A podcast conversation with Park Royal VP Rick Amantea about the history of Park Royal and their new proposed micro-unit development.
Affordable housing. It’s a problem plaguing the Lower Mainland – and never more so than in West Vancouver, where mega-houses rule the land. Now, armed with a unique plan for the future, Park Royal VP Rick Amantea discusses how they are seeking approval for a new micro-unit complex designed specifically for singles. It strives to help solve the housing crisis with a tiny bit of innovation that still allows people to ‘live large’.
UPDATE Oct 5, 2021 – Council approved the proposal to advance to the next steps of review and consultation. The next steps in the application process include community consultation and staff review to identify issues and technical considerations for the proponent to address. Staff identified the following items that require further review: Traffic functionality, Number of parking stalls, Number and size of rental units, Potential community recreation uses in the current green space, Impacts to privacy and view corridors to properties north of the site.
Q: Tell us a little about why you have proposed this new micro-unit development?
A: As we continue to evolve, and we look
at the needs of the community, we try to examine developments and bring to the table ideas and concepts that kind of meet those needs. One of those needs is to provide housing for those individuals who work in our community and do the important work of those services and those frontline jobs.
And so when we were thinking about what we could do to address that, the notion of micro-units came up. We decided to try to bring something like that to West Vancouver to make it more affordable, make it more attainable, and really provide an opportunity for those people – those important people who work in our community.
Q: Who would want to live here?
A: The occupants are, generally speaking, those single people that want to find a more affordable means and ways of living in the community, which generally means they don’t have a car. They rely on walking
or cycling, or public transportation to get to and from their place of work. As such, we’ve designed the building for 0.25 cars per unit, and lots of bicycle parking.
Q: What is the approval process for this?
A: The first step is to have council consider this concept – so we need to go through a pre- application proposal. We will then go into a much more intense public consultation. We would then take it forward to the community and see what they think – and then they’ll consider it at that stage of the game for the rezoning and the development permit that would be required.
Q: In addition to the micro-units, what else is going to be unique about the property?
A: There are a couple of unique things that we’re proposing. One is that the six-storey building would be built all from wood frame. So that is a more environmentally sensitive means of construction. All 199 [units] will be rental units. We’ll have a rooftop garden on top of the building with
a little amenity space up there that could be converted into a community dining room. There will be a collaborative workspace. And [instead] of an indoor fitness amenity, we have proposed putting outdoor adult exercise equipment on the front lawn of the building. So those people who want to get exercise can do it literally on the front lawn.
Q: How much will each unit cost per month?
A: I think the goal here is is is to bring a compact, high quality living accommodation to this community that would be about 2/3 the size of a studio or a one-bedroom – and by virtue of that, the rent should be two thirds. So if your average rent for a one-bedroom unit is $1,800 a month, you’d be looking at $1,200 a month. That’s just simple math.