It’s the first major construction project in Chilliwack that will see cold-formed steel rather than wood-frame materials used to build two new apartment buildings.
“When we design projects we are always thinking about how we can deliver well thought-out living spaces that add value for our customers, and that provide some edge over our competitors,” said Inder Mann, president and chief executive officer of Mann Group.
Mann Group officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in Chilliwack on Friday, March 25 to mark the start of construction on 193 rental apartment units at Main Street and Kipp Avenue.
“It’s a key piece in the revitalization of the downtown core in City of Chilliwack, which we are thrilled to bring to life,” Mann said.
The pair of six-storey buildings will contain mostly one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, with some three-bedrooms available for phase one.
Mayor Ken Popove said he was excited to see the project underway, noting the two downtown developments, District 1881 and the Mann Group project, will be like “bookends.”
“It’s about time we got something going here,” Popove said, offering congratulations to the project team. He told the small crowd that he hoped planning for phase two would be completed shortly, in order to “continue the revitalization of our downtown.”
The president of Mann Group explained over half of the units will be smaller, one-bedroom apartments which will allow for “more affordable” rates overall.
“We cannot determine pricing at this time, having said that, the rentals will be mid-range/affordable and will be comparable to other rentals at that time,” Mann said.
The final rental rates will only be established about six months before completion, which has a target date of November 2023.
Some of the “convenience” features include garbage chutes, touchless entry to building/parking/elevator from a smart phone, and electric vehicle-charging for each unit.
The three-storey amenity building will be 7,500 square feet with a gym, lounge, and multipurpose work spaces with a built-in play area.
“Lastly, the building will be constructed with cold formed steel instead of wood, providing significant advantages to the integrity of the structure, and making it livable for hundreds of years to come, and of course minimizing fire risk,” Mann said.
The use of cold-formed steel framing on Mann Group’s apartment buildings will be a game-changer “for how we build into the future,” Mann said. The steel technology reduces the risk of fire, and lasts much longer than wood.
The underground parkade with an estimated 278 stall for tenants and visitors, will provide “ample parking,” with plate-reader at the entrance for enhanced security, he added.
The entire site is bordered by Main Street, Kipp Avenue, Mary Street and Princess Avenue on a three-acre parcel, and has been awaiting redevelopment for more than 15 years since the old Safeway store moved to another location.
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