By Laura Keil

The Village is hitting pause on a planned fourplex it intended to back on 6th avenue, citing projected costs being over budget.

“The proposed cost just for the Village’s one unit (one unit of four) was over Council’s budget of $400k,” said Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson. “Council hopes that perhaps a design change, for one example, could bring those costs back in line with budget expectations.”

Earlier this year the Village set aside $400,000 to purchase one unit in a fourplex that would be built on Village land to help deal with the current housing crisis due to approx. 2000 workers being in the community as a result of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

The Goat previously reported that Pheidias Group—the firm owned by Oberto Oberti who led the concept design of Valemount Glacier Destinations—was beginning discussions with the Village of Valemount on building the residential fourplex.

The idea was to sell Pheidias a plot of Village-owned land at fair market value for construction of a fourplex and the Village would commit to buying one unit up to $400,000. The other three units would belong to Pheidias to use or sell at their discretion. 

The Village-owned lot picked out for the development is on 6th avenue next to the former Mountain Driftwood Gallery & Lodging. 

Torgerson said the lot would need rezoning to build four units. The public would get to have their say at the rezoning hearing. He said most people see the need for staff housing, including medical staff, he noted, people whose jobs support the health of the entire community.

Torgerson said the Village, as current property owner, will likely be on the hook for utility hook-ups, but Pheidias would be responsible for all permits as would any other developer.