Skip to content

Housing project excites Powell River mayor

“I will be closely monitoring the development as it proceeds and I’m looking forward to the day when tenants start moving in.” ~ Ron Woznow
RENTAL HOUSING: Crown Pacific Development Corp owner and president Brett Giese [left] and Powell River mayor Ron Woznow discuss plans for the new 141-unit apartment complex being built in Westview. Construction is underway on both sides of Joyce Avenue, with the building being erected on one side and walls being prefabricated on the other.

An award-winning development company is now constructing a 141-unit apartment complex in Westview.

Situated next to the Coastal Breeze complex close to qathet General Hospital, work has begun on the 45-unit first phase of the project, to supply much-needed rental housing for the community.

Brett Giese, owner and president of Crown Pacific Development Corp, the construction company, said the market here is in desperate need of rental accommodation.

“We're obviously looking to fulfill that need,” said Giese.

While Crown Pacific Development is headquartered in Campbell River, local contractors will be put to work to make the project come together. Giese said Adams Concrete has been pouring many yards of cement for the foundations and Modern will be involved as well, manufacturing windows.

Nelson Roofing and Sheet Metal’s local office will also be contracted to help with roofing. Other tenders will be let as construction proceeds. Giese said his company has done its best to use local resources for this project.

In terms of recognition, Giese said the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has awarded his company for its development projects for four years in a row.

“This project here definitely takes design from the same mould,” said Giese. “This is our largest as far as unit count to date. We’ve put a lot of thought into the design.”

Giese said there will be a number of floor plans in the rental facility. The smallest is called a micro unit, which comes supplied with a Murphy bed, and the tenant would bring in some small furnishings.

The largest apartment would be around 1,200 square feet and feature two bedrooms and a den.

Giese said a number of amenity spaces are planned. There will be bicycle storage for residents and a large gym. There is also a community lounge that has its own section which could be used like a workspace.

The architecture of this facility is going to reflect the environment that the complex is located in.

Giese said the apartment is a wood-frame building and will have a west coast contemporary theme.

“It’s going to fit nicely into the landscape,” said Giese. “We’re going with some natural wood elements and green elements.”

The first building is taking shape and Giese said the hope is that it will be complete in late summer 2024. The larger, 96-unit complex is scheduled to be complete later in the year.

In addition to providing market rate rentals, the apartment complex will also have 10 per cent of the apartments that are rent controlled for lower income residents. That works out to 14 units.

Giese said that his company brought the idea to City of Powell River Council, which was enthusiastic about the offering. Interest has already been shown from prospective tenants.

Crown Pacific Development has not started to advertise the apartments, but the company has started a list of the individuals who have reached out by word of mouth.

“Within the next few weeks, we plan to put signage around the perimeter on the fencing,” said Giese. “Then, we'll start advertising here in the next couple of months.”

Giese said demand for the apartments is expected to be high and the goal is to fill the rooms quickly. He said the complex might be appealing to people who would like to move to this community but cannot find accommodation to suit their needs.

“We want to create a vibrant community that has all the things people are looking for,” said Giese.

The apartment complex is situated in a location that should have broad appeal. For example, it may be attractive to heath-care workers who are employed in qathet General Hospital. Giese said the apartments are also within walking distance of shopping and recreational facilities.

“We feel that this project completes a piece of the puzzle that is missing,” said Giese.

Important step

Powell River mayor Ron Woznow said the project is an exciting development for the community and that he’s pleased to see it being constructed.

“We have a contractor with a solid track record, who has been recognized for years in a row on Vancouver Island for his accomplishments and building,” said Woznow. “To me, it's really important that when you have somebody like that here, other people will take note and they're saying, ‘okay, so a really well-established, respected, contractor builder is in Powell River, there must be a number of good things going on.’ That's really important, because that'll make the things we want to have happen here in Powell River, happen a lot sooner.”

Housing is a significant focus for the current city council and the addition of a big housing complex will help achieve goals.

“You look at the people at the hospital, for example, and for attracting people here, they're going to have a wonderful range of accommodation options,” said Woznow. “It’s a short walk to the hospital, to the rec centre and to the ocean. I think it's just great.”

The city is applying for a federal grant that is designed to help significantly increase the housing inventory in Powell River. Woznow said studies indicate the need for 750 housing units over the next five years and the Crown Pacific Development project adds a significant number to that inventory.

“I’m keen on starting with a solid project and building off that,” said Woznow.

“It has been an excellent relationship with the builders and whenever I've had a question, I dropped by and had a chat with Brett. For me, it's a great fit. I will be closely monitoring the development as it proceeds and I’m looking forward to the day when tenants start moving in.”

Join the Peak's email list for the top headline right in your inbox Monday to Friday: