Whitehorse Daily Star

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John Streicker and Mike Gau

Whistle Bend single-family lots priced up to $150,000

The Yukon government released 257 new lots in Whistle Bend on Thursday morning, spurring the largest land lottery in Whitehorse’s history.

By Whitehorse Star on November 27, 2020

The Yukon government released 257 new lots in Whistle Bend on Thursday morning, spurring the largest land lottery in Whitehorse’s history.

There will be a lottery draw for 249 residential lots, and tenders have been issued for eight commercial lots.

It’s the first time Whistle Bend lots have been tagged for commercial space in the new neighbourhood. The eight lots will be tendered in groups of two.

Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, told reporters commercial development will create a walkable neighbourhood.

“The planning and zoning is only part of the equation – it’s up to businesses and entrepreneurs to bring their energy and their own resources,” Gau said.

“Really, the vision is to have your local services close to home so you can walk or bike to get a haircut, to get your daily groceries, to get your eating and drinking needs met.”

Mayor Dan Curtis said he envisions businesses like a grocery store, bakery, pub, hairstylist and dry cleaner opening in Whistle Bend.

“What we’re looking for is to have a sustainable area,” Curtis said.

Lottery applications are open for residential lots until Jan. 7, 2021, and draws will take place via livestream on Jan. 12.

There are 133 single-family lots, 91 townhouse lots, 11 multi-family lots and one duplex site available.

Most of the single-family lots are priced in the $100,000 range, with some larger lots costing upwards of $150,000.

The lottery also includes five country residential lots in the Hidden Valley subdivision off the Mayo Road.

Those cost $250,000 – and are unserviced.

A lottery application centre at the Sternwheeler Hotel (formerly the Westmark Hotel) will be open Dec. 16-17, and from Jan. 4-7. People can submit their applications at that location, and pay the $25 application fee and $300 deposit.

The last Whistle Bend lottery saw 244 applicants vying for 55 lots.

Ranj Pillai, the minister of Economic Development, said this new slew of lots should help alleviate some of the demand for housing.

“I know we are hearing calls for more land…. The new lots will also help meet some of the immediate demand and hopefully begin to build an inventory for the foreseeable future,” Pillai said.

John Streicker, the minister of Community Services, told reporters they are expecting 600 new Whistle Bend residents as a result of this lottery.

The neighbourhood is already home to about 2,000 people, and will eventually overtake Riverdale as the Yukon’s largest neighbourhood.

Whistle Bend is expected to eventually see 8,000 residents, Streicker said. When the area was first envisioned for development years ago, some planners had that number at 10,000.

Pillai noted that he’s expecting the lots will be in high demand.

“When we look at the data in front of us, we know residential building permits have been pretty significant even with pressures we have with COVID,” Pillai said.

Previous demand will be exacerbated by the anticipated opening of another mine, which would bring 250 to 300 “well-paying jobs” to the territory, the minister said.

“Based on what has happened before and what is happening within the community now, we’re going to see some real significant numbers.”

Comments (21)

Up 7 Down 1

Juniper Jackson on Dec 3, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Hi WindyArms. Did you want to make a comment about the topic? Affordable lots - affordable housing? Or did you just want to be another Juniper groupie? Apparently I have quite a following.

Poor decisions? You bet. I have lived through 14 Presidents and 16 Prime Ministers. That's a life lived. A lot of poor decisions..but more excellent ones. As for this post? Its an opinion. If you didn't get the sarcasm, it means that the people who need affordable housing, aren't going to get it with this lottery.

Up 9 Down 11

Windy arms on Dec 2, 2020 at 2:10 pm

@ Juniper Jackson
For someone who knows everything you sure do make a lot of poor decisions.

Up 19 Down 1

Gringo on Dec 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm

@Anie...I didn’t mean to infer taxes were going towards the water sewer etc, what I was trying to say that the owner pays for all those services yet the City whacks the said owner with 2x the taxes you would pay in the City proper with paved roads, sidewalks and all the services.

Up 24 Down 6

Juniper Jackson on Dec 1, 2020 at 9:12 am

ooooooh!! Whistle Bend!! I make 16.25 an hour, I'm gonna' get right on that affordable housing!!

Up 19 Down 2

Whitehorse Dude on Nov 30, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Back in the olden days of 2013, I was not able to get a traditional mortgage because I had a few bad things on my credit report curtesy of being irresponsible in my early 20's. Lo and behold YHC (Yukon Housing Corp) had a loan program of up to $360,000 which was the price of a nice albeit older home in Riverdale or Porter Creek. Again, the whole loan program was to help working folks buy a house and the $360,000 limit was completely fine as it afforded a nice place and affordable mortgage payments.

How sad that only a few short years later, a small (by Yukon standards) lot in Whistle Bend is now $150,000. If I was in the same situation now, there is no way I would be able to buy what I bought. My house is now "worth" $580,000 only because that is the average of what the last 4 houses on my street sold for. So yeah, I feel bad for younger working folks. As for YHC, the loan I received no longer exists as the prices are too high, there is still a loan available for rural Yukon though, so act fast if you want to stay in the Yukon but not own in Whitehorse.

Up 19 Down 1

Anie on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Gringo : just to clarify, you are correct that country residential lots do not have sewer, water, garbage. But you incorrectly imply that you are paying for them through your taxes. Incorrect. A serviced lot, of the same size, would include the cost of installing sewer and water lines in the purchase price. And, in my experience, about 15 years later, the owner will get dinged, through an LIC added to their taxes, for replacing those lines. Every 3 months, that owner gets a bill for the provision of water, sewer and garbage services. Every 3 months, in addition to property taxes. Those are the facts.

Up 26 Down 9

Chicken Little on Nov 30, 2020 at 9:25 am

@ Wilf Carter
People in Whistle Bend CHOOSE to park on the street. They don't HAVE to but they do and you know what that means? When the grader comes through the street doesn't get cleaned up.

Up 24 Down 2

Oya on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:55 am

@ Gringo - First Nations won't ever sell the title to their land as it is in most, if not all, FN constitutions that they are not permitted to sell settlement land.

Up 34 Down 6

Nathan Living on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:25 pm

Expat is correct.
In many places in Canada you can buy a modest home for the price of the Whistle Bend lots.

Why not have a program that actually helps people? If we did not live off the rest of Canada which gives us generous transfer payments we would likely have lots and homes priced much cheaper.

It's shameful really that the GY and city have not provided more cost effective options for housing opportunities.

Up 21 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Just came from Whistle Bend. What mess. People have to park on the streets and they are not plowed.
Will someone please tell the city workers to do what is needed to keep our city safe.
Our city is in a bad place because all of our money is going into big projects that are not planned.

Up 37 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:16 am

Sure a lot of pomp and circumstance for putting some new Whistle Bend lots on the market. No argument they are needed, but what of the longer term development needs for expansion of the City? Eventually the east side of the river will need to be developed - what's the hold up? Whistle Bend is reaching critical mass already so Plan D land development needs to be shared and the consultations begun... or we can wait until the demand for land pressure builds again.

Up 68 Down 8

Expat on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:34 am

After over 45 years in Yukon I moved away several years ago and bought a nice house in rural Nova Scotia on a 1 acre lot for not that much more than what these Whistle Bend lots are going for. A job was easy to find and I now commute 10 minutes in very light traffic for only slightly less salary than I earned in Whitehorse. Meanwhile it was 15 degrees and partly sunny here yesterday and we haven’t seen snow yet, also the ocean and beaches are an easy 1/2 hour drive away. Sales taxes are higher here but gas for example has been around .90 per litre for much of the year and groceries are cheaper so it more than evens out. Finding a family doctor can be an issue here just as in Whitehorse but we got one our first year here.
Reading these stories about the cringeworthy prices for building lots (and most everything else) and the ridiculous and ever worsening traffic all crammed into that small burg makes me relieved I’m not part of the Whitehorse scene anymore. There are just getting to be way to many people all trying to crowd into a small downtown that was never designed for it, In my humble opinion there is a much more enjoyable and satisfying life to be had away from Whitehorse if you want it.

Up 16 Down 24

Wilf Carter on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Land lottery is just a waste of time. Why not have a real market lottery? Liberal government does not understand market demand. These lots are over priced by $70,000 already. This is one reason houses are not affordable in Whitehorse and no one can find a place to rent. Not one piece of land to build 800 to 1000 rental units on.
WE need 300 public housing units lots in Whitehorse. WE need 1800 private lots for people.

Up 40 Down 8

Crunch on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm

If you want to hear a good lie ask the city how much money they are making on each lot. If you are looking for the solution to affordable housing always go to the source.

Up 38 Down 6

Gringo on Nov 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm

So $250,000 gets you a country res lot that's "not serviced" so no power, no water, no septic YET the city charges 5-6 thousand in property tax....for what exactly?? This is precisely why the first nations should be allowed to sell title lots cause this Government and specifically the City of Whitehorse are ripping people off and are the SOLE cause of, A) House prices out of control and B) lack of affordable housing.

Up 48 Down 4

Nathan Living on Nov 27, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Way overpriced and symbolic of why Whitehorse is failing many people particularly those with low incomes.

Up 26 Down 4

Size? on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:51 pm

So....what are the lot sizes for those insane country residential lot prices?

Up 18 Down 26

Josey Wales on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Dang, forgot this..lemme guess - online software for this "Kung Flu" lottery...Dominion I suppose?

They seen how that worked for the USA, LIGHT BULB lights..."Heeey guys, let's open land up...online lottery...eh...eh?"
Muh ha MuuHHHaaa ...absolutely nothing would surprise me in this corrupt socialist sty I used to call Whitehorse.

Up 16 Down 21

Josey Wales on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Funny that...when regular folks are hurting the most, uncertain how the future looks? Uncertain why..duh! Doctors mandate "state orders" for free peoples...eh?
Then what do the same many idiots do?
Open more lots, great for folks with deep, deep pockets, speculators, developers a.k.a. cronies but regular folks that have been saving?
Watching their savings just vaporize during this "Great Reset" plandemic.

Current civic rulers...current Territory rulers? Clic Clic. (boot heels)
Two cheeks of the same arse IMO!

Sounds like I am trolling...nope! Truly see a class warfare angle here.
New imports? Fear not may get a free home, happens here lots.
Those wealthy folks that can play monopoly with our town?
Well they build houses, and their wealth...as is their right.

But my point stands, heaps of folks will benefit from the misery of others.
Which is life, that I know. But this seems bad timing for regular folk, funny those insulated the most...our political blowholes and their minions the administrators?

State actors, their plandemic, their clutches on all dirt...THEY set the dance beat.
I don't think even god can help us with this mess via the epic stupidity.

Up 44 Down 2

TMYK on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:11 pm

Ok Great. Now how are we going to supply power for these new buildings? Traffic demands?

Up 83 Down 7

Matthew on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Crazy. So without anything that tiny piece of land is worth 150k.. if they're planning on 8000 people living there they had better upgrade the roads to downtown to 2 lanes.. or didn't they think of that yet? It must take 30 mins on some days to get d/t from Whistle Bend. Let's open land up and form another trailer park with concrete pads that is city maintained. You can get brand new mobile homes for less than the price of these lots! Affordable housing is needed a lot more than a 3500sq ft home..

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