A conceptual drawing shows the type of building planned for 514 Victoria St., the site of the former Kerr Apartments. Illustration courtesy of the City of Nelson

Developer offers details for former Kerr Apartment site

Wayne Woodward is planning a five-storey building on Victoria Street

The developer of a new residential building planned for the former site of the Kerr Apartments says the project makes sense within the context of Nelson’s current real estate market.

Wayne Woodward, the CEO of Terrawood Developments, broke ground in June on what’s planned to be a five-storey condo building at 514 Victoria St.

The location is notable for being where the 100-year-old Kerr Apartments burned in January 2011. It has been vacant since the tragedy that displaced 80 people. Woodward said the site’s downtown location makes it unique in a city where land is at a premium.

“[It’s] such a prime location where you can pretty much walk or bike to anywhere you need to be,” said Woodward.

There’s no timeline for construction of the building, which is expected to include 44 residential units and two live-work units. The residential units are one and two bedroom strata condos that will have no rental restrictions.

Woodward said he’s waiting on an outstanding permit and is still considering contractors, but remediation work that included hauling out 200 loads of garbage has been completed.

Woodward said multi-family buildings like the one planned for Victoria Street are becoming the only economically feasible developments to build in Nelson.

“The problem is the cost of building is so high. It’s ridiculously high,” said Woodward.

“Every year it goes up by five per cent, 10 per cent. It’s pretty much doubled in the last 10 years, the amount it costs to build. The only way it’s economically feasible to build anything is multi-family. You get smaller units and as many as you can, and even then it’s tough.”

The Victoria Street development is the fifth multi-unit project currently under construction or being planned in Nelson.

Nelson CARES currently has an affordable housing project under construction at Hall and Front Streets, as well as a building for seniors and disabled people planned for Nelson Avenue.

A five-story affordable housing building is also planned for Falls Street, while a 127-unit seniors living complex is set to be built on Vernon Street.

More information about Woodward’s Victoria Street development can be found at 514victoria.com.


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