Bench area to be site of townhouses in Terrace, B.C.

The 35-unit townhouse complex will be located on a 2.7 acre lot in the 5100 Block of McConnell Ave.

City council has granted a development permit to a company planning a major new housing development on the bench.

The 35-unit townhouse complex will be located on a 2.7 acre lot in the 5100 Block of McConnell. Cory Drive will be extended north to meet with McConnell to form one of the boundaries of the development while the closest street to the west will be Brooks.

Franz Gehriger, CEO of SwissReal Group, spoke to council about his company’s project, which will offer 3-bedroom townhome units for $370,000 to $390,000 on the 2.7 acre area.

“We want to plan with you, not against you,” Gehriger told councillors who all seemed thrilled at the idea of the new development on land which is already zoned for such housing.

Mayor Carol Leclerc said such developments are a relief as “we are going through that transition time of growth.”

“Town houses are more affordable,” said Gehriger, adding that the bidding process will be underway soon for the construction to begin this year and wrap up in 2016.

He described the townhouses as “not luxury” but on the higher end of the scale with a park area, two internal access roads and an emphasis on landscaping the divisions between properties as opposed to fencing, and 14 visitor parking spaces.

Councillors Michael Prevost and Stacey Tyers were, however, concerned that the floor plans did not include bedrooms on the first floor.

First floor bedrooms would be of benefit to residents who, as they age or otherwise, develop mobility problems and enable them to stay in their homes longer, they said.

Another development planned

Council also gave first and second reading to an Official Community Plan amendment for another bench property, this time owned by CDG Custom Contracting.

Owner Lyle Salekin wants to build 12 duplexes amounting to 24 units on acreage on Halliwell near Munroe next year.

While smaller than standalone houses, he says the units would still be fairly large at about 1,200 square feet and have bedrooms on the first floor so they will be appealing to people looking to downsize.

“We’ll see what the demand is like,” he said, adding that he can’t speculate on what the prices might be.

The property will need to be rezoned from R1 to R3 and the application will now go to a public hearing for comments by adjacent property owners.