Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
New housing on the way

Developer predicts 300 new units

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 07/01) - One of the city's major developers plans to build a second apartment complex in addition to one he now has under construction and predicted work on up to 300 other units could be underway by next summer.

"I wouldn't worry about the housing shortage," said Mike Mrdjenovich, president of Nova Construction from his office in Edmonton.

Mrdjenovich said Nova plans to build an 80-unit apartment building in Frame Lake South next summer in addition to a 60-unit apartment now under construction near Rat Lake.

He said he knows of other developers who plan to jump into the fray as well.

"By this summer there will be 200 to 300 new units," he predicted.

Even so, Mrdjenovich is still sore about a foiled attempt to build a seniors complex on the Bartam trailer park site on School Draw Avenue.

He called some councillors "do-gooders" and "extremely left wing" who throw up roadblocks whenever developers try to do their job.

"It seems to me that council is really inexperienced (when it comes to development)," said Mrdjenovich.

"Let the private sector look at Niven Lake. Stay out of it. The private sector will provide as long as the land is available. They get taken every time they deal with development," he said.

Mayor Gord Van Tighem agreed the city should not be in development, but added municipal politicians must map out the vision for the city's growth.

"The city has to decide where it's going in the future," said Van Tighem.

"Once that's done, planning for development areas happens and once sites are zoned and identified that's where the private sector needs to come in."

Van Tighem said he has seen a lot of interest recently from developers.

Van Tighem said he was to meet with three groups of interested developers this week and one group next week.

"What the market really needs are houses ready right here, right now," said Van Tighem. "There is a small window of opportunity being missed."

Van Tighem said he wants to see council open up Niven Lake to developers in January when the neighbourhood's development scheme comes under review.