New apartment complexes coming to Abbottsfield in northeast Edmonton

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Two six-storey apartment buildings are being built in northeast Edmonton's Abbottsfield area, just off 118 Avenue, thanks to a low-interest loan from Canada's federal government. Sarah Ryan has the details on the Riverviews Residences. – May 20, 2021

Two six-storey apartment buildings are coming to the northeast Edmonton neighbourhood of Abbottsfield.

In 2017, investors Ayrshire Group purchased 14 acres of land around the Abbottsfield Crossing mall, land which is now being subdivided for apartment buildings, thanks to help from Ottawa.

“Our government has provided a low-cost construction loan of $46.5 million to build 248 rental homes as part of a new multi-residential development,” explained Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen, who oversees the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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The 10-year loan comes at a better financing rate than the developer said it could get on the open market.

“Without the support of the federal government on this project, we would not be in a position to advance the development,” explained Ayrshire’s managing director, Graham Gooch.

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In exchange for the loan, the Liberals made Ayrshire commit to affordable rent in 61 of the units. Ten must be at least 30 per cent below the market average in Edmonton for at least two decades.

A few of the units must also be barrier free, to accommodate those with accessibility needs.

Gooch said the area needed new options for renters.

“We saw that there was predominantly older vintage, 1970s, 1980s rental product in the community with outdoor parking, no amenities.”

Read more: 80 supportive housing units to be built in 2 Edmonton neighbourhoods by end of 2021

The Riverviews Residences will feature underground parking, rooftop patios and be more energy efficient — another one of the terms of Ottawa’s loan.

The buildings are currently being framed and are expected to open mid-way through 2022.

The Federal Liberals recently expanded the rental construction financing initiative.

“This program has been in such high demand that we’ve decided to expand it yet again, by $12 billion over the next seven year,” Hussen said.

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