Quebec company digs into Terrace, B.C. development

And the city's flagship would-be affordable housing complex has changed hands

The Kenney Gardens complex on Kenney Ave. in the horseshoe is an example of ROI Land Investments’ activity in the area.

The project intended to be the showcase of the City of Terrace’s ability to provide affordable housing has changed hands.

Calgary firm Coast to Coast, which bought the 2.4 acres at 3304 Kenney (the corner of Park and Kenney) in the horseshoe neighbourhood last year from the City of Terrace under the condition it would provide affordable housing, has now turned the development over to another company with which it has a close relationship, Quebec-based ROI Land Investments.

Of a planned 105 townhouse-style complex, 22 are to be considered affordable and be provided at a rental rate that’s 20 per cent less than normal.

Regardless of who now may own the property, city official David Block says the affordable housing component is locked in.

“This agreement is registered on title and transfers to any new owner,” said Block.

The relationship between Coast to Coast and ROI is very close with the latter generally supplying the financing for construction-ready developments undertaken by the former.

The companies use a construction company called Intactus for their projects and in Terrace that relationship so far has taken the form of the six-unit Kenney Gardens townhouse complex at 3320 Kenney, right next door to 3304 Kenney.

Construction of at least some of the units at 3304 Kenney was expected to have started last year.

ROI president Philippe Germain now says construction will go ahead on a portion of the units.

“We’re working with an investor and Intactus to start a portion,” he said last week.

The plan is for the investor to finance the construction of two blocks of 12 units each by April, Germain continued.

Additional construction will come as more investors are lined up, he said.

Germain said ROI was drawn to the area by the prospect of growth spurred by the potential for a liquefied natural gas industry.

It has also purchased land in Kitimat for residential development.

While ROI is pursuing investors for its 3304 Kenney project in Terrace, it has built up its land inventory elsewhere.

Last year, it added 4922 Park Ave. immediately to the east of 3304 Kenney. At approximately 1.749 acres in size, the property was listed as being purchased for $750,000 last September.

At one time, both properties were the location of a provincial transportation ministry works yard, long since demolished.

ROI is promoting a 72-unit apartment complex at that location.

The company also added property last year on the southside, just under 1.5 acres at 4804 Graham where South Eby intersects with Graham.

That carried a sales price of $285,000 and ROI is promoting a 56-unit apartment complex there. ROI has also helped with the financing of at least one single-family residence on the bench.

“In essence, we do go through the necessary zonings and permits as well as servicing the land to put together infrastructure, then we either sell it to construction companies or builders or you could say other types of investors who typically build,” said German of ROI’s business strategy.

A promotional video on the company website, which has since been removed, also indicated the company is negotiating for the purchase of at least some of the 40-acre former Skeena Cellulose/Terrace Lumber Company former sawmill site on Keith Ave.