I am a big fan of Victoria-based developer Aryze. And their Pearl Block project is a good example of why. Developed on an awkward triangular lot that had been sitting vacant for nearly 65 years and that presumably every other developer had been overlooking, the project brought six family-oriented townhouses to the Oaklands neighborhood of Victoria, BC.
Each of the towns has 3 bedrooms. Each has a living room facing the street (but with privacy from the neighbor). Each has a large rooftop deck (with 5 foot parapet walls so no kids fall over). And according to the developer, each sold for less than the average price of a single-family home in the Oaklands area. Not surprisingly, the project also won all sorts of awards.
It is a great example of the kind of beautiful and mid-market missing middle housing that so many of us are always talking about. Why build 1 home when you can build 6? Why build 6 homes when you can build 18? Still, there remains far too many obstacles in the way of any sort of housing that doesn’t conform to the status-quo:
It shouldn’t be this difficult. And it shouldn’t take this long. Actually, let me rephrase this. It can’t be this difficult and it can’t this long; that is, if we’re expecting to actually come close to meeting the demand for new housing. There is no great mystery as to why the missing middle is, you know, missing. We made it that way.
Keep up the great work team Aryze.
Photography: Ema Peter via D’Arcy Jones Architects