STIR program example: Affordable? $1820 for 1 bedroom rental apartment – 546 sq ft (The Alexandra, at Bidwell and Davie)

Alexandra 1221 Bidwell, West EndWest End Neighbours has taken the City of Vancouver to court for its STIR and Rental 100 programs, which are giving away too much to developers and failing to produce affordable rental housing. See recent article by Carlito Pablo in The Straight.

Here is a case in point. Apartment #315 at 1221 Bidwell Street, which WEN has covered in detail before. This project was by Millennium Developments (of Olympic Village fame), subject to a murky, unexplained billion dollar mortgage writeoff by City Manager, and stick-handled by Henriquez Partners Architects. Here is the advertisement verbatim from Craigslist. This is affordable rental housing, according to the City of Vancouver, and worthy of generous incentives for developers. (And for the record, City staff were supposed to report back to City Council on affordable housing produced by the STIR program — by May 26, 2013. But the report has yet to materialize. One wonders why.)

SUMMARY OF APARTMENT LISTING  — # 315 1221 Bidwell — This listing is for 546 square feet of space, including 40 square feet of “storage closet” and 40 square feet of entrance hall. There is no closet in bedroom. No ability for bedside table on one side of bed. It has expansive living room seating for two. No parking. Rent is $1,820 per month. This works out to $3.33 a square foot.

This advertisement is an example of apartments being created under the STIR and Rental 100 programs. Besides the 49 STIR apartment units just above street level, there are 16 stories of luxury condos in the 21-story building, above the one story of commercial. The building was advertised as sold out, but most of the building is still dark at night, suggesting that many units are unoccupied. Most of the rental units are still empty, according to reports. The building has been open for half a year already, approximately. Luxury condos in the building are already being flipped, apparently without ever having been occupied. One condo unit for sale on the eighth floor a few months ago was listed at $1,200 per square foot.

Apartment #315 here is just one example of the kind of housing the City of Vancouver is creating through the generous incentives for developers under the STIR program.

1215 Bidwell (address was changed to 1221 Bidwell after the rezoning) was one of the first STIR projects approved by City Council. The language in the staff report is vague on how these rental units qualified for the waiver of the Development Cost Levy (DCL):

The applicant, under the negotiated stream of the STIR program has offered to provide 49 for-profit affordable rental housing units for the life of the building or sixty years, whichever is greater. Staff undertook a review of the applicant’s development pro forma to ensure that STIR program incentives
provided no undue profit.

The applicant has applied to have the rental component of the project considered under the Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR) Program, approved by Council on June 18, 2009, to facilitate the development of new residential market rental housing.


For full listing, see Craigslist link below, with full text of listing. The web page includes images/photos.


CL >vancouver, BC >vancouver >all housing >apts/housing for rent
Posted: 12-Feb-2014
$1820 / 1br – 546ft² – 1 Bed in Brand New Building. Ocean Views + Large Patio. The Alexandra (Downtown – West End – Davie at Bidwell)

1221 Bidwell Street

1BR / 1Ba 546ft2 apartment
w/d in unit

Welcome to The New Alexandra

This brand new building features breathtaking ocean views over English Bay and is only one block to the beach. At your doorstep are popular Denman and Davie Street boutiques and restaurants as well as Stanley Park within easy walking distance. Come be the first to live in the newest building in The West End neighbourhood.
# 315 1221 Bidwell Street, Vancouver

Property Information

Price: $1820/month
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Parking Stalls: Available at added cost

Contact Information

Judy Kuse
Phone: 604-899-2895

Suite 315 Features:

1 Bedroom, 1 bathroom + balcony
546 sq.ft. living space
258 sq.ft. balcony (largest in building)
Never before lived in
Spanning Ocean Views over English Bay
Corner suite
European cabinetry
Engineered quartz countertops
Stainless steel appliances
Wide plank wood grain laminate
Porcelain tile flooring and tub/shower surrounds
In-suite laundry
Some parking is available at added cost
Suite is Unfurnished

Building Details:

Integrates an existing heritage façade with contemporary architecture
Elegantly designed lobby
Built to LEED Gold Standards
High efficiency landscaping designed to reduce water use and storm run-off
High performance thermal envelope to minimize unwanted solar gains and heat loss
A collection of studios are also available starting at $1250/month

Building Amenities:

Concierge services
Floor restricted elevator access
Club Alexandra which includes:
Fitness facilities
Outdoor view garden and patios overlooking English Bay
Access to 3 on-site zip cars (free membership for first tenants + $50 free drive time.)
Bike storage room

Rental Terms and Conditions:

Available Now
1 year fixed lease required
Tenant insurance required
Utilities are extra
Phone, internet, and cable extra
Visit developer’s website:
Please call or email Judy at the above contact info for an appointment to view this suite. Apply online at
Prompton Real Estate Services Inc.
Apartments for Rent and Sale in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey.
Full Property Management, Leasing, Sales Services.
# 201 179 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC

Disclaimer: The above information, while deemed to be correct, is not guaranteed. Leasing availability, rates and timing are subject to change. Prompton Real Estate Services Inc. provides professional property management services on behalf of the owner of this property. Tenants are not required to pay any fees to Prompton for the leasing of this property.

1221 Bidwell Street (google map) (yahoo map)

Location: Downtown – West End – Davie at Bidwell
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
post id: 4330693168 posted: 6 days ago updated

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