A 248-unit rental housing complex will be constructed in east Edmonton thanks to an upfront $46.5-million loan from the federal government.
Families, Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen announced the new project Thursday as part of the federal Rental Construction Financing Initiative. The low-cost loan, to be paid back over a period of 10 years, will be used to build Riverview Residences in Abbottsfield, two six-storey apartment buildings next to Riverview Crossing mall.
Although not strictly an affordable housing development, at least 20 per cent of the units must offer monthly rent costs below 30 per cent of the median total income in the Edmonton region. The new development at 11804 Abbottsfield Rd. is also slated to use 30 per cent less energy than similar buildings, reserve at least half of the underground parking lot with electric charging stations and meet local accessibility standards for at least 10 per cent of the units.
“Ensuring housing affordability and stability for all Canadians is not a quick fix, especially in urban centres like Edmonton, the cost of living continues to rise,” Hussen said during the announcement Thursday afternoon. “By investing in this project, our government is looking to build a new generation of rental housing for middle-class Canadians right across Canada and for those who are struggling to join the middle class right here in Edmonton. At the end of the day, it’s really about ensuring a better quality of life for Canadians.”
The new housing complex will be developed by Alberta-based Ayrshire Group which also operates the adjacent Riverview Crossing. Managing director Graham Gooch said this project will add to the work they have done since buying the property in 2017.
“When we acquired Abbottsfield Mall in 2017, it was approximately 50 per cent vacant and in need of a new community-focused vision. With help from the City of Edmonton and various community-focused organizations, we decided to rebrand the shopping centre as Riverview Crossing and subdivide a large unused portion of land to accommodate this 248-unit Riverview Residences development,” Gooch said.
Now the development is becoming closer to a reality with the loan from Ottawa. Construction is already underway with the underground parking lot just being completed, Gooch said, and work starting on the first of the two buildings expected to be completed a half a year before the second building. A website on rental opportunities will be unveiled in the coming months with occupancy expected in the second quarter of 2022.
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