is being proposed for the semi-circular plot of land within Prince Rupert Boulevard and along Drake Crescent.
Developer and site owner Kevin Stunder outlined his plan for the property during the City’s last council meeting on Feb. 22, which is proposed to be re-zoned from RM1 (multiple family residential) to RM3 (multiple family residential – higher density).
Stunder plans on building some townhomes mixed with a single condominium block, but should an LNG go-ahead announcement be made in the next few months, Stunder would re-evaluate what he’d build on that location.
“Obviously with a whole bunch of mega-proposed projects in town … there’s a decision cycle that are still going to take a few months, I’d probably wait for that before deciding everything,” the developer said.
“If we do get, in the timing of the next few months, one of the projects proceeding, then I’d be looking at getting closer up to between two condo buildings. Probably you couldn’t contemplate much more than 80 units.”
Stunder mentioned that he’d like to break ground on the townhome project, but should the LNG project create enough demand for a higher density in the area, and should the demand drive the need for it (which Stunder says it almost exists already), then the developer would look at hiring an architect to help design a full-scale condo block, which would take longer to break ground.
The Vancouver-based Stunder told council his background includes providing very amenity-rich developments and that he’s interested in developing a nearby, now-worn down trail into a revitalized path.
However, third reading for the rezoning which was scheduled to be given during the meeting, was delayed due to contracts that need to be assessed with the City and the developer concerning the amenities such as the trail.
But the immediate need for housing such as that which a project like this would bring, was emphasized by Stunder.
“I would hope that council could see the value of getting some housing into Prince Rupert on a parcel that perfectly fits the quality of life and OCP (Official Community Plan) … We could look at that [trail] and any amenity contribution, which is difficult to look at without months of study, be deferred to a development permit stage,” he said.
The need for housing was echoed by Keith Lambourne, managing broker of Royal LePage Prince Rupert, who stated that expediting the process with the trail in mind is of utmost importance in the public hearing process.
“It really does need to be done as soon as possible and to hold this up because a nice developer thought it would be a good idea to put a trail through – they can put a trail through after, but the most important thing is to let him build this now because we have the demand for it,” Lambourne said, adding that a project like this would be perfect relief for first-time homeowners (who are getting priced out of the first-time buyers’ market) and seniors looking to downsize.
“It’s vital that we keep those folks involved and engaged in the real estate community,” he added.
Third reading was delayed for the developer to work out contractual obligations with the City related to amenities.