“Mansions” for Millennials – New Rental Homes Camouflage Affordability to Fit Kerrisdale Context

1515 West 49th Avenue
In our experience, Hannah and I have noticed there’s a bit of a generational divide when it comes to planning for the future. That’s not always true, but often the voices we hear expressing concerns about neighbourhood character or the amount of parking a project provides tend to be from an older age group.

So, while I had no issue hopping on the number 10 bus and avoiding the winter mess on our roads, others at this open house were convinced that three parking stalls and one ride-share vehicle were nowhere near enough to handle the needs of 8 rental homes. Personally, if Hannah and I had a ride-share membership included in our house payments, we would never own a car again.

You read that correctly, despite looking like two typical mansion from this area of Kerrisdale, the project actually provides eight 3-bedroom rental townhomes. Six of these even have an extra lock-off suite, meaning this obtainable form of housing just got a lot more affordable too.

Oddly enough, that seemed to bother at least one person at the event. They complained that it was getting harder to keep tenants, as renters in Vancouver were gaining far too many rights, and now have too many options.

Almost on cue, another person arrived at the event, questioned how long the waitlist for prospective tenants was, and indicated they could afford market rent if it would secure them a place to live. That said, most of the 20 or so people who came out seemed more curious about the design than anything else.

I had my questions answered too, as I learned this property wasn’t recently subdivided, but had been sitting empty for years. I’m not sure if it was the low rental vacancy rate, changes in city policy, or even the speculation tax that pushed this property owner to move forward with this project. However, I’m sure, if this application is approved, the families who will live here will be glad they did.

Frankly, the only drawback to the proposal I can see is that this major intersection is lacking a retail presence. Anyone wanting to grab a jug of milk, a bite of sushi or a coffee has a modest walk ahead of them. I don’t think the applicant can do anything about this, as the Affordable Interim Housing Choices Policy doesn’t allow for it, and I overheard some nearby residents expressing opposition to the idea too.

Still, this will be a vast improvement over the current empty lot. While Hannah wasn’t able to attend the event, she agreed that the two buildings will fit in here just fine. She’s made sure to send off her thoughts, so make sure you do too by emailing kirsten@pottingerbird.com before February 27th.

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