Vive Development plans 171 units in project on Borden Avenue
A property developer with a number of downtown projects is proposing a seven-storey rental apartment within steps of the Auditorium.
Vive Development has applied for a zoning amendment and Official Plan amendment to build the apartment at 155-169 Borden St. N. The site now has a single-family home at 155 Borden, while the larger lot at 169 is vacant, but once housed Lafontaine Terrace, a retirement home that was torn down in 2013.
The proposed building would have 171 one- and two-bedroom units, in two four-storey blocks closer to Borden and a seven-storey section further from the street. The site is further east than many of the recent development proposals the city has seen, but still quite close to the central transit corridor — it’s a five-minute walk from the Borden light-rail transit stop.
The site is across the street from Knollwood Park, and just steps from the Aud and Sheppard Public School.
That proximity to the LRT is one of the big appeals of the site, said Heather Campbell, chief operating officer of Vive.
“It’s close to transit, which we like,” Campbell said. “It’s very walkable. We love that there’s an open park in front. We think it’s a beautiful spot for a rental apartment.”
The project requires zoning and Official Plan changes, which city council will likely consider at a planning meeting this fall, said city planner Garett Stevenson. The lot with a house is zoned for low-rise residential, which allows buildings of no more than three storeys, while the vacant lot is zoned institutional.
The developer is also seeking permission to provide less parking than required. Vive wants to put in 145 spaces, including 15 visitor spaces; the bylaw requires 214, including 43 visitor spaces. Most of the parking would be in an underground garage.
Vive also wants permission to have a side yard of just three metres — instead of six metres as required — from a 3 ½-storey apartment building next door on Borden and from the backyards of single-family homes along Weber Street.
About 25 residents attended a meeting about the proposed development on June 11, Stevenson said, with most expressing concerns about the extra traffic the project will bring and the height.
“It would be the tallest building around there,” Stevenson said.
The project is aimed at midmarket, Campbell said, with rents geared to the median income in the region.
Vive has several projects proposed in downtown Kitchener, including a luxury building called Otis facing Victoria Park, rental apartment buildings on Margaret, Queen, and Spadina, and next to the Kitchener Market.
Campbell said the company is working on so many projects because there’s strong demand for rental housing. “The economy is doing well here. There’s a low supply of rental housing. The vacancy rate is still at historical lows.”