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Apartment leasing begins for months-vacant BC Housing rentals in Sooke's town centre

A 170-unit affordable rental development from BC Housing on Drennan Street in Sooke, pictured, reached completion in late 2023. The units in one, two and three-bedroom form are now available for rent after an entire winter of sitting vacant due what has been described as 'cost pressures.'  Citified.ca

Apartment leasing begins for months-vacant BC Housing rentals in Sooke's town centre
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
Several months following its completion, a BC Housing-backed affordable rental development sitting vacant in Sooke’s town core is now marketing homes to prospective tenants, Citified has learned.
 
 
The 170-unit one, two and three-bedroom project (with a small component of suites at shelter-rates) was completed in late 2023 as a duo of five-storey complexes at 2075 Drennan Street and Sooke Road. However, the much needed homes have remained empty all throughout winter and now into spring of 2024.
 
The vacancy status amid intense housing demand on southern Vancouver Island led to speculation among residents of Sooke, with talk of 'cost pressures’ impacting the lease-up phase, although no clear details have been available through BC Housing, via the District of Sooke or from building operator M’Akola Housing Society.
 
This week, signage marketing rental home availability was erected on-site, with individuals wishing to apply for a suite being requested to connect with the society. Via its website, M’Akola describes the Drennan Street homes as coming in “spring” of 2024.
 
M’Akola recently welcomed residents to another below-market rental property in Sooke, completed last year along the 2100-block of Charters Road near Throup Road with 75 units over four storeys. Situated at 2170 Charters Road, the four-storey modular build is part of the largest infusion of rental housing in Sooke’s history, totalling 245 units of apartments at the hands of BC Housing.
 
Elsewhere in the municipality, a 77-unit, two-building market rental development originally earmarked for a 2023 completion is approaching the finish line this spring as Park View, and represents the first non-government-backed rental to materialize in Sooke in decades. The mixed-use, three-storey investment from developer RG Foster along the 2100-block of Otter Point Road includes ground floor retail spaces pre-leased to a karate franchise, a 24-hour gym and a nail salon. Additional spaces remain available.
 
On Church Road at Wadams Way not far from the Otter Point project, developer Aragon Properties is finishing the first phase of construction at Wadams Farm, a mixed ownership and rental community of single-family homes and townhomes. Marketing is slated for a spring start.
 
Sooke is one of the fastest growing municipalities in British Columbia, with a growth rate of over 13% between the 2016 and 2021 census periods that placed its population count at just over 15,000 residents in the municipality-proper (not including East Sooke, Otter Point or Shirly in adjacent unincorporated areas). Growth is projected to maintain a similar pace through the 2026 census and beyond, according to Provincial projections, yielding over 17,000 residents come 2026. C
 
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