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Capilano University applies for campus housing

Hundreds of Capilano University students could be bedding down each night on their own campus.
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Hundreds of Capilano University students could be bedding down each night on their own campus.

The university has filed a preliminary application with the District of North Vancouver to build student housing on what is today a north campus parking lot on Monashee Drive.

If approved by district council, Capex Projects would be able to build a six-storey building containing 180 rooms, which could house 302 students, overtop of 97 underground parking stalls.

“Rental rates will be below market, and secured in perpetuity,” the application summary on the district’s website reads.

While most of the suites would be dormitory-style with shared washrooms and amenities including a ground-floor dining hall and multi-purpose space, the plan does include a few one- and two-bedroom units with private kitchens and bathrooms.

Emily Bridge, president of the Capilano Students’ Union, issue a statement welcoming the proposal.

“The CSU is excited to see another student housing proposal coming forward from Capilano University and the District of North Vancouver, especially because this time it is on campus. We look forward to seeing how this meets the needs of our student population, as students are desperately in need of housing that is affordable, not-for-profit, and inclusive of all students — including those with children, families, and additional accessibility needs,” she said.

The CSU’s position is that student housing should be publicly owned but Bridge cautioned, even “below market” may not be affordable, given what market rents are.

“While we hope this development will meet the needs of students, we would like to see some concrete information around these details,” she said.

The University is currently renting a former boarding school on Old Dollarton Road from Darwin Properties for student housing. Darwin has also proposed to build 346 units of rental housing exclusively for CapU staff and students, in two six-storey buildings, plus a cafe, at 1310 Monashee Dr, immediately across the street from CapU’s new proposal.

And in 2017, district council gave third reading to a bylaw that would allow a developer to build 60 200-square foot micro suites for students as part of a larger redevelopment of the aging condo complex at 1923-1959 Purcell Way. That project however stalled at third reading.

“The applicant continues to work with staff on their application, and we understand that resolution of the required agreement between the developer and Capilano University regarding the proposed student housing is still in progress. The application will not be considered for final adoption by District Council until this agreement is resolved,” said Courteny Rannard, district spokeswoman, in an email.cap residence

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