This artist’s rendering shows the proposed Cortile Verde rental project that broke ground Friday in Sidney (Empresa Properties/Submitted)

New rental project in Sidney breaks ground amidst pandemic uncertainty

Developer predicts rental project to serve under-served segment

A Victoria-based developer sees Sidney’s rental market as under-served.

“We are quite optimistic,” said Karl Robertson, president of Empresa Properties crews broke ground on the Cortile Verde development, a 30-unit rental building in the 9700-block of Third Street. “We have had lots of great feedback from the community in terms of being a purpose-built rental in the area. I don’t know of any other purpose-built rental under construction up in that area. You see a lot down in Victoria, but the Peninsula, I would say, is quite under-served.”

Current plans call for construction to finish in August 2021.

Robertson said the project aims at the mid-to-upper-end market. “A lot of the finishings that we are using are higher end,” he said. “So we are trying to capture both people who are going to be interested in renting in the project, but also those are looking at the condo market and might not be quite there.”

Overall, the project represents a $15-million investment, which Robertson had said earlier would bring “much needed rental supply, while simulating greater vibrancy in the neighbourhood.”

The project joins a number of construction projects underway in downtown Sidney, but large stands apart by virtue of aiming at renter rather than buyers.

RELATED: New report finds many Sidney residents struggle with housing affordability

“We really saw an opportunity to pursue a rental project here in Sidney, once we got underway with the planning process,” said Robertson. “There are quite a few condos that are coming into the market, but really the rental market seems to be quite under-served out in Sidney. So we thought that going for a high quality rental product that is right in the downtown core is going to be appealing to a wide range of interesting renters.”

The project also appears against the backdrop of concerns about housing affordability.

A report released in early November 2019 found many of Sidney’s 11,130 residents living across 5,606 households find housing unaffordable, while raising questions about past and current housing policies. This last point appears especially stark in comments from Sidney staff, which say that the “majority of housing being built [in Sidney] is directed at wealthier households.”

Robertson said the project features a mix of pricing.

“Lots of our units are smaller to try to get some of those entry level prices in, but we are about $3 per square foot on average for our units there,” he said. Translated, this figure means that one-bedrooms start around $1,500 per month with $2,800 per month for three bedrooms. Looking at the larger economic picture, economists have predicted a protracted downturn thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. But Robertson strikes an optimistic note.

“If anything, that may actually be a silver lining for our project in the sense that people who might be a little bit tight financially would look at a higher end rent product,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read