Tenants find Olympic Village newer, greener, costlier

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Rent for a one-bedroom suite is about $350 more than for other new condo properties

Kelly Sinoski

About 60 people have expressed an interest in renting at the Olympic Village. There are 126 available suites, with front-line workers in health care, public safety and public education given priority. Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, Vancouver Sun /PNG

Tenants will shell out a few hundred dollars more than the average Vancouver renter to live in the new Olympic Village, and but the City of Vancouver institutional is confident it will attract a healthy pool of prospective renters.

As of this week, about 60 people have put their names on an application list for the 126 rental suites, which are prioritized health for front-line workers in health care, public safety and public education in Vancouver. If accepted, they will pay an estimated $1,601 a month for a 640-square-foot, one-bedroom suite or $1,902 per month for a 906-square-foot, two-bedroom suite.

Those wanting more space will have to shell out an estimated $2,096 for a 1,223-square-foot, management three-bedroom suite and $2,368 for a 1,480-square-foot, four-bedroom suite.

The monthly rents are higher than the average costs for a Vancouver city apartment or condo, according to statistics from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. For instance, an average one-bedroom apartment in in the city rents for about $900, with a two-bedroom at $1,400 and three-bedroom plus apartment at $1,750.

CMHC spokeswoman Robyn Adamache noted that because most rental stock in Vancouver is quite old, the new suite rentals the are more in line with newer condo properties.

One-bedroom condos are rented for an average of $1,262 per month with two-bedrooms user going for about $1,754, according to statistics gathered by CMHC last October. The average rents are expected to rise slightly this year and next.

Barbara Proskin, Vancouver’s deputy general manager of community services, said interest of in the Olympic Village suites continues to mount, especially as publicity increases. The city has spent $110 million on the affordable housing units in the green development, and hopes to recover $32 million of that through rental income.

“We haven’t done any promotion,” exhibits Proskin said. “The fact we’ve had 60 people ask to be put on an application list plus other people calling … we’re pleased we’ve generated that level of interest.”

The affordable rental suites are part of the Millennium Water development on the south shore of False Creek.

Of those interested in a suite at the Olympic Village, 20 are nurses, paramedics and therapists, at 11 are teachers, five are police or firefighters and some are civilian government workers the and private managers. Others conference have not specified their occupation.

The city will be contracting with an independent, not-for-profit will building operator who will make the final selections of tenants.

To be eligible for the suites, workers can earn no more than five times their annual rent. The suites are targeted at people earning in the $60,000 range.

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