This is a long overdue post regarding an interesting property development being planned for Harbour Landing. Its called Sage and the approval for discretionary use of its first phase is coming before City Council Monday December 21, 2009. The proposal was approved by Planning Commission December 9th.
The presentation Sage made during Planning Commission focused on promoting “green” features like a very efficient heating system and parking garages which will have bike storage and a recycling centre (a room in the garage building where things can be sorted). There was also talk of ongoing negotiations with the Regina Car Share Co-op to get a single stall set aside at the development for a car-share car for residents.
Sage will be located along James Hill Road, South of the commercial area currently being developed. The applicant’s proposal (CR09-177) will include 52 units in Phase A, five buildings two 8 unit and three 12 unit, and some of those units will be for rent. According to page 3 of CR09-177 these rental units will be grouped together in 6 or 12 each in order to take an advantage of a tax incentive for properties over five units.
During the December 9th Planning Commission meeting, Sage representative Neil Braun was asked about how many rental units there would be. He explained that the number of investors they were hoping for (I believe he said 20% was their goal) had not yet come forward, the biggest obstacle: finding willing parties to fund the 6-12 units required to gain a tax exemption. Mr. Braun mentioned that the 800-900 sq ft units cost between $180 000 and $200 000 which would translate to rents in the range of $1300 per month.
That’s what I heard from the developer but I find what the city administration has to say quite interesting as well, again from the applicant’s submission page 3 (see CR09-177 link above):
The applicant’s proposal respects the OCP [Offical Community Plan] and will enhance the future Harbour Landing community by:
-Facilitating the development and integration of a range of housing types, which provide for various demographics and lifestyle choices;
-Providing active, at grade uses without driveway crossings and respecting the function of the greenway as a safe pedestrian route; and
-Promoting the basic planning principle of ensuring socially equitable development by providing rental accommodation adjacent to commercial, a potential transit route and open space amenity.
I will be interested to see if any councillors have questions on the above three points. It seems to me they could be questioned or at least fleshed out, some.
I plan on returning to this proposal after City Council meets, so please have a look at the Sage website, and read the Discretionary Use Application CR09-177. Also checkout the Grasslands and Harbour Landing if you’re looking for more background info.