Waterloo Region is experiencing a housing crisis. Although there has been much attention given to the Ontario government’s ambitious target of 1.5 million new homes to be built by 2031, there is a shortage of a specific form of housing that is hitting Waterloo Region extra hard: rental units.
Driving these unaffordable costs is a growing demand with dwindling supply. As ownership and maintenance costs rise, landlords pass these down to tenants. And although there are hopeful plans by municipalities to build more units quickly to reduce market demand and lower prices, there are important questions over two key issues: the availability of developable land in municipalities, and the actual cost of supplies and materials for construction should any land become available. These pressures make rental units harder to come by than in the past.
PGE and its integrated team of preferred partners are taking action to help alleviate the crisis in today’s rental market. We are not simply ‘talking the talk’ when it comes to building rental units for young professionals, we are walking the walk. We are building units and reaching full-occupancy, as scheduled and as promised.
This September, we are thrilled to announce full occupancy of our two new developments at 308 King St. N. and 298 Hemlock St.!
Stretching 25 storeys into the sky, 308 King St. N. is comprised of 340 residential rental units. These range in size from 500 to 900 square feet, and there is ample parking for cars and bicycles with 384 spaces and 216 cycle spaces, respectively. Nestled on the ground floor are 14 commercial rental spaces to help create a buzzing and fun economic vibe.
298 Hemlock St. contains 92 residential units ranging in size between 600 to 800 square feet, with 24 parking spaces for cars and 24 spaces for bicycles, along with office space on the ground floor.
PGE promised these rental units to the residents of Waterloo Region, and we delivered.
How did we accomplish this in the midst of a housing crisis with soaring costs for materials and supplies? The answer is integrated teamwork and streamlined collaboration between preferred partners. Using a phased approach to construction and furnishing, our preferred partners used daily meetings between project leaders and teams to embrace technologies such as Autodesk and other methodologies derived from Building Information Management (BIM) to coordinate and plan our designs, along with their material construction and implementation.
This has meant rapid construction and occupancy without any sacrifice of quality. Construction on 308 King St. N began in 2022, and it is fully occupied as of September, 2023! Construction on 298 Hemlock began in 2022 and took only 10 months, while the industry average for a comparable development is 18 to 24 months for a building of this scale.
If we want to solve our rental crisis, we have to build efficiently with the utmost quality in mind. We need to put shovels in the ground and follow-through until project completion.
Using advanced technologies and close collaboration, problems that once took weeks to solve now take us days, hours, and sometimes minutes. Utilizing our preferred partners and working in-sync, PGE is able to fulfill its promises to create more units for more residents – all at an attainable cost, while providing amenities and furnishings to new residents.
At a moment when the housing crisis and shortage of rental units across Waterloo Region brings us pause, we at PGE are proud that our work, and the incredible efforts of our preferred partners combined, is making a real difference in bringing desperately-needed rental units to market, on-time, on-budget, and with a spirit of optimism and positivity towards our community’s shared future.
We live where we build, and we love where we live.