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Ten rentals could turn into 61 if Central Saanich proposal gets green light

A rendering of a four-storey, 61-unit purpose-built rental proposal for 7701 East Saanich Road in Central Saanich. The project is planned with residences in studio through three-bedroom layouts, and if approved, will replace an aging collection of ten townhomes.  Castera Properties

Ten rentals could turn into 61 if Central Saanich proposal gets green light
Mike Kozakowski,
A proposal to redevelop a 10-unit townhome community in Central Saanich into 61 purpose-built rentals is progressing through the planning process.

Developer Castera Properties (associated to developer Groupe Denux) has submitted a proposal for a four-storey complex comprised of studio through two-bedroom apartments, and three-bedroom townhomes above underground parking at 7701 East Saanich Road.
Completed in 1980, the site’s ten existing townhomes, all rentals, have reached their end-of-life, according to Castera, which describes the units as having insufficient insulation potential due to thin walls and no at-grade insulation, leading to high heating costs for residents. The style of piping used within the buildings, known as poly-B, is prone to failure, Castera says, and creates a risk of flooding. Other maintenance issues have also been described, such as aged decking, and water egress related to chimneys.
The company describes the existing tenant make-up as one unit occupied by a company employee aware of the pending redevelopment, a vacant unit, and eight additional inhabited units. As part of its tenant relocation and compensation plan, Castera will compensate tenants at an average of $6,400, broken down as a $1,000 lump sum for moving expenses, a full reimbursement of pet and damage deposits, and between two or three months of rent depending on the tenant’s length of tenancy. Tenants will also be informed of vacancies at Castera’s/Groupe Denux’s existing rental properties at the time of relocation.

The district, meanwhile, will forgo its take of community amenity contributions for this proposal, following council’s February motion to institute a two year window for boosting affordable rental and ownership opportunities, and purpose-built rental projects, within the municipality by lowering the costs levied against developers. In the case of this proposal, the applicant will provide nine units (for a minimum of ten years) at below market rents, or 15% of the total housing, and all homes will be delivered as purpose-built rentals.
88 parking spots will be provided within an underground parkade, with residential spaces electrified for electric vehicles. Each home will also have access to a Modo car share membership provided by the developer.
Energy to the building will be electricity-only, and BC Building Code Step Code 3 will be reflected in the design for higher energy efficiency.
At a height of four storeys, the proposal is in line with development activity in the immediate area, which includes BC Housing’s four and five-storey, two-building Prosser Road project to the south (at East Saanich Road), and a five-storey condominium planned for Mt. Newton Cross Road at Wallace Drive to the northwest.
Central Saanich currently has over 400 units of rental apartments under construction or newly completed, across six projects, according to Citified’s market data tracking. C
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