Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services, and Procurement and Accessibility (left) and Leonard Cole, President of Urban Core Ventures, announced that the building at 200 Cook St., which was originally approved as a condominium development, will now host 47 rental housing units, including 21 units which will be affordable housing and five accessible units. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Cook Street Village condo project to become rental building

21 of 47 units will be available at rental rates below market value

Cook Street Village will host nearly 50 new rental units after plans for a condo development switched gears.

Federal Minister Carla Qualtrough, minister of public services and procurement and accessibility, announced Friday morning that the development being built at 200 Cook St.– which was was originally approved for condominiums–will now offers 47 rental units, including 21 affordable housing units and five fully accessible units.

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“It’s obvious that demand for housing has far outstripped supply,” Qualtrough said, adding that with federal funding the developer, Urban Core Ventures, was encourage to change routes. “With federal and municipal support they are building much needed rental options that will help make it possible for 47 individuals and families to live and work in downtown Victoria.”

The change comes thanks to a $21.1 million investment from the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a federal program designed to help finance the construction of rental housing units.

The 21 affordable units will be priced at 30 per cent below the median household income in the area for the next 15 years, while the remaining units will still be offered at 10 per cent below market value, starting at $1,300 a month.

The units; including six three-bedrooms and a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, range in size from 400 to 1,400 square feet. The ground floor will offer commercial spaces ranging in size from 600 to 3,000 sq. ft.

Urban Core Ventures president Leonard Cole said he was happy to make the switch from condos to rental units.

READ MORE: Affordable housing project breaks ground in Saanich

“In this business, all decisions are difficult. I had 17 rental units in the building that I’d already proposed, so it was a matter of jumping to the next step,” he said. “It’s very exciting, I myself have rented a lot in Victoria for many years before I was able to get into the market, so for me I am able to relate. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, so being able to do that for me is great.”

Qualtrough’s family has also been struggling with housing in Victoria.

“My daughter’s in second year here at UVic and it was really hard for her and her roommate to find somewhere to rent,” she said. “I think there is going to be much demand for this property and I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

For more information, you can visit cookstvillage.com/.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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