Here’s a project that illustrates why City Council will soon consider whether to extend the ‘rate of change’ to further limit the loss of rental property. Since 1995 the City Council have required retention or replacement of most rental housing in the West End, and this was extended to the rest of the city in 2007 including ‘RM’ zones – those that have the most higher density purpose-built rental buildings.
There’s currently an exception that says if you’re building less than six new units, you don’t have to replace the previous rental units. Here’s a small project in an RM zone on Birch, at West 14th Avenue, that will see a 1912 8-unit rental building (sold in 2012 with an asking price of around $2 million) replaced with a 4-unit strata. The new building, designed by Walter Francl, was approved last year and will have 2-bed 1,600 sq ft units, one per floor on four floors (with a wine store for each unit in the garage floor) offered for sale at – or above – $2.5 million each.
The original house was a speculative design-and-build project by Shaw Brothers, who added a stable a year later for the new owner, H J Hatch. It was modified in 1944 with a design by W F Gardiner.