As cranes soar over Campbell River, construction crews are keeping busy, working on new apartment buildings that aim to further densify and bring more rentals to the area.
“We have so much under construction right now in the City of Campbell River,” city manager Deborah Sargent tells My Campbell River Now.
At 850 Dogwood St., work continues on a 5-storey building that will feature 79 rental units. It’s located across from Phoenix Middle School and next door to the empty lot that once housed Pacific Heights – the apartment complex that caught ablaze back in April 2020.
This new building looks to bring what officials are calling “affordable market rates.” And it comes at a time when Campbell River faces low rental vacancies.
The City’s Economic Update, released this past spring, points to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that placed Campbell River’s rental vacancy rate at 0.9 per cent in the fall of 2020.
“All of this construction is really focused on the rental housing market,” Sargent explains. “The intent of this, and what we’re hoping to see, is that it will ease our vacancy rates. We’ve experienced record-low vacancy rates for the past several years in the city.”
But as these rates remain low, rental prices compare high. In fact, prices locally outweigh B.C.’s average, according to RentBoard.ca.
“We are certainly aware that the price for rental accommodation is high, whether it’s a house, apartment, or townhouse,” adds Sargent.
Data on that website places the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in Campbell River at $1614, which is $300 more than the provincial average. And for a two-bedroom, the average rent per month is $1990, an over $400 jump when compared to the provincial average.
Meanwhile, farther down the road at 511 Dogwood St., Crestview Tower likely sticks out to commuters passing by. Located next to Merecroft Plaza, the 10-storey rental complex from Broadstreet Properties will total 80-units.
Though still under construction with an opening date sometime in 2022, a sign out front of Crestview Tower reads, “Join Our Waitlist.”
Right next door, two 6-storey apartment buildings will complete the fourth and final phase of Broadstreet’s Seymour Village development, together totalling 106 units.
And along the water downtown, Crowne Pacific Development crews continue their work on a new 26-unit, 4-storey apartment at 811 Island Highway (Pier St.), which will also see two floors of commercial space.
In a previous statement, Mayor Andy Adams told our newsroom, “As you can see, whether it’s along the Dogwood corridor or along Highway 19A, there’s certainly a lot of construction of much-needed accommodation… whether it’s apartments, townhouses, patio homes, or even single-family homes.”