Robert Fung (left) president of The Salient Group, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced, Trisha Lees, owner of Replab; Acting Mayor Marianne Alto; Coun. Sharmarke Dubow and Coun. Geoff Young stood in front of 840 Fort St., which will house 60 rental micro-units. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

Just months away from the upcoming election, the federal government announced $13.25 million in funding for construction of a rental housing development set to open at 840 Fort St.

On Tuesday morning, Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said the development known as The Sawyer Block, would be an ideal spot for working class residents who want to stay downtown.

“Our government is committed to building more rental housing to give hard-working middle-class Canadians much needed relief in tight rental markets,” Vaughan said. “Soon, the Sawyer Block will provide an affordable home for families and individuals near the heart of downtown Victoria, and that’s an achievement we can all be proud of.”

ALSO READ: Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

The heritage facade building will consist of 60 purpose-built rental micro lofts developed by the Salient Group. The six-storey building will host 44 studios and 16 “junior one-bedroom” homes, ranging in size from 285 to 325 sq. ft.

“Even the junior one-bedrooms are quite compact, but they’ve been designed really cleverly to create livable spaces, lots of light. really oversized windows, and Juliet balconies to give people access to air,” said Robert Fung, president of The Salient Group. “Even though they’re compact they include in-suite laundry and the whole building is pet friendly as well.”

Ten per cent of the units are designed to be accessible for people using wheelchairs or with mobility issues. All of the units will also be slated as affordable units, with rents averaging below 30 per cent of the median household income in the area. While exact numbers weren’t released, Fung said rent would range between $995 and $1,495 per month.

ALSO READ: Developers say Victoria’s affordable housing mandate will further drive rental housing crisis

So far The Salient Group has a waitlist going for the units.

Part of the bottom floor will also be marketed as retail space, though the 900 sq. ft. spaces have not been rented out to anyone yet.

Acting Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto was also in attendance at the announcement.

“[This] is exactly an example of what we hope to accomplish at other sites from across the city,” Alto said. “Every time we build additional rentals it helps, and obviously we have a long way to go .”

The Sawyer Block is set to open in December.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Housing crisisRentals

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

Just Posted

Mustard Seed Coffee Company launches online ordering, free delivery

Program proceeds assist Greater Victoria residents in need

Current Taxi offers free rides for healthcare workers to or from hospitals

Rides must stay within 20 km of Victoria General or Royal Jubilee Hospital

Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

Findings appear in assessment of health and social challenges associated with COVID-19

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read