The City of Whitehorse issued a stop-work order on a proposed condo site at Strickland and Second Ave. on Jan. 17. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

UPDATED: City of Whitehorse issues stop work order on proposed downtown condo

Condo development must wait for application to be reviewed

The City of Whitehorse issued a stop work order on a showroom for a proposed condo site at Strickland and Second Avenue on Jan 18.

“We received an application on Monday, but right now nothing is going ahead,” said Pat Ross, manager of land and building services for the city Jan 17.

Work at the site had been underway on showrooms for Mah’s Point 2 — an eight-storey condo development featuring 40 units and four penthouse suites.

The $24 million build is being funded by a group of investors including Tippy Mah, who built the original Mah’s Point on Second Avenue at Jarvis. That building opened in 2011, with 52 units.

Marilyn Mah, realtor with Coldwell Banker Redwood Realty, said developer Ketza Group built the offsite showroom and brought it to 2nd Avenue to start working on Wednesday.

She said it was “news to (her)” that there was a stop-work order in place.

It was also news to Tippy the day the order was issued, though he said he wasn’t concerned about the order delaying construction.

“(That order) wouldn’t be anything,” he said. “Look at the tax (the city) gets.… Look at the Mah’s Point one. They smiled all the way to the bank. The city loved it.”

Ross said the city reviews permit applications every two weeks. The next review date is Jan. 24.

However, Ross said it should only take a week to get the proper permits in place for Mah because his application isn’t an application for the full development — it’s an application to place one temporary building, for a pre-sales office and showroom.

Plans for the building include six condo units per floor, each priced at $369,500. Four penthouses will be priced from $631,500 to $683,000. Five main floor commercial spaces will range in size from 678 to 2,070 square feet. They will be for sale at $375 per square foot.

Kobayashi & Zedda Architects designed the steel and glass building which, at eight stories, will be the tallest building in the territory.

Tippy Mah said being the tallest building wasn’t the goal. Because zoning in that area allows for buildings up to 25 metres high, it only made sense to take advantage of the allowance.

Glenn Munro, who’s developing the site with Mah, said people want the building to be even higher.

“Well, I mean, people look at a building like this and they all want to be on the top floor,” he said. “The higher the better for the people that live there.”

Munro said there had been no feedback from the people who won’t live there.

“We’ve had no feedback that this is out of place or anything like that,” he said. “You know what Vancouver is like.… this is what’s going on in the big cities. It’s densification. Land is so expensive and expensive to buy and expensive to service that this is the future for most places.”

He said he sees this as a lifestyle choice for those who want to be within walking distance of downtown amenities, and who want a home they can lock up and walk away from for extended vacations.

If it’s successful, Munro said there will be more construction.

Eighty-two-year-old Tippy Mah agreed.

“If I live long enough, I will build another one,” he said.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that the construction of the showroom is the subject of the stop-work order.

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