A rendering of what the maximum capacity for the site would look like, 16 town homes and four-storey apartment buildings with surface parking as well as underground parking.(BC Housing)

BC Housing wants feedback on preliminary plans for Downie St. property

The viable options would see either 100 or 174 units

BC Housing is looking for community feedback before proceeding with detailed designs of their project at 420 Downie St.

Three density options were presented at the organizations first ever virtual community consultation meeting on June 10.

The maximum amount of units on the property would include 16 town homes and three four-storey apartments buildings, with a total of 158 units, with room for green space, commercial space and 182 parking stalls, some of which would be underground.

That project would satisfy 70 per cent of the demand for affordable housing in the city.

Based on a report done by the city in 2018 and an analysis done by BC Housing, the city needed an additional 208 subsidized housing units and 216 affordable units.

READ MORE: A strong need for all forms of housing in Revelstoke, except for single-family detached

A rendering of what a low density development would look like on the property. (BC Housing)

Another option featured 12 town homes and a total of 24 apartments, however project developer Tim McLennan, of Faction Projects Inc., said that it was presented only for context and is not a viable option for the development. This option would not include commercial space. There would be 70 parking stalls.

Thirty-six units does not meet the city’s needs, said John Purdy, BC Housing development manager for the project. BC Housing expects to deliver more.

A medium-density option would have 16 town homes and feature three-storey apartment buildings with 84 units, green space and commercial space. The site would include 108 parking stalls.

A medium-density layout for the property includes 16 townhomes and three-storey apartment buildings. (BC Housing)

At this point in the project, the team wants feedback on density. The design of the units and the layout of the property is not yet up for discussion and there will be opportunity for the community to provide feedback on those details at a third consultation meeting later this year.

A survey collecting feedback on the projects asks about the number of units, the number of parking spaces, the potential height of the buildings and how much open space and commercial space should be included on the property.

The province purchased the Downie St. property from School District 19 in February 2019 for $1.5 million.

In Feb. 2020, BC Housing hosted the first public engagement session regarding the property.

According to the report, 278 surveys were completed, 53 people attended the public information session and 13 people attended the stakeholder session.

The survey results indicated that 65 per cent of respondents preferred a medium or higher density development for the site. There was strong support for commercial space as well as common space.

Key words pulled from the comments included daycare, family, senior and community garden.

Concerns included using the units for vacation rentals, snow storage and building design as well as traffic considerations.

BC Housing has also purchased and is also currently renovating both Rivers Edge and Columbia Gardens apartment buildings which had fallen into disrepair. Between the two there are 117 rental units.

READ MORE: Province purchases two properties in Revelstoke for affordable housing

The Revelstoke Community Housing Society is also working on an affordable housing project, which will see 24 one-bedroom units on Oscar St.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Community Housing Society moving forward with Oscar St. project

For more information on the project and to find the survey go to letstalkhousingbc.ca/420-Downie. Provide feedback on the project via email to itadmin@bchousing.org



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