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58 rental homes approved for central North Vancouver

Six below-market rental homes to be included in Adera's mass timber development on St. Georges
1220 St Georges Avenue web
A six-storey all-rental building coming to 1220 St. Georges Ave. in North Vancouver.

Another six-storey all-rental building is coming to Central Lonsdale.

City of North Vancouver council gave their OK Monday (Sept. 27) to 58 new rental homes to be built at 1220 St. Georges Ave.

The project is the second one in the neighbourhood from Adera Development to use mass timber, which can be stronger than steel construction but sequesters carbon instead of expelling it.

Six of the new rental homes will be offered at mid-market rates for the life of the building.

It also includes rooftop amenity space for residents, 32 parking spaces in an underground lot and room for 93 bicycles and bicycle repair area, plus an outdoor dog washing station.

The building will replace a 23-unit 1950s three-storey walk-up. Only nine of the suites are still occupied and remaining renters being displaced will be compensated by Adera at a level that exceeds the minimum in the city’s requirements.

The vote followed a public hearing that saw no outright opposition to the project, although several neighbours on the same block expressed concerns about the building being taller than existing residences, increased demand for street parking, and noise in the adjacent lane.

Council’s vote was not only unanimous, their support was enthusiastic. High points in the proposal included its close access to frequent transit, shopping and amenities, it’s design and energy efficiency, and it’s use of mass timber, which cuts down construction time by about 30 per cent while reducing carbon.

“It's a new technology, filled with promise to say the least,” said Mayor Linda Buchanan. “It's a new technology that we have to continue to keep looking at improving upon and looking to see how it can expand within the development community, particularly as we see more and more of the older stock, not just in our city, but throughout the region looking at being redeveloped.”

As for concerns about height, the project does fit within the official community plan, Buchanan said, and eventually more of the block will look that way.

“It looks a little out of sorts, but this is the development potential for the rest of the block when and if those building owners decide to move forward,” she added.

Coun. Tony Valente addressed the fact the new rentals would come at the expense of more affordable but much older ones.

“It's our job to do our best to think about today but also think about the future and, in that, ensure and protect affordability,” he said. “It may not be very affordable on Day 1, but we need to look at housing as a cycle, and stock that's old eventually needs to be replaced because it doesn't meet safety regulations, and when it gets replaced, over time, it becomes tomorrow's affordable housing.”