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Student rental housing tower approved in New Westminster

Douglas College $295M, 20-storey, 368-bed facility will start construction in 2023
New tower on Royal Avenue will have a mix of rental housing for students and local residents. |Submitted

Backed by provincial funding, the first student housing will be built near the Douglas College campus in New Westminster, B.C.

The $292.5-million project received $202.3 million in provincial funding, while Douglas College has provided $90.2 million. Construction is expected to begin in the summer 2023, with anticipated completion in mid-2026.

While a first for Douglas College, it is part of a provincewide campaign to build 8,000 student rentals by 2028, according to Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

Douglas College’s first on-campus housing will be a new 20-storey building with 368 student beds, academic space and parking. It is the largest provincial capital investment into a post-secondary institution that will benefit both students and local renters.

Investing in student housing reduces the pressure on the rental market in surrounding communities, Kang added.

The rental vacancy in New Westminster is 1 per cent, and the average one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,370 per month, according to the latest data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The new building, at 808 Royal Avenue, will have 368 bedrooms in one- two-, and four-bedroom units, as well as academic space, including new classrooms, study space, labs and offices, and food services.

Douglas College serves more than 25,000 domestic and international students annually.