Student housing planned for Tyner Boulevard

A developer is looking to bring a 256-unit student housing complex to the corner of Tyner and Ospika Boulevards.

On Monday, city council is scheduled to debate an amendment to the Official Community Plan to facilitate the four-story housing building on a 5.6 acre lot located between Tyner, Ospika and Sullivan Crescent. If council approves first and second reading of the bylaw on Monday night, the matter will go to a public hearing.

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The Hub Collection co-founder Kevin Price said his company plans to start work on the project "as soon as the city lets us," with the goal of opening in the summer of 2023.

"We want to make a place where students want to hang out. We're working on a suite of amenities and all the bells and whistles," Price said. "It's a bit different (than traditional student housing), it's more of a British model. One of our partners ran a similar chain... in the U.K. and France."

Each unit will feature a minimum of 300 sq. feet of living space with a kitchenette and private bathroom. In addition, there will be more than 12,000 sq. feet of amenity space, including lounges on each floor, a gym, social areas, coffee bar and more, he said.

The facility will host on-site social events, and offer optional extras like housekeeping services. The goal is to offer the added amenities for only roughly five per cent higher rent than existing student housing stock, he said.

"The Hub will be where your friends come to you," Price said. "We're targeting both local and foreign students."

The housing complex will be open to students at UNBC and the College of New Caledonia, Price said. The company doesn't have a formal arrangement with either institution, he added, but believes having the type of upscale student housing his company proposes will just add to the appeal of attending either school.

"We always like to partner with the schools (we serve) any way we can," he said.

Price said his company believes there is sufficient demand for student housing to support their development and the 205-unit student housing building being built by Kelowna-based Factions Projects downtown. The downtown complex is scheduled to open later this year.

"Between the two schools, there is an existing shortage of space," Price said.

The Hub Collection is working with the city to make the project a fit with the existing neighbourhood, and work around the steep slope on the property.

"We're trying to design it so none of the existing neighbours can see it," he said. "Hopefully the residents will support this type of development in this area. My family is from Prince George. I'm the reason we decided to go to that location."

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