Strata Title Conversion of “The Maguire Building”

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I walked by “The Maguire Building” (2665 West Broadway) today and noticed a very large billboard outside, suggesting its units will be up for sale in the near future. About a year or so ago we looked at a two-bedroom unit in this building and at $1650/month it actually seemed like a really good deal (which of course says the world about the insane rental costs in Vancouver). We were told then that this might be a temporary deal, and I’m glad we decided against it as the the building has now been converted to a Strata Title Ownership.

Some searching on the City of Vancouver website reveals that initially, the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment recommended against [PDF] the conversion of this rental building into a strata title. One of the main reasons the committee recommended against conversion seems only too logical:

In terms of supply, at the end of last year, the Kitsilano-Point Grey area had  over 660 condo units under construction or in the development pipeline. No purpose-built rental projects have been completed this year, and none are under construction. The existing purpose-built rental stock in the area is being eroded through redevelopment. In addition, at least two strata titled buildings that had previously been all-rental have been sold off as individual condo units.

Approving this application would have a negligible impact on the condo supply while further reducing the area’s rental stock.

After a round of current tenant consultations, in which a required two-third majority approved the conversion, the standing committee revised its recommendation to a conditional approval [PDF].

Unsurprisingly, City Council approved [PDF] the application, under the condition that the owner pays $540,000 into the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. $540,000. Obviously this amount is small enough for the owner to make it worth his while. The Affordable Housing Fund was set up to provide grants for social housing projects developed on City-owned land. I can’t immediately see how that helps the current rental situation in Kitsilano.

Photo by Creekside Architects, used with permission.

Last modified: June 2, 2008

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