Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

PREPARATION DONE – Site preparation for a new apartment complex at Fourth Avenue and Jeckell Street has been completed. The public tender for construction of the 47-unit apartment building was issued last week.

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NEW LOOK – The Yukon Housing Corp. has put out the construction tender for a 47-unit apartment complex at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Jeckell Street, as envisioned here in the architects’ rendering by Kobayashi and Zedda Architects. Architects’ rendering courtesy of KOBAYASHI AND ZEDDA ARCHITECTS

Housing project may be done by fall 2021

A public tender has been issued by the Yukon Housing Corp. for a four-storey, 47-unit apartment complex at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Jeckell Street.

By Chuck Tobin on April 3, 2020

A public tender has been issued by the Yukon Housing Corp. for a four-storey, 47-unit apartment complex at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Jeckell Street.

Project manager Lester Balsillie said this week the tender closes in the middle of the month, and he expects the successful contractor will want to begin work in May as early as possible. Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2021.

The development by the Crown corporation is designed to accommodate a mix of housing needs, from bachelor apartments to three-bedroom apartments for families, he said.

Balsillie said the development includes:

• 14 – bachelor units (4 barrier-free);

• 16 – 1 bedroom units (4 barrier-free);

• 12 – 2 bedroom units (1 barrier-free); and

• 5 – 3 bedroom units (1 barrier-free).

The total project budget is $19.2 million, including geo-technical assessment of the site that has already been completed, construction, all furniture, through to landscaping, he explained.

Balsillie said Yukon Housing talked to the community of general contractors to get a sense of how they felt about proceeding with the project, given the uncertainty created by COVID-19.

It was clear the companies wanted to go ahead, suggesting these are times when the community needs the assurance from the government of work and employment to keep dollars flowing into the local economy, he said.

Balisille said the housing development will create work not just for the general contractor but for all the sub-trades – electricians, plumbers.

“This is a good news story,” Balsillie said. “It will keep a lot of people employed over the next couple of years.”

The apartment complex is one structure, though the design may make it appear as though there is more than one building, he said.

Preparation included the removal of six townhouse units owned by the housing corporation that were 50 years old.

Concerns were raised last year by a handful of area residents regarding the appropriateness of such a large building next to the riverfront, a building that would both reduce visibility of the skyline and create shadowing for neighbours.

There were questions put to city council as to whether the project is in keeping with the city’s Downtown South Master Plan created in 2011 in co-operation with the Yukon government.

It was determined the project is in compliance.

Comments (15)

Up 4 Down 2

Max Mack on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Demand that this project be shut down!

Why not? Hanley, Silver and their accomplices are shutting down everything they can. Snowmobiling? How dare you!?

Why should YHC get a pass? Why should any government activity get a pass?

Up 13 Down 4

North_of_60 on Apr 7, 2020 at 6:20 pm

Prime real estate used for social housing when four story social housing could be built back along the base of the escarpment on vacant land where it wouldn't block the views and sunshine for those already living in that area.

Up 9 Down 1

My math was a bit off - sorry on Apr 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Speaking of checking numbers, I just checked my own and it's $404,000 each, on average, with most of them being bachelors and one bedrooms.
This still seems like a huge amount of money for tiny apartments in subsidized government housing (ie, not luxury).

Up 4 Down 10

Always Questions on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Does it really matter 'who' it is being built for? Rich or poor it is going to kill the view for several other nearby properties. I recall the consultations, {cough}.
Not to mention, EVERY AMENITY needed for basic survival (food) is on the OTHER side of town. Sorry Riverside, I hope you do well on this. Will the transport system work with the needs?
Whomever shall live there, be grateful, enjoy the Yukon view as most of you are likely Yukoners anyway. We are privileged to be able to do this project at all. It is an amazing location XOX.
Proximity to outdoor recreation & relaxation is out your doorstep, use, respect & enjoy.

Up 24 Down 2

Look at the numbers on Apr 6, 2020 at 5:09 pm

$20 million for 50 units = half a million dollars per unit, then consider that 2/3rds of them are bachelors and one bedrooms!!!
Why don't they just buy one of the luxury condo buildings that are going up in town and give them to the low income people who are in subsidized housing?

Can the government never get anything right when it comes to responsible spending?

Up 9 Down 1

Anie on Apr 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Dorothy McElroy "section 8 housing" what is that? Do any of the people who gave it a thumbs up even have any idea what it is? Too much TV folks.

Up 16 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Apr 6, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Land in the Yukon and especially Whitehorse is at a premium. This is not a new situation, it has been this way for many years, yet governments fail to adapt to this reality in their housing development projects. Consider this:
Partner with Kwanlin Dun or Taan who will contribute a plot of land from their quantum, then build the social housing edifice as is the practice now. Governments working together to address the needs of their citizens - imagine what might happen in a partnership such as this.

Up 22 Down 5

JC on Apr 6, 2020 at 10:53 am

I know the kind of people that live in that area. And as a senior citizen, I don't think I will apply for an apartment.

Up 29 Down 8

Oya on Apr 6, 2020 at 8:44 am

@ John - Agree 100%. Why use the BEST piece of land in all of Whitehorse for social housing? Hard to believe how stupid some government officials are.

Up 5 Down 7

Dorothy Mcelroy on Apr 5, 2020 at 8:15 am

They need more public housing and section eight housing all over the country. Nationwide people are eligible for it. Public housing is not two story housing.

Up 11 Down 8

Bailey Michael on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:31 am

When thinking of redevelopment we have to be inclusive with affordable living. Consider the elderly and people with disabilities plus hard working people making $35,000 per year or less. Affordable housing should be a basic fundamental human right.

Up 4 Down 8

Penaia on Apr 4, 2020 at 11:02 am

I live next to new construction site, any job available from security, labour etc....

Up 6 Down 11

Margaret Rivard on Apr 3, 2020 at 10:43 pm

I have experience living with people who have barriers in an affordable housing which gives those with disabilities that are not addressed. Why are architects not designing with this in mind? Thank you for this process it is important to you to view this. Take care stay safe.

Up 38 Down 6

John on Apr 3, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Prime property being used for income assisted housing. Why not sell this prime property and then buy more value property somewhere else and get more value. Nope, I want the river view top floor.. wait I don't qualify.

Up 21 Down 4

Klaus G. on Apr 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Who will administer this? Surely not YHC in it's present form.

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