For many of the richest people in Tofino, one of Vancouver Island’s most desirable tourist destinations, homes boast spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, a large lot and private beach access.
But for the average income earner, a decent place to call home-sweet-home is hard to come by, according to Daniel Jadresko, president of Woodsmere Holdings Corp.
Woodsmere completed a comprehensive housing market evaluation of the town of Tofino and identified a critical shortage and need for rental housing back in 2005.
“We are aware of many Tofino residents living in substandard living conditions and in many cases with improper sanitation or simply put no toilet facilities, no running water, no kitchen facilities or any other normal basic housing requirements,” explained Jadresko, a long-time Vancouver Island resident, born in Victoria.
“I have personally heard from residents of Tofino living in tents, cars, 15 people living in a single family home, or two grown adults living in a 8’X10’ room with bunk beds.”
Woodsmere has been working diligently with the town of Tofino on a comprehensive development proposal for a solution to the rental-housing crisis.
On Nov. 28, 2016, Woodsmere presented plans to the committee of the whole, which consist of: 196 apartment/condominium units, 115 town home units, 42 duplex/fourplex units, 48-unit motel and16 single family residential units.
“Our development and building designs have been specifically tailored for the Tofino market,” he said.
“We recognize that the residents and lifestyle in Tofino have unique characteristics and requirements.”
The apartment units consist of 447 square-foot bachelor suites, 486 square-foot one-bedroom suites, 891 square-foot two-bedroom suites and based on public feedback we are now adding some 3 bedroom units.
“We have sacrificed an apartment unit in our designs on the ground floor so that we can incorporate amenities such as bicycle and surfboard lockers within our buildings with both interior and exterior access,” he added.
Woodsmere’s long-term goal is to maintain ownership and manage all of the rental apartment and townhouse units.
“We will be monitoring the rental absorption to determine the viability and scheduling of future phases.”
Jadresko expects the single family and potentially the duplex/fourplex units to be market housing, however, if the rental market demand is evident, Woodsmere may consider renting a portion of these unit types as well.
“If the apartment or townhouse rental market has reached capacity with no remaining rental absorption we may strata future phases and provide affordable market housing.”
The comprehensive development proposal won’t happen overnight.
Jadresko says the project will be developed over a number of years and phases .
“We are estimating between five to 10 years,” he said.
Anyone interested in finding out more about this development is invited to attend a public open house on March 9 at Jamie’s Rainforest Inn (1258 Pacific Rim Hwy.) from 6-9 p.m. Appetizers will be provided.
Woodsmere is a Victoria based holdings company which retains, maintains and manages a real estate portfolio of multifamily rental properties across Western Canada. For more information, visit www.woodsmere.ca