🏠 Housing hope

Federal land potential, (maybe) another EV plant and new Midtown towers

Together with

Good morning! ⚒️ A popular DIY Youtuber is finding out firsthand how hard the construction process can be. Officials in West Vancouver have ordered Jenna Phipps to stop work on an abandoned home renovation project she began eight months ago. Phipps complained that permits are taking forever to secure and it’s unclear what renovation work can and cannot be done.

⏰ Today’s read: 5 minutes

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Economy: New environmental regulations around the globe are making banks wary of financing commercial real estate with high carbon emissions. Banks are concerned these buildings could become unrentable or unsellable in the future, and are looking for ways to manage this risk. This is especially challenging for older buildings that would require significant upgrades to meet new green standards.


Converted: The housing potential of public land

Ottawa announced a new strategy this year to put a dent in the affordable housing crisis—building homes on public lands. The plan would see the government spearhead efforts to  convert existing buildings to housing or developing new units. 

How much: The feds estimate they could use this strategy to help unlock 250,000 new homes by 2031. This includes building on Canada Post properties, using National Defence Lands and converting underused federal offices. But they confessed to not having an accurate accounting of all their properties or what could be used for housing. 

But wait, there’s more: Recent analysis suggests a more optimistic picture. After sifting through federal records, the Globe and Mail estimates federal land and properties (empty parking lots, aging post offices, and low-rise office buildings) could be used to house roughly 750,000 people

Out of office: Gensler, a global leader in building conversions, released their analysis of federal housing stock, concluding that up to 45% of its offices were suitable for housing conversions. Many of these buildings were built in the 60s and 70s giving them ideal floor plates and ample access to natural light. 

Getting organized: If Ottawa is serious about transforming “every possible piece” of federal land into affordable housing, it should start sorting through its real estate portfolio to identify low hanging fruit now. If a newspaper and design firm can find time to do it, why can’t the federal government?


The week's headlines

👷🏻 Builders in Metro Vancouver will avoid a concrete strike for now. Officials say negotiations between concrete supplier Heidelberg Materials and the union representing its workers have been productive and resulted in some agreements. Both sides will enter mediation this week to continue discussions. a similar strike in 2022 by the same union significantly impacted construction and delayed projects like the Broadway Subway.

⚡ Ontario officials expect to secure another major electric vehicle battery plant project. The province already has commitments from Stellantis NV, Volkswagen AG and Honda Motor Co. Officials say they have three more prospects and expect at least one will come to fruition. 

🏠 Edmonton's new proposed district plans aim to create self-contained neighbourhoods where residents can access daily needs within a 15-minute walk, bike ride, or transit trip. This plan has drawn mixed reactions at public hearings. Supporters, including developers and student associations, see benefits in convenience and access to transit. However, environmental groups worry about protecting natural spaces, while community leagues object to potential changes in building heights. 

🛍️ Montreal's Place Versailles mall is proposing a dramatic overhaul. The owners want to tear it down gradually and build a new neighborhood with 5,000 homes, parks, and a school. The plan needs zoning changes to allow for taller buildings and there's no word yet on how current mall businesses will be affected.


Democratizing real estate development

You don’t need a massive team or bank account to be a real estate developer. 

All you need is a computer and some property.

Reveloper has created a unique, one-stop real estate development model and platform that simplifies current processes and makes development accessible to anyone, regardless of funds, resources or experience. Learn more about Reveloper’s story from its Founder and CEO, Geoff Krahn, in our story below.


Two by two

Toronto's Midtown is getting a major makeover. Toronto-based developer Madison Group has unveiled plans for a four-tower complex designed by the renowned Rafael Viñoly Architects. This marks the architecture firm's first project in Canada. The complex will boast 2,364 residential units and feature over 54,000 square feet of publicly accessible space at its base.  The surrounding area will be filled with office space and retail.


Ottawa is rehabilitating portions of the MacKenzie King Bridge

Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant opens in Kelowna

B.C. considers replacing Second Narrows Bridge

Highway 3 twinning project starts in southern Alberta

Office conversion provides new hotel space for Calgary

Allandale Transit Terminal project work begins

🏗 That’s just a taste of what happened this week. Unlock our FULL project update list, Project Pulse, by referring this newsletter twice (make sure to use your unique link at the bottom of the newsletter.)

Congrats! You have access to our extended list of weekly project updates. Check it out here 👉 Project Pulse


PHOTOS: 👀 Inside Iqaluit’s Community Wellness Hub

READ: 🏗️ Canada’s clean steel has a role to play

LIST: ✍🏼 Top Contractors list released for 2024

PHOTOS: 🌍 The largest underground earth tubes ever are in B.C. 

READ: ⛏️ Calgary is having a record-breaking pothole season


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