Friday, March 23, 2007

$200 Million Development for Guildford area of Surrey


Surrey Leader article by Kevin Diakiw.

"A $200-million residential tower development is in the works for North Surrey, complete with what is being described as affordable housing. United Properties Ltd. is planning five 18-storey towers at 15399 Guildford Dr., a few blocks southeast of 108 Avenue and 152 Street. One of the towers will be dedicated to 129 units of rental housing, while the suites in another of similar size will be sold at 10 per cent less than market prices. That’s made possible through a “spring mortgage” which will cover the reduced price. If the unit is sold before 10 years, the 10 per cent goes into a fund for the city.

Victor Setton, president of United Properties, is offering the “affordable housing” and spring mortgage in exchange for city approval to build a higher density than current zoning allows. He noted the buildings will be state of the art. “The project will be constructed using our innovative pre-cast system of hollow core planks with steel columns and beams,” Setton said. “Our environmental consultants have determined that there will be a 29,000 tonne reduction in the production of greenhouse polluting gases due to this method of construction.” Other environmentally friendly elements of the project include permeable surfaces on all driveways and parking areas and a centralized heating control. “This is going to be the most energy efficient building ever built in B.C.,” Setton told council. The project is expected to come to a land use meeting in the near future."

Apparently there is an 'affordability' problem in good ol' Surrey otherwise why would these people be barking off about making this development 'affordable.' Has anyone ever heard of the type of fundng formula they are talking about here? I wonder what kind of tenants / buyers this development may attract.

9 comments:

dog said...

Hmmm... high density, overcrowded concrete buildings made as efficently (read: cheap) as possible, subsidised by the city. Even the centralized heating control is included (WTF?). I think there is a name for this kind of development: it's called PROJECTS.

OK, they will soon become projects anyway.

FUDGEBOYZ said...

Does anyone know this area of Surrey is second only
to whalley

mohican said...

When I read the description and look at the lcoation I think "ghetto" immediately.

Aleks said...

Can someone describe what a "spring mortgage" is and how it works?

djmk said...

ah, just when you thought the 152nd exit to the highway could not get any worse, the wonderful planners in surrey put close to 400 units right next to it.

brilliant

mohican said...

djmk - 400 units - you wish!

Try 1000 units! And yes - traffic is atrocious there already - I don't know what they are thinking.

aleks - from my understanding a 'spring mortgage' is when the buyer does not pay full price for the unit until they sell it. For example, Bob buys a $200k unit for $180k. The 10% difference is the 'spring mortgage' part, which the city owns and is entitled to when the unit is sold. So if the unit sells 10 years later for $250k the city is entitled to $25k.

Aleks said...

That makes sense, thanks.

yupkidonald said...

Don't forget the Jim Pattison auto mall that is crazy bright illuminated dusk to dawn 365 days a year right next door!!

patriotz said...

The 10% difference is the 'spring mortgage' part, which the city owns and is entitled to when the unit is sold.

IOW the city is taking an equity interest in the property in return for the density increase. Actually that makes some sense in principle. But given that we are most likely at a peak for RE prices for some time, the developer isn't giving up much.

As for location, it makes sense to me to locate high density near transportation hubs, be they transit stations or freeway exits, as this minimizes travel through other neighbourhoods.