Loreen Place is a new development that is almost complete located in my neighbourhood. It replaces a former Capri Motel, a crack haven that was the source of large numbers of police calls around here.
I would post a picture of the building, but the weather sucks today - I will try to add one when I get a chance in better weather.
View Larger Map
What is most interesting to me is that this is a new rental development. It is operated by the Greater Victoria Housing Society and will offer 52 rental units for mid to low income people. To be able to rent a unit your gross household income has be under $65,000. The 2005 median family income in the CRD was $68,424, applying inflation to this it would be around $77,000 now, though till we see the 2011 census details we can not be certain of that. The $65,000 is well above the median income for single parent families and for single people, especially seniors.
The website says people can move in on March 1st, but looking at the building I doubt that as the building is not yet done. Still, they are close.
The building has 51 bedroom units and a single 1 bedroom unit. Rents for the 2 bedroom units run from $875 to $1350 per month. I do not think the rents are income based. You can get a free membership in Victoria Car Share, though I do not know if there will be a car in the building.
The addition of 52 more rental units is a very important to this city. We need a lot more rental units but this is not likely to happen from the private sector until rental buildings are economically on a par with building a condo. This building should offer rental housing for about 90-120 people, I am assuming close to a two person occupancy per unit.
With this development and the Pembrooke Mews one, the Greater Victoria Housing Society now has 739 units available for rent.
As to the look of the building, I like it. The front of the building is bright and comes up closer to the street than a lot of older buildings in town. I hate the grass in front of all those rental buildings on lower Cook Street. This development also has created a better sidewalk environment at this location. The only thing that I wish had been added was street front retail.
My next hope is that we see more density along Gorge Road. The Friendly Inn next door to Loreen Place is in real need of redevelopment as are various other properties in the area.